Surprisingly remained above .500 last week, going 8-6. That makes me 34-27 for the season so far when it comes to NFL picking (pushing is for wusses). Follow the advice, and you may be raising your arms in victory like Mr. Brady to your right. Just don’t call me if your feet are stuck in cement over some nondescript bridge. Home teams in CAPS.
TEXANS (-5.5) over Dolphins – The Dolphins offense stinks, their usually strong defense is in the toilet with Zach Thomas out. Even without Andre Johnson, the Texans should be able to win by a touchdown.
Jaguars (-2.5) over CHIEFS – Last week’s great performance by Dwayne Bowe notwithstanding, I’ll bet on the AFC South team, especially with a pair of run stuffers up the middle.
GIANTS (-3.5) over Jets – Not for any sort of homefield advantage reason, but because the Jets’ offensive line is offensively bad, and we’ve seen what Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan did last week to a bad offensive line.
SAINTS (-3.5) over Panthers – At first I wondered why the Saints were favored at all, and then realized that David Carr would be under center again. Consider this the week New Orleans gets a win.
PATRIOTS (-15.5) over Browns – The Browns have been playing closer to teams, but that’s against Cincy, Baltimore, and Oakland. These are the Patriots here. I’d say 20 point difference.
Lions (+3.5) over REDSKINS – For whatever reason, I believe in the Lions’ offense this year, and this seems too good not to take. Kitna over Campbell’s a gimme, and both teams’ corners are totally capable of getting burned.
Falcons (+8.5) over TITANS – Not that I expect the Falcons to win, mind you; I just think giving Tennessee eight-and-a-half over anyone is silly.
Cardinals (-2.5) over RAMS – You could make this up to a 6.5 edge for the Cardinals and I’d take it because Gus Frerotte is starting for St. Louis.
Seahawks (+6.5) over STEELERS – This will be closer than you think, despite Seattle having to play a 10 AM Pacific game and adjusting time-wise — but so long as they keep in the hands of Hasselbeck than trying to make Shaun Alexander rush like he used to.
COLTS (-10.5) over Buccaneers – I’d take Tampa Bay if this were a home game for them. It’s very, very tough to take the spread against the Colts as an underdog if you’re going into the RCA Dome.
Ravens (-3.5) over 49ERS – Vengeance game for Trent Dilfer, but behind center for the Niners, he’s still Trent Dilfer.
BRONCOS (-1.5) over Chargers – Not for homerism, but because after last week, I will not pick any Norv Turner-led team until they show that they are capable of covering.
PACKERS (-3.5) over Bears – Surprised this line is this small for the Packers. It should be at least 6.
Cowboys (-10.5) over Bills – Yes, Buffalo showed signs of life against the Jets in last week’s victory. Those were the Jets, these are the Cowboys.
Photo: AP/Al Behrman