Vegas Vic: Eagles should eke past spread in beating the Browns

Posted: September 07, 2012

Eagles (-9) over BROWNS: Let's not start talking Super Bowl just yet, simply because the Birds posted a spotless 4-0 record in the games that mean nothing, or as Roger Goodell calls 'em, the preseason. Of course, every one of you remembers what happened last season, when the world was calling the Eagles a super team, but they ended up being just mediocre at 8-8. The chatter before this opener has not been quite as loud, or the expectations quite as high, and that's why this is the year the Big Green Machine gets back to the playoffs. With one caveat (new word I picked up here in Vegas, meaning a hole in your back tooth . . . of course, I was reading the dictionary after three tequilas in the "adult pool" on the Strip), that Michael Vick plays in all 16 games. If Vick stays healthy, book a playoff spot. However, not thrilled laying nine fat points, so in a spread-squeeze, Birds jump out to 1-0.

JETS (-3) over Bills: Found an incredible angle to this game, and Double V guarantees that no one will have anything like it. It's the "Eva Longoria effect." Come back to 2006, when the fabulous Longoria got engaged to Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs. What happened? The Spurs went on to win the 2006-07 NBA title, and Parker was named the Finals MVP. Now, we find out from the gossip columns that Longoria is dating Jets QB Mark Sanchez. Does that mean the New Yorkers from the AFC win the Super Bowl and Sanchez is the MVP? Probably not. But if Parker's phenomenal season is any indication, we expect a deep run into the playoffs at the very least. And if you're looking for a clue from the preseason, forget it, because both teams were 0-4. Last season, the Jets beat the Bills by 28-24 at home and 27-11 at Buffalo and are working on a 5-0 run against the Buffs under Rex "Mouth" Ryan. That makes this my Best Bet.

BRONCOS (-1) over Steelers: John Fox turned the Denver program upside down. Coming off a 4-12 mark under Josh McDaniels in 2010, Fox led the Broncos to a 9-9 record and a first-round playoff win. That was with Tim Tebow at QB. Now, the great Peyton Manning is running the show. And since Pittsburgh has kinda been pathetic on the road against the spread (covering only two of the last 10), we're all over the Broncs in prime time, or should we say, Peyton time!

SAINTS (-7) over Redskins: Something to prove? Bet on it, I am! New Orleans lost its coach Sean Payton and LB Jonathan Vilma, but nothing from its record-breaking offense (46 touchdowns and NFL single-season records of 5,476 passing yards and a 71.2 completion percentage) led by Drew Brees. And you might ask what that meant in the scheme of things? How about 9-0 at home and - more important - 9-0 against the spread! You gonna buck perfection? We ain't.

LIONS (-7) over Rams: Big money coming in on St. Louis driving the spread down from an open of Detroit -8 to -7. We gotta buck the "wiseguy" money and ride the Lions against a St. Loo team that has covered only one of the last 10 on the road.

Panthers (-2) over BUCCANEERS: Greg Schiano (first-year head coach) comes to Tampa after a mediocre career at Rutgers (68-67) and this is not what the Bucs needed to turn the page on a 4-12 record last season. They dropped 10 in a row to close the season, while Carolina stormed to five wins in its last six games. Cam Newton (Rookie of the Year) was phenomenal and the Panthers breezed to a pair of wins against the Bucs by a combined score of 86-35. Expect another easy W.

Bengals (+6) over RAVENS: Cincinnati will be counting on the arm of QB Andy Dalton (Pro Bowl) and the hands of WR A.J. Green (Pro Bowl), while Baltimore will be without Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs. Double C's . . . as in Cincy Covers.

BEARS (-10) over Colts: With Jay Cutler, Chicago was 7-3, without him, 1-5. He's back and healthy, so it's Da Bears.

TITANS (+5) over Patriots: In 2009, New England embarrassed Tennessee, 59-0. This Titans franchise has a memory like an elephant.

Jaguars (+4) over VIKINGS: Minny has won only one of the last 10 at home and covered only one of the last six as a favorite.

TEXANS (-12) over Dolphins: A dozen is a huge bundle, but Houston has never lost to Miami (6-0), and QB Matt Schaub is back and healthy.

Falcons (-3) over CHIEFS: First time back in KC for future Hall of Famer, TE Tony Gonzalez, and it should be an easy W for Atlanta.

49ers (+5) over PACKERS: Since Green Bay had the worst pass defense in NFL history (allowing 4,924 passing yards), we gotta tickle San Fran.

Seahawks (-2) over CARDINALS: Normally shy away from a rookie QB such as Russell Wilson, but in this spot, VV will make an exception.

RAIDERS (-1) over Chargers: Now that QB Carson Palmer is all Silver & Black from Day 1, Oakland should dim the Lightning Bolts.

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