PANTHERS (-8) over Raiders: Talking about the best QBs in the league and you start with Tom Brady, move to Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. Can I get a "what-what" for Cam Newton? Here's why. Newton struggled mightily over the first 10 games, losing eight times, but the last four efforts have been magnificent. Carolina has averaged 28 points and 407.5 yards per while winning three of four, and has only one turnover since Week 12 (best mark in the NFL). Back to Newton. During this four-game run, he has an NFL-best 113.1 passer rating with nine TDs and no interceptions. Now they get an Oakland team that has covered only one of the last seven, won only two of the last nine on the road, and has averaged a meager 13.5 points per game the last four outings. If you're thinking the spread is too high for the Panthers, don't. Why? Cause this is my Best Bet, and the Newtons will crush, like, by at least a dozen.
Saints (+3) over COWBOYS: Welcome home, Drew. Brees is from Austin, Texas, and loves to come back home to torment the Cowboys. Last time he was home, in 2010, he led New Orleans to a 30-27 win against Dallas. The Saints have played a brutal schedule after the bye week, losing to the Broncos, 49ers, Falcons and Giants, the cream of the NFL crop. The 'Boys are certainly not cream, not at home where they've covered only three of the last 16. At 18.8 percent, we gotta march with the Saints.
BUCCANEERS (-3) over Rams: Using the famous "bagel theory" in this matchup. Not much statiscal evidence behind the theory yet, but it is perfect in 2012. Before last week, there were only two bagels in the NFL. The Jets were bageled by the Niners in Week 4, then covered the next week. The Cards were bageled by the Seahawks and came back to cover the following week. After Tampa ate a 41-0 bagel in New Orleans last week, you can bet that the Bucs are gonna bounce back big!
JETS (-2) over Chargers: Wonder why San Diego sucks this season and has not made the playoffs since 2009? Maybe it's because head coach Norv Turner is openly looking for a new job. He was asked whether becoming an offensive-coordinator would appeal to him and Turner said he wants to go to "a place where you have an opportunity to win and be in a situation that there are coaches I've worked with and been around." Wow! Turner has left the building, and so have the Lightning Bolts.
STEELERS (-3 1/2) over Bengals: With two games under his belt since returning, Big Ben Roethlisberger should be ready for the final push (two wins and they're in) against this Cincinnati team that Pittsburgh has owned, winning and covering five in a row.
CARDINALS (+5 1/2) over Bears: Chicago has no business being favored in this matchup. Da Bears are on an 0-3 run, have dropped five of the last six and might not even win this game, let alone cover the spread. Did anyone say money line?
LIONS (+3 1/2) over Falcons: Detroit has nothing left but to play the role of spoiler, and a loose team is a dangerous team.
PACKERS (-12 1/2) over Titans: Green Bay rarely loses at home (21-3 since 2010) and usually covers on the Frozen Tundra (12 of the last 17).
DOLPHINS (-4) over Bills: Nothing to play for on either side, so let's make a light play, a very light play, to home cooking.
Patriots (-14 1/2) over JAGUARS: If New England is interested, this could be a 47-10 final. If not, the Pats should still squeeze out a cover.
Colts (-6 1/2) over CHIEFS: Zero points for KC against Oakland last week. If you look carefully, you'll see golf clubs on the sideline.
Giants (-2) over RAVENS: Call this a "bagel bounce-back" for the Big Blue after getting ripped by Atlanta (34-0) last week.
Vikings (+8) over TEXANS: Why not Adrian Peterson for MVP? Why not the Purple People for a road cover?
BRONCOS (-13) over Browns: Cleveland has won only two of the last 16 on the road, and ain't gonna win at Mile High. But keep it light.
49ers (Pick) over SEAHAWKS: Seattle is perfect at home, at least until late Sunday night when the Niners knock 'em off.