It was a wild week in the NFL, and it was a wild week for Ernesto the Prediction Iguana as well. He went 4-4, 2-2 in teaser plays, putting the season totals at 45-21 overall, 20-13 in teasers. He won three overs and hit with the Saints (5-1 for us this season), but lost with the Chiefs (4-1 for us), Broncos (0-1), Patriots (7-2) and Texans (1-1).
It’s time for Ernesto’s annual vacation. He’s off skiing for the next three weeks, so the cats take over. Heading up the squad is Faith the Prediction Cat. Don’t be fooled by that sweet smile! In her two years of relief appearances for Ernesto she’s gone 39-11 overall, 16-9 in teasers. She’s joined by Torrey the Prediction Cat, making his first appearance in this series as AWITP and GNN research assistant.
So here’s this week’s winners before they happen. As always, we do 2-team teasers here, so we can move the line six points either way. We use the lines from Vegas Insider, HOME TEAM IN CAPS.
Patriots (-3) at STEELERS
RAVENS (-2) vs. Buccaneers
The reeling, bumbling, Scooby-Doo villainish Steelers – who damn well could have won all three of their last games if it weren’t for those meddling kids! – have to face a furious Belichick. The Steelers' Swiss-cheese secondary will get shredded for 600 yards.
Meanwhile the Ravens will take the top spot in the division by topping the Bucs in a squeaker. The Ravens will finish, and the Steelers can’t. Time for Keith Butler to go.
Saints (-0.5) at PANTHERS
Dolphins (+14) at VIKINGS
The Saints started slowly last week but poured it on as the game progressed. The Panthers defense is down this year, and weak secondary and poor tackling are the problems. Meanwhile the Dolphins and Vikings are headed in opposite directions. One caveat: Miami frequently lays eggs on the road, but 14 points is a solid number.
CHIEFS (+2.5) vs. Chargers
VIKINGS-Dolphins OVER 38.5
38.5 is just a little too low for two solid offenses, especially matched up against two questionable and inconsistent defenses. Meanwhile, the Chiefs defense will make San Die, er, I mean Los Angeles look like Same Old Chargers.
STEELERS-Patriots OVER 43.5
BENGALS-Raiders UNDER 54
Defense? What defense? I don’t know whose is worse! (Unless Artie Burns is on the field, then no question: Pittsburgh is worse. He should be selling beer in the stands.) In Cincinnati, the Bengals will struggle without Andy Dalton, and the Raiders struggle all the time (except against the Steelers). I don’t see seven or eight touchdowns combined, especially if the weather turns ugly.