Seven-for-seven last weekend. Not bad. And only one of the selections needed an assist from Lady Luck: Seattle's last-minute field goal at San Diego when already ahead 34-31 as a three-point favorite.
Then again, if Warren Moon hadn't thrown that sideline interception that was returned for a Chargers touchdown -- when the Seahawks led by seven late in the third quarter -- they might have covered easily.
This is the 24th consecutive season that I've written this column, and my longest winning streak stands at 11. The longest losing streak remains classified information.
I don't expect to break any records with this week's picks, given the complexities of the card, but who knows? When you're on a roll, the ball always seems to bounce in the right direction.
This week's picks
(All bets in mythical dollars)
Broncos (-3 1/2 ) at Chiefs: Denver is healthier on the offensive and defensive lines and it's hard to knock a team that's 9-1 and coming off a 34-0 rout of Carolina. But most of those points Sunday were supplied by the Broncos' special teams, the AFC West leaders are only 1-3 against the point spread on the road (5-1 at Mile High) and this figures to be the 7-3 Chiefs' best effort of the year. Kansas City's defense is quick enough to pressure John Elway and keep Terrell Davis in reasonable check. Look for the Chiefs to run a little and fill-in quarterback Rich Gannon to scramble a lot.
Take Kansas City for $100.
Eagles at Ravens (-2 1/2 ): The Eagles look good statistically on offense and defense. Their defense is solid. Their offense isn't. .. Now it's Bobby Hoying's turn to start at quarterback for Ray Rhodes' club. Hoying can't be much worse than Ty Detmer and/or Rodney Peete. The best thing that could happen to the Ravens would be to lose this game, thus giving owner Art Modell another reason to fire coach Ted Marchibroda. It could happen, but the Ravens' defense has perked up a bit in recent weeks and the nicely balanced offense is reasonably healthy again.
Take the Ravens for $100.
Take Dallas for $100.
Jets (-3) at Bears: The Jets shouldn't be favored by a field goal over anyone when they're away from the Meadowlands. Da Bears are bad at times (see 31-8 effort at home against Washington on Nov. 2), but they're not that bad. Actually, since Erik Kramer was reinstated at quarterback, Chicago has been downright competitive against everyone but the Redskins.
Take Chicago for $100.
Patriots (-2) at Bucs: The oddsmakers and the betting public think more highly of New England than I do. Given their tough schedule the rest of the way, the Patriots are going to be life-and-death to make postseason action. Tampa has played poorly only once in 10 outings, against Detroit. At 7-3, the Bucs are very much in the rugged NFC Central race.
Take Tampa Bay for $100.
Panthers at 49ers (-9 1/2 ): San Francisco is 8-2 against the point spread, tied for first in that respect with Minnesota, and defensive tackle Bryant Young returns to the lineup after being out with an ankle injury. He joins Dana Stubblefield in the middle of the 49ers' defense. Stubblefield, during Young's absence, played like Young -- and that's as good as it gets. The Panthers are struggling on offense.
Take San Francisco for $100.
Bills at Dolphins (-5 1/2 ): The Bills don't have a quarterback. Todd Collins is a wee bit better than Alex Van Pelt, but neither is up to minimum NFL standards. The Dolphins do have a quarterback. He's not what he once was, but Dan Marino still has his moments.
Take Miami for $100.
Last week's record: 7-0. Net for week: plus $700.
Season record: 34-26-4. Net for season: plus $1,260.
Pub Date: 11/14/97