Didn't mean to steer you wrong

Steve MacFarlane -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 6:25 AM ET

Welcome to the NFL. As the saying goes: On any given Sunday, anything can happen.

Things happened last week. Unusual things. Bad things -- especially if you're a betting man.

The Bears beat the Packers at Lambeau, the Jags held Denver to two field goals, the sleeping Giants woke up, the Chiefs got spanked at home by backup Panthers and nobody felt inclined to cover the spread.

Some of you rode my Week 1 picks to pool victory and Week 2's to defeat.

Consider us even.

If you lost your weekend beer money based on the selections of a stranger, you can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing the guy who offered the advice was also drinking water.

Who says everyone loves an underdog?

Here are this week's picks.

* Pittsburgh +1 at Miami: The Dolphins have to win sometime. With rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger starting for the Steelers, this may be the Fins' best chance. Dolphins 16, Steelers 14

* Jacksonville +6 at Tennessee: The Heart Attack Kids in Jacksonville are, as quarterback Byron Leftwich said, "winning games ugly." But they're off to a 2-0 start because of solid defence and big last-minute plays on both sides of the ball. The Titans looked great in the first half last week against the Colts but collapsed in the second. Quarterback Steve McNair is banged up and we all know he plays better when hurt. Titans 17, Jaguars 10

* Cleveland +3 at N.Y. Giants: Cleveland lost most of its defensive line to injury last week but it was the offence that struggled. A 0.0 passer rating wasn't the way Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia planned on entering the record book when he left the Calgary Stampeders for greener pastures in the NFL. Giants 20, Browns 16

* Baltimore -3 at Cincinnati: The Bengals offence didn't look great against Miami last week and needs to take more shots downfield to be successful against the Ravens. Jamal Lewis will be relied upon even more than usual because Baltimore's passing game will be without Todd Heap (ankle) for at least a couple of weeks. Ravens 24, Bengals 20

* Houston +81/2 at Kansas City: If Texans running back Domanick Davis can hold onto the pigskin, Houston has a shot at winning this one outright. The Chiefs are having problems on and off the field and will have trouble bouncing back if they fall to 0-3. Chiefs 23, Texans 21

* New Orleans +7 at St. Louis: These two teams are inconsistent. The Rams will try to control the clock with a strong running game and the Saints will be forced to pass in the absence of running back Deuce McAllister (ankle). If this turns into a shootout, whoever scores last, wins. Rams 28, Saints 21

* Chicago +9 at Minnesota: Bears coach Lovie Smith considered last week's game against Green Bay his Super Bowl and will no doubt try to keep the momentum going against another division rival in Minnesota. But last week's biggest upset was costly. Bears safety Mike Brown (Achilles) is out for the year and starting corner Charles Tillman (knee) will miss 7-10 weeks. Coming off a Monday Night loss, the Vikings will take out their frustrations through the air. Vikings 31, Bears 20

* Philadelphia -4 at Detroit: Many people think this game is ripe for a classic upset -- the Eagles are coming off a huge Monday Night win with a bye next week, while the Lions are undefeated and playing at home. Others think the Eagles learned a valuable lesson about focus after last season's brutal start. Eagles 34, Lions 17

* Arizona +10 at Atlanta: Cards running back Emmitt Smith needs one 100-yard game to tie Walter Payton's record of 77 but the Falcons defence has shown a knack for stopping the run. Atlanta's fleet-footed quarterback Michael Vick ran away with last week's game in the fourth quarter and again faces a defence that can|t keep up with him. Falcons 26, Cardinals 12

* San Diego +10 at Denver: After scoring just six points, a last-minute fumble cost Quentin Griffin and the Broncos a win in Jacksonville last week. Nothing cures a point-production hangover better than a visit from the Chargers. Broncos 33, Chargers 19

* Green Bay +51/2 at Indianapolis: Indianapolis will key on Packers running back Ahman Green and try to force early turnovers. The Colts finally get to play at home in the dome after tough road tests against New England and Tennessee. For those who rely on facts and figures, Brett Favre is 12-21 in dome starts. Colts 30, Packers 23

* Tampa Bay +3 at Oakland: It's hard to imagine these two teams faced each other in Super Bowl XXXVII, then posted losing seasons last year as an encore. Both defences played strong games last week and you can expect Sunday night's tilt to be a low-scoring affair. Oakland's offence gets the edge based on big-play potential. Starting Bucs QB Brad Johnson was benched after the first quarter last week and that couldn't have done much for his confidence. Raiders 17, Bucs 13.

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WEEK'S BEST BET

San Francisco +101/2 at Seattle: Seattle's young defence has been solid, holding New Orleans to just seven points and Tampa Bay to four. After going 2-0 on the road to start the season, the Seahawks return to the friendly confines of home, where they hope to win their 10th straight at Qwest Field. Seahawks 38, 49ers 12.

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UPSET OF THE WEEK

Dallas +2 at Washington: This will be the first time legendary coaches Joe Gibbs and Bill Parcells face each other since 1990. The Cowboys have won 12 of their last 13 meetings and the Redskins have done nothing this season to suggest the dominance will end. Cowboys 23, Redskins 21.


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