League hurtin' after Week 3

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

There's a 'no vacancy' sign hanging above the NFL's sick bay this week.

With so many of the league's top stars going down with injury, poolies, gamblers and fans are left scrambling and more uncertain than ever on what team to lay their money.

Can the New York Jets win another game this season after starter Chad Pennington and backup Jay Fiedler each went down with bad shoulders?

Can the New England Patriots keep the Super Bowl in their sights with Rodney Harrison on the shelf for the season?

Will the Arizona Cardinals win any time soon without starting quarterback Kurt Warner?

All good questions that keep us up nights but also keep us coming back as league parity thickens the plot.

* SAN DIEGO +5 AT NEW ENGLAND: It's hard to bet against the defending champions but with yet another key player -- Rodney Harrison -- going down to injury and with the Bolts coming off a convincing victory over the Giants, the edge narrowly goes to San Diego. Chargers 24 Patriots 21 UPSET OF THE WEEK

* DENVER +4 AT JACKSONVILLE: Will Denver's defence show up as it did against the Chiefs' potent offence? No, especially if there's no Champ Bailey. Jaguars 32 Broncos 28

* HOUSTON +9 1/2 AT CINCINNATI: This is an easy one. With an offence finally playing to potential and a defence that intercepts everything put in the air, the Bengals will convincingly go to 4-0. Bengals 35 Texans 17 BEST BET

* INDIANAPOLIS -6 1/2 AT TENNESSEE: Peyton Manning's jonesing for some TD tosses, look out for a big game from him. Colts 42 Titans 10

* PHILADELPHIA +2 AT KANSAS CITY: The Eagles gotta lose at some point and the Chiefs want some redemption after being embarrassed by the Broncos. Chiefs 35 Eagles 32

* DETROIT +6 1/2 AT TAMPA BAY: Carnell (Cadillac) Williams is a finely tuned machine. Watch for him to become the first NFL rookie to begin his career with four straight 100-yard rushing games. Bucs 20 Lions 10

* ST. LOUIS +3 AT N.Y. GIANTS: If the Giants' defence can stop Marc Bulger, the boys -- Eli, Tiki, Plaxico and Jeremy -- will do the rest. Giants 28 Rams 19

* BUFFALO PICK AT NEW ORLEANS: With home-field advantage, kind of, and with the Bills losing Takeo Spikes, this one's going New Orleans' way. Saints 17 Buffalo 12

* DALLAS +3 1/2 AT OAKLAND: Oakland's a good football team that's faced some really tough teams. If Kerry Collins can keep his INTs at zero and find Randy Moss in the endzone, this one's a no-brainer. Raiders 23 Cowboys 20

* SEATTLE +2 AT WASHINGTON: A healthy, rested defence, which is second in the league against the run, the 'Skins will shut down Seattle's only weapon: Shaun Alexander. Redskins 24 Seahawks 19

* N.Y. JETS +7 1/2 AT BALTIMORE: If you're looking for an airshow you'll have better luck with the Snowbirds. Ravens 26 Jets 10

* MINNESOTA +5 1/2 AT ATLANTA: The Vikings' so-called 'revamped' defence will be no match for a healthy Michael Vick, who's starting to hit his stride. Falcons 35 Vikings 27.

* SAN FRANCISCO +3 AT ARIZONA: Without Kurt Warner, it's safe to say adios muchachos. Even the 49ers are better now. 49ers 27 Cardinals 19

* GREEN BAY +7 1/2 AT CAROLINA: Brett Favre's arguably one of the best quarterbacks ever and he never fails to put on a big show for a Monday Nighter. Packers 28 Panthers 25

How I did last week: I could probably earn a better living if I could pick against the spread. However, I'll keep my writing gig for now as I was 1-13 in that category. Straight up, I fared a little better -- 8-6.


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