Close counts on spreads

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

Talk about a tough week to pick winners. Out of the 14 games this weekend in the NFL, 10 of those matchups are within three points of one another, while only two games have clear-cut favourites.

As usual, the Indianapolis Colts are no brainer to move to 5-0 on the season as they kickoff against the San Francisco 49ers.

In the other supposedly cut and dry affair, the Broncos are favoured to be a touchdown better than the Redskins, who haven't lost this year.

But as far as the rest of the league is concerned, things are going to be tight. It should be interesting.

* CHICAGO +3 AT CLEVELAND: Veteran passer Trent Dilfer has the slight edge over his Bears counterpart Kyle Orton, especially after some much-needed rest. Browns 17 Bears 13.

* NEW ORLEANS +3 AT GREEN BAY: There's no way the Pack can drop to 0-5 on the season at Lambeau Field, can they? Brett Favre will play big from start to finish and the ailing Ahman Green fights through the pain. Packers 24 Saints 17

* TAMPA BAY -3 1/2 AT NEW YORK JETS: It's hard to imagine the Bucs moving to 5-0 but even with the savvy vet Vinny Testaverde at the helm for the Jets, it's going to be no contest. Buccaneers 23 Jets 13

* SEATTLE +3 AT ST. LOUIS: On any other given week I'd probably give the edge to the Rams, especially since they're at home. However, with all the uncertainty surrounding Rams coach Mike Martz and his health, the distraction will hurt. Seahawks 32 Rams 28

* NEW ENGLAND +2 1/2 AT ATLANTA: Probably the toughest pick this week. Falcons QB Mike Vick takes a page out of Donovan McNabb's playbook by playing hurt. Can he be as effective against the defending champs is the question. Falcons 30 Patriots 24

* MIAMI +3 AT BUFFALO: Right now, the only thing the Bills have going for them is running back Willis McGahee. Facing the league's third-best run defence, McGahee's not going far and neither are any of J.P Losman's pass attempts. Dolphins 25 Buffalo 13

* BALTIMORE PICK AT DETROIT: While the Lions' defence isn't that bad, it will be just the remedy for the Raven's struggling offence this weekend. Ravens 18 Lions 13

* TENNESSEE +3 AT HOUSTON: Houston sports fans should just get on the Astros bandwagon for now because it's going to be some time before the Texans are any good. Titans 27 Texans 16

* INDIANAPOLIS -14 AT SAN FRANCISCO: The 49ers probably hoped they would've of pick up Montezuma's revenge in Mexico City rather than play this one. Colts 37 49ers 24

* CAROLINA -3 AT ARIZONA: OK, so Josh McCown proved he can hit his targets ... against San Fran. But can he do the same against a real defence? Panthers 20 Cardinals 10

* PHILADELPHIA -3 AT DALLAS: It will once again be the Donovan McNabb/ Terrell Owens show. But, and this is a big BUT, without kicker David Akers, the Cowboys will find a way to keep it close and eventually win by a field goal. Cowboys 24 Eagles 21

* WASHINGTON +6 1/2 AT DENVER: Denver's deadly at home but Clinton Portis is primed to face his old team and Washington's defence will shut down Jake Plummer. Redskins 32 Broncos 27 UPSET OF THE WEEK

* CINCINNATI +2 1/2 AT JACKSONVILLE: This will be a battle of which offensive line can allow the fewest sacks and/or penalties. The Bengals' line is hurting in front of Carson Palmer and Byron Leftwich's boys are just bad. The Jags, however, spoil the perfect record. Jaguars 22 Bengals 17.

* PITTSBURGH +3 AT SAN DIEGO: The Chargers show they're among the league's most potent offences and are finally ready to make the jump from a good football team to a great one. Chargers 37 Steelers 29.

HOW I DID: Well, I'm not really one to brag, OK maybe I am but last week's record is worth some props. You be the judge. Straight up, I kept above .500 going 10-4, raising my total to 18-10. Against the spread, last week I was 9-5, moving to 10-18 for the season.


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