Eventually, everybody's a pushover

TREVOR BUNKE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

If you consider that 10 spreads last week were three points, it's nearly inconceivable that only one game (Cincinnati-Jacksonville) was a push.

But in the topsy-turvy world of the NFL in 2005, it's par for the course.

How else do you explain the Eagles -- an NFL-best 32-10 on the road since 2000 -- getting creamed 33-10 by the Cowboys in Dallas? Or the Packers, the formerly 0-4 Packers, exploding for 52 points vs. the Saints after scoring a combined 72 points if their first four games?

NO ANSWERS

The answer is, of course, you can't. But, at least in my case, with both Philadelphia and Green Bay off in Week 6, they can't screw me over. On to the picks:

NY Giants (+3.5) at Dallas: While the Giants are headed in the right direction, I can't pick them after seeing what the Cowboys did to the Eagles last week. And if you throw in the fact the Giants are an NFL-worst 3-13 against the spread coming off bye weeks ... things look even better for Dallas. COWBOYS

Carolina (+1) at Detroit: The Lions are just too banged-up to take control of the NFC North or take out the Panthers. Of course, even if they fall to 2-3 this week, they could still be in first place. PANTHERS

Atlanta (-5.5) at New Orleans: Can the Saints fall any lower after their 52-3 drubbing at the hands of the previously winless Packers? Why, yes. They've lost RB Deuce McAllister, their offensive catalyst, for the season and get to face Falcons QB Michael Vick making his return from a knee injury. FALCONS

Minnesota (+3) at Chicago: If the Vikings were playing the Chicago Bares, then we'd be talking. But it's the Bears, and this week's game will be no riverboat fantasy for Minnesota. BEARS

Washington (+5.5) at Kansas City: All four of the Redskins' games this season have been decided by three points or less. Until that streak ends, I'm sticking with them. REDSKINS

Cincinnati (-3) at Tennessee: If the Bengals are as good as they say they are, they'll bounce back from last week's loss to the Jaguars. They're only a loss or two from turning back into the Bungles. BENGALS

Jacksonville (+3) at Pittsburgh: The line on this game has yo-yoed from 5 points down to 21/2 and back up to 3 because of the status of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee). The hunch here is that Big Ben will at least start and stay in the game long enough for Pittsburgh to get a lead of more than three points. STEELERS

Cleveland (+6) at Baltimore: No matter how good the unruly (team record 21 penalties last week) Ravens are on defence, until they can prove they are capable of scoring more than 12 points a game (they've scored 47 points in four games), I wouldn't be passing on the six points the Browns are getting. BROWNS

Miami (+4.5) at Tampa Bay: Hey, party on. The Dolphins get RB Ricky Williams back this week from his four-game drug suspension. The Buccaneers fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last week in a 14-12 loss to the Jets. That loss came minus RB Cadillac Williams. And he's likely out again this week. DOLPHINS

New England (+3) at Denver: Not only are the Patriots 9-0 ATS the last nine times they've been underdogs, they've also won all nine games ... and that dates back to December, 2002. And Broncos QB Jake Plummer is just so due to implode. PATRIOTS

NY Jets (+3) at Buffalo: The Jets won't make the same number of mistakes -- or take as many penalties -- as the Dolphins did in their visit last week to Buffalo. I'm just not sold on the Bills. JETS

San Diego (-2) at Oakland: As explosive as the Chargers have been this season, their record is only 2-3. The Raiders, coming off their bye week, are only 1-3 themselves, but seemed to turn the corner two weeks ago in a 19-13 win over the Cowboys. Getting a couple of points is a bonus. RAIDERS

Houston (+9) at Seattle: Are the Texans the worst team in the NFL? Yes, yes they are. SEAHAWKS

St. Louis (+13.5) at Indianapolis: The Rams will be the first team the Colts -- allowing a paltry 5.8 points a game -- have faced this season that has a dangerous offence. On the flip side, St. Louis doesn't have a defence, therefore this game is no contest. COLTS

Byes: Arizona, Green Bay, Philadelphia, San Francisco.

Last Week: 7-6-1.

Season: 35-37-2.

Best Bet: Dallas.

Best Bets: 2-3 after 3-point underdog Miami lost 20-14 to Buffalo.

Suicide Pick: Seattle.

Suicide Picks: 5-0 after Indianapolis beat San Francisco 28-3.


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