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Welcome back to Capper’s Corner, where The Capper has been hiding in said corner and licking his wounds in the wake of last weekend’s “Day of the dog.”

Of the 14 NFL games contested last weekend, nine underdogs not only got the cover, but they all won straight up.  Add to that the Jets, my upset special, missed a field goal in overtime that would have made them the tenth underdog winner, and you learn a valuable lesson about handicapping the NFL.

In the NFL, there are 30 teams that each have 45 members that were great players in college.  The difference between winning and losing is a break here, a momentum shift there, a turnover, a timely penalty that may or may not be called.  The phrase “On any given Sunday” was never more evident as it was last week.  Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Arizona, four of the most WRETCHED franchises in the league, won impressively.  All one can do is sigh and say “stuff (?) happens,” wipe it from your memory and start again.

With that in mind, on to week 10:

Record last week…  Ummmm…  Aw, forget about it. EVERYBODY had a bad week last week.

My picks have the spread by them, ie: Dallas (-4)  The over/under calls are just opinions.  Play at your own risk.

Best bets:

Buffalo at Dallas (-4)  o/u  37
The Cowboys are 6-2.  Before the season started, I would have given good odds that they wouldn’t reach six wins in the entire season.  There is something magic about Bill Parcells.  My only concern is that every week there are a few games in the NFL in which the outcome just doesn’t make any sense, if you get my drift.  This one fairly SCREAMS setup, but I will take the COWBOYS and lay the 4, and trust the Dallas defense to get me the UNDER.

Miami (+5) at Tennessee  o/u  40
Miami has a 4-0 road record and has won the last five in this series.  Titans coming off a bye and should be healthy.  Five points is a lot between two talented teams.  I’ll go with the DOLPHINS with a lean to the UNDER.

Atlanta at N.Y. Giants (-10.5)  o/u  41.5
Last week I took the Falcons to cover a big number.  Shame on me.  GIANTS roll with a slight edge to UNDER.

N.Y. Jets (-3) at Oakland  o/u  39
Every week this entire season I have taken the Raiders, thinking that the early season troubles were an aberration.  Not anymore.  The Raiders are OLD and they stink.  The Jets will continue to improve as Pennington gets back into the flow.  This is another of those games that could mysteriously go to the underdog, but Oakland has taken enough of my money this year.  Play on the JETS with a slight lean to the UNDER.

Tampa Bay (-3) at Carolina  o/u  34.5
The Bucs are 4-4 and two games behind the Panthers.  Green Bay was in this position last week and put a whuppin’ on Minnesota.  Tampa needs this game.  Take the BUCS and, as always with Tampa, lean to the UNDER.

The rest of the story:

Chicago (+2) at Detroit  o/u  37.5
Fifty years ago this would have been an epic battle.  Now it is only an exercise in futility between two laughable teams.  Chicago has played slightly better since they realized that Kordell Stewart is NOT the answer.  If the fragile Chris Chandler can stay in the game, I like “DA BEARS”  and in the dome in Detroit, with two pathetic defenses, I like the OVER.

Seattle (-3½) at Washington  o/u  40
This game could be a trap.  Spurrier is trying to keep his job and Seattle is crossing the country.  Still, the numbers favor the Seahawks over the beat up Redskins.  This one may bite me on the butt, but I have to go with SEATTLE in a shootout that should go OVER.

Arizona (+7½) at Pittsburgh  o/u  40.5
‘Zona has a great running back, and his name is Marcel, NOT Emmitt.  Is Arizona good enough to win on the road?  No.  Are the Steelers good enough to cover 7.5?  No again.  Take the points with the CARDINALS and play the UNDER.

Houston at Cincinnati (-5)  o/u  39
I don’t like this game.  Not one bit.  If I HAD TO, I’d take the home BENGALS and UNDER, but I would NOT bet this game.

Cleveland at Kansas City (-10)  o/u  44
This is one of those games that would give me gray hairs, if I had any hair, that is.  KC has virtually locked up their division.  They are undefeated, playing at home and coming off a bye.  Can the Browns pull off the upset?  No freakin’ way.  Can they stay within 10 points?  Maybe, but KC has too much firepower.  If the Chiefs show up with the right attitude, this one could get ugly.  My play is on KC and the OVER.

Indianapolis (-6) at Jacksonville  o/u  44
Indy is having a great season, but they can’t shake the Titans in their division.  They still have something to play for and the Jags have been just plain bad.  Take the COLTS and the UNDER. 

Minnesota (-5½) at San Diego  o/u  43.5
Word is that Doug Flutie may start for the Chargers.  Does the mullet still have the magic?  Minnesota has lost two straight and after watching Ahman Green shred the defense last week, I wonder what LaDanian Tomlinson will do.  I am going to hedge my bet.  If Flutie starts, take the CHARGERS and the points.  If Brees is still the man, go with the VIKESEither way, I like the OVER.

Baltimore at St. Louis (-7)  o/u  42.5
The point spread in this game doesn’t make sense.  Is the Raven offense that bad?  Apparently Vegas thinks so.  Marshall Faulk is back in the lineup this week, so if you put a gun to my head, I would have to say take the RAMS at home and play UNDER because of the Raven defense, but I don’t like this game.

Philadelphia  at Green Bay (-4.5)  o/u  43
Both QB’s are banged up, but Favre lit up the Vikes last week with a broken thumb.  McNabb still hasn’t shown me that he is anywhere near  his pre-injury form from last year.  The Packers rock on Monday night against the spread.  Go with the PACK.  And as a sidelight, I almost ALWAYS play the over on Monday Night Football.  National spotlight.  Only game on TV, and a chance to showcase your talent for mom, dad and Aunt Peggy and Uncle Marvin, not to mention your homies back in the hood.  Play the OVER.

For The Record:
Dana Harris' Best Bets ATS:
Week 9:    (2 - 4 - 0)
YTD:         (2 - 4 - 0)

Questions/comments/tomato throwing may be directed to
Week 10
November 6, 2003
by Dana Harris