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Happy Thanksgiving from the Capper’s Corner.  I’m furiously researching week 13 to try to get this in before the traditional Thursday games in between attempting to put together a few culinary specialties to add to my brother’s feast this afternoon.  This job is tricky enough as it is without short research time.  More than likely, since I don’t have as much time to think, I will probably go 14-2.

Last weeks 2-3-2 record on best bets was a continuation of the trend of winners not covering.  Rather than whining about the Vikings giving up a late TD to blow the spread by a half point or trying to explain how the Seahawks managed to blow not one, but THREE 17 point leads, I will just point out that I’m not alone in my frustration.  I check my colleagues’ records to avoid becoming too depressed when I have an off week.  One of my favorites writes for a national publication, and he proudly stated that he went 12-4 straight up last week.  His record against the spread?  Ummmm…  Uhhhh….  4-9-3. 

I feel better now.

There are, in the words of the legendary Dandy Don Meredith (who stole it from Howard Cosell) a “veritable plethora” of injuries that could have a major impact on week 13.  These picks are predicated on the facts I have at press time minus one day.  (Hey!  It’s a holiday week!!!)

Best bets:

Green Bay at Detroit (+6½)  o/u  44 (posted Thursday)
Normally I would never include these two teams in my best bets, but the biggest underdog of the week trend is in play here.  It’s always a lot nicer when I have 10-12 points to play with on the big doggie, but an 11-1 trend is not something you mess with.  Take the LIONS at home for that reason ONLY and give a slight lean to the OVER.

Miami at Dallas (-3)  o/u  34.5 (posted Thursday)
Jay Fiedler is back for the Fish.  So what?  He’ll be the entrée for the Cowboys defense.  Would everybody please bow your heads and give thanks to the good Lord for Bill Parcels?  Amen!  Go with DALLAS, the OVER and pass the cranberry sauce, please.

Buffalo at New York Giants (-3)  o/u  35
Boy, this one has set up written all over it.  Buffalo has struggled to score lately, and the Giants are no juggernaut themselves.  I’ll feel a lot better if Shockey is able to play, but I will go ahead and play the home GIANTS and lean ever so slightly to the OVER.

San Francisco (+3) at Baltimore  o/u  37
This is another puzzler.  Baltimore has the defense to win, but was that really Anthony Wright last week?  Was the Ravens offensive outburst the real thing, or was it just a meltdown by Seattle?  In looking at the playoff picture, the Ravens need to win to keep pace with Cincy, but the Niners have to win just to survive.  Take SAN FRANCISCO with another nail biter on the OVER.

Atlanta at Houston (-3)  o/u  40½
This could be known as the Injury Bowl.  QB’S Vick and Carr, and RB Dunn are all not expected to play.  Going on that premise, I will play the TEXANS at home with a nod to the OVER.

Kansas City at San Diego (+6)  o/u  48
KC has shown a few chinks in the armor, and six is a lot to lay on the road in the NFL.  The home dog trend took a big hit last week, going 0-4, but I’m going to ride it one more week.  I’ll go with FLUTIE MAGIC plus the six points and, for a change, take the UNDER.

Denver at Oakland (+3)  o/u  42
Something is just not right with Denver.  How many times have we seen them get inside the opponents five yard line and have Plummer toss the ball to Sharpe rather than pounding it with Clinton Portis.  Methinks there could be a bit of an ego problem here.  No ego problems in Oakland.  Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, hardening of the arteries maybe, but no ego.  Still, the Raiders have shown more consistency with Mirer at QB.  I swore I wasn’t going to do this anymore, but I’m going to take the RAIDERS this week getting 3 in a nail biter and give a slight edge to the OVER.

The rest of the story:

New England at Indianapolis (-4)  o/u  42
This game was set up to be a blockbuster, then Peyton Manning got a boo boo in his elbow.   Last word I got was Manning should play.  That being the case, I like INDY to cover by a hair and the game should go OVER.

Philadelphia at Carolina (-1½)  o/u  37
I’d like to take Philly at home in this game.  I really would, but Carolina got ambushed by Dallas last week and I think they will be focused.  I’m going to lay the points at home with the PANTHERS and just guess that 37 isn’t enough points and take OVER.

Cincinnati (+3) at Pittsburgh  o/u  42
This game is so closely matched that I hate to even pick it.  Conventional wisdom says take the home favorite, but I’m not feeling very conventional this week.  Play the BENGALS and UNDER.

Minnesota at St. Louis (-6)  o/u  51½
Whoever can hang onto the ball will win this game.  Randy Moss has a tweaky ankle.  Will he suck it up and be a man?  Well, my fantasy team sure as hell hopes so.  Big time shootout, but six is too many points.  Take the road dog VIKES.  As for the total, I can’t remember seeing over 50 in an NFL game in recent memory.  If any two teams can go over, there are the two.  I may get burned, but I’ll go with the OVER.

Arizona (+5) at Chicago  o/u  36
Does this game really have to be played?  These are two teams on the road to nowhere.  I don’t like laying five points with a terrible team.  One more time for the road dog.  Play the CARDINALS plus the five and I’m going to say 36 is not enough again and lean to the OVER.  

Cleveland at Seattle (-6)  o/u  41½
I don’t know WHAT happened in the 4th quarter against Baltimore last week, but if I was the Seahawks I would be embarrassed.  Redemption is waiting at home this week.  Take the HAWKS and the OVER.

New Orleans at Washington (-1)  o/u  41
How do you figure out the Redskins?  Simply put, you can’t.  Both starting QB’s are banged up and questionable at press time.  That being the case, I will go with the home team with only one point to give.  Go with the REDSKINS and the nod also goes to the OVER.

Tampa Bay (-3½ ) at Jacksonville  o/u  37
My analysis says the Jags have a chance in this game.  My gut says Tampa can cover.  Take the BUCS and go heavy on the UNDER.

Tennessee at New York Jets  (+1)  o/u  42
Why is this spread only one?  Iron man McNair is nursing a calf injury and is doubtful at press time.  I think McNair will play if it is at all possible, but the reports look like that won’t be the case.  I’ll go with the JETS at home and lean UNDER.

For The Record:
Dana Harris' Best Bets ATS:
Week 12:    (2 - 3 - 2)
YTD:           (8 - 14 - 4)

Questions/comments/tomato throwing may be directed to
Week 13
November 27, 2003
by Dana Harris