Vito Stellino's picks

December 14, 1991

Just in case you're tired of Christmas shopping (if the recession is so bad, why are the lines in the stores so long?), the NFL is going to have 7 games (2 today, 5 tomorrow and 1 Monday night) on national television over the next 3 days.

The only problem is that it doesn't have 7 games on the schedule that belong on national TV. The league even had to resort to putting two of its worst teams, the Bucs (against the Bears today on CBS) and the Colts, (on ESPN tomorrow night against the Bills) on national TV.

But there is drama, of sorts, involved. The Colts and Bucs could be headed toward a replay of the 1981 Stupor Bowl, when the 1-14 Colts met the 2-13 Patriots. If both the Colts and Bucs lose this weekend, they'll have the same records going into Stupor Bowl II.

The last time, the Colts won to give the Patriots the first pick in the draft. This time, the Colts already have the Bucs' pick (from the Chris Chandler deal) so they could wind up with the first two picks depending on how the 2-12 Bengals do in their final 2 games.

Bears (-13) 24, Bucs 7 -- Because NBC has pre-game shows today and tomorrow, Bill Parcells gets a chance to deny twice this weekend that he's heading for Tampa Bay next year.

49ers (-5) 21, Chiefs 14 -- Is Cher following Steve Bono's surprising career?

Last week's record: 13-1. Against the spread: 9-5. Best bets: 2-2.

Season record: 137-59. Against the spread: 98-92-6. Best bets: 32-26.

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