Remember competitive balance?The league is supposed to be...

Vito Stellino's picks

October 25, 1992

Remember competitive balance?

The league is supposed to be in court fighting against free agency because it is supposed to hurt competitive balance (to say nothing of costing the owners money).

Well, last Sunday, there were five games in which teams were favored by a touchdown or more. The Dolphins gave 15, the 49ers 10 1/2 , the Steelers 9 1/2 , the Raiders 7 1/2 and the Saints 7. They all covered.

This week, the Oilers are favored by 16 1/2 , the Eagles by 15 1/2 , the Giants (Ray Handley's Giants?) by 15, the Dolphins by 13 1/2 and the Chiefs and Bills by 8.

How much worse could competitive balance be under free agency? All the scary things the NFL say will be caused by free agency are happening in the current system.

Well, as Paul Tagliabue said last week, "There are other things to do in life than get involved in sports." Strange thing for an NFL commissioner to say, but this may be one of those weekends when it's easier to find other things to do.

VITO'S PICK .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. THE LINE

Vikings 21, Redskins 17 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... Redskins by 2

Which is more likely to happen first -- expansion or the Redskins' building a new stadium?

Giants 28, Seahawks 7 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... Giants by 14 1/2

With Bill Parcells in the broadcast booth reminding the Giants of the way they were, Ray Handley needs a big win.

Oilers 31, Bengals 7 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Oilers by 16 1/2

The best bet of the week is that Gary Reasons won't touch David Shula's cap.

Eagles 34, Cardinals 10 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . . Eagles by 15 1/2

Wasn't it just two weeks ago that the Eagles were comparing themselves to the '85 Bears? Now they can be compared to the '91 Eagles.

Bears 27, Packers 10 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. . Bears by 3 1/2

It was difficult to figure out which public figure had a bigger tirade against the press last week -- Mike Ditka or Ross Perot.

Buccaneers 23, Lions 10 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Buccaneers by 2 1/2

Barry Sanders is getting a chance to prove that all great runners need blocking.

Cowboys 30, Raiders 14 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... Cowboys by 3

K=

A few more wins and Al Davis will become a genius again.

Broncos 20, Chargers 14 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Chargers by 1 1/2

The Chargers may be looking ahead to next week's game with the Colts.

Dolphins 31, Colts 7 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Dolphins by 13 1/2

For Bobby Ross, coaching against the Colts last week was like coaching against Wake Forest.

Browns 23, Patriots 3 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Browns by 5

No matter how many games Bill Belichick wins now, this season can't be a true success. After all, he started out by losing to the Colts.

Chiefs 30, Steelers 14 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Chiefs by 8

The big deal about this one is Bill Cowher returning to Kansas City. Unfortunately for him, Derrick Thomas will be on the other side this time.

Bills 21, Jets 7 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Bills by 8 1/2

Marv Levy, unhappy with fan criticism, said that some of the Bills fans "would have been ready to surrender" the day after Pearl Harbor. We don't get snappy quotes like that from Joe Gibbs. But then he probably never heard of Pearl Harbor.

Best bets: Dolphins, Buccaneers, Browns and Oilers.

Last week's record: 9-3; against the spread: 9-3; best bets: 3-1.

Season record: 61-27; against the spread: 42-42-4; best bets: 10-15-3.

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