Broncos no bust on bets Denver stands 8-1 vs. point spread, too

On the line

November 08, 1996|By Gerald Strine | Gerald Strine,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Forget the regular NFL standings. The statistics that really count are those compiled against the point spread.

So, while Green Bay and Denver head their respective conferences with 8-1 records, they are perceived quite differently in betting circles.

The Packers are a mere 5-4 where the number is involved -- including 2-3 at home -- but the Broncos have been as good to the people who wagered on them as they have to their straight-up fans, covering eight of nine outings.

The only time Denver failed to beat the spread was Sept. 15 at home to Tampa Bay. The Broncos, favored by 13 1/2 , defeated the Buccaneers, 27-23.

The second-best point-spread record is shared by Washington, Philadelphia and Houston, at 7-2. Carolina and Pittsburgh follow at 6-3. The Steelers are 5-0 at home; the Panthers and Oilers 4-0.

Denver is 4-0 on the road, the only team to have covered every away outing. Chicago (0-3) and New Orleans (0-4) have yet to cover as visiting teams.

This week's picks

All bets in mythical dollars:

Bears at Broncos (-10 1/2 ): If John Elway's hamstring heals in time for him to start, I'll go with Denver. The Bears lost fiery linebacker Bryan Cox for the year with a broken thumb and are hurting even worse at tight end, down to starting a rookie who was No. 3 on the depth chart. Take Denver for $100.

Giants at Panthers (-4 1/2 ): The Panthers average 29.0 points at home, 14.8 on the road. They won't blow New York off the field, but their defense plays with the kind of aggressiveness certain to give Dan Reeves' pedestrian offense a lot of trouble. Take Carolina for $100.

Cardinals at Redskins (-10 1/2 ): A strong running game gives the Redskins trouble, as Buffalo showed. The Cardinals don't have that, and their passing game isn't much, either, with Boomer Esiason taking over for the injured Kent Graham. Look for the Redskins to rebound. Take Washington for $100.

Colts at Dolphins (-3 1/2 ): The Dolphins were done in by a bad fumble call at New England. They're desperate at 4-5, and should be able to cover against an Indianapolis club whose offensive line can't protect Jim Harbaugh or block for Marshall Faulk. Take Miami for $100.

Lions at Chargers (-4): San Diego is getting healthy just in time to face a Detroit squad that isn't too happy with its coaching staff. Center Courtney Hall is out, but quarterback Stan Humphries and defensive back Dwayne Harper might return from injuries for the Chargers. Take San Diego for $100.

Packers (-3) at Chiefs: The Chiefs' running game perked up a bit at Minnesota. Marcus Allen has a tough assignment again this week, but there's nothing wrong with the Kansas City defense, which figures to be primed for a maximum effort against a Packers passing attack missing its two top receivers. Take Kansas City for $250.

Bills at Eagles (-3 1/2 ): The Bills are similar to the Chiefs in that they have a sound, veteran defense. If Jim Kelly can keep from making costly mistakes the Bills should be able to win outright. I've been losing every week to Ty Detmer, the little devil. Take Buffalo for $250.

Cowboys at 49ers (-3 1/2 ): Jerry Rice is still the greatest, but San Francisco isn't getting much production from its other wide receivers, and the running game has been weak. I don't see the 49ers dominating. This contest should be close, and exciting, all the way. Take Dallas for $250.

Last week

Record: 5-3. Net for week: plus $5. Net for season: minus $910.

Staff selections

Week 11

Ravens at Jaguars (-3 1/2 )

John Eisenberg .. Jaguars

Gary Lambrecht .. Jaguars

Ken Murray ...... Jaguars

Mike Preston ... Jaguars

Vito Stellino ... Ravens

Cardinals at Redskins (-10 1/2 )

John Eisenberg .. Cardinals

Gary Lambrecht .. Redskins

Ken Murray ...... Redskins

Mike Preston .... Redskins

Vito Stellino ... Redskins

@Falcons (-1 1/2 ) at Rams

John Eisenberg .. Falcons

Gary Lambrecht .. Falcons

Ken Murray ...... Falcons

Mike Preston .... Falcons

Vito Stellino ... Falcons

@Bills at Eagles (-3 1/2 )

John Eisenberg .. Eagles

Gary Lambrecht .. Eagles

Ken Murray ...... Bills

Mike Preston .... Eagles

Vito Stellino ... Eagles

Packers (-3) at Chiefs

John Eisenberg .. Chiefs

Gary Lambrecht .. Chiefs

Ken Murray ...... Packers

Mike Preston .... Chiefs

Vito Stellino ... Packers

Oilers (-3 1/2 ) at Saints

John Eisenberg .. Oilers

Gary Lambrecht .. Oilers

Ken Murray ...... Saints

Mike Preston .... Oilers

Vito Stellino ... Oilers

Colts at Dolphins (-3 1/2 )

John Eisenberg .. Dolphins

Gary Lambrecht .. Dolphins

Ken Murray ...... Colts

Mike Preston .... Dolphins

Vito Stellino ... Dolphins

Patriots (-6 1/2 ) at Jets

John Eisenberg .. Jets

Gary Lambrecht .. Patriots

Ken Murray ...... Jets

Mike Preston .... Patriots

Vito Stellino ... Patriots

@Raiders (-5 1/2 ) at Bucs

John Eisenberg .. Bucs

Gary Lambrecht .. Raiders

Ken Murray ...... Raiders

Mike Preston .... Raiders

Vito Stellino ... Raiders

Steelers (-4) at Bengals

John Eisenberg .. Steelers

Gary Lambrecht .. Steelers

Ken Murray ...... Steelers

Mike Preston .... Steelers

Vito Stellino ... Steelers

Cowboys at 49ers (-3 1/2 )

John Eisenberg .. Cowboys

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