Law of averages might have my number after 12-4 week

September 17, 2006|By PETER SCHMUCK

It's hard to be humble after going 12-4 against the spread during the opening week of the NFL season, but the law of averages has a way of catching up with those who think they've got it all figured out.

Guess we'll find out this week whether I've got the music in me or I was just a couple of random standard deviations from the norm when I turned the oddsmakers on their ears with my amazing feat of football forecasting.

Of course, the following predictions are for entertainment purposes only and are in no way an encouragement to bet actual money on football:

Raiders at Ravens (-12): I have a rule that I take the points any time the spread is in double digits during the first four weeks of the season, but I'm breaking it this week. I went against the evil Raiders on principle last week. Now, I'm predicting a 30-point blowout because they've earned my disrespect. Ravens.

Redskins at Cowboys (-6): The Redskins couldn't win at home last week with Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx on their bandwagon, so what do you think is going to happen on the road against a Cowboys team that also is smarting from an opening loss? Cowboys.

Bills at Dolphins (-6 1/2 ): That's an intriguing spread considering how the Bills held their own against the Patriots last week, but there is some logic behind it. The Dolphins have had 10 days to prepare and they've got a lot to prove in their first home game. Dolphins.

Lions at Bears (-8 1/2 ): On the surface, this looks like a similar matchup to the one at M&T Bank Stadium today. The Bears are coming off a 26-0 win at Green Bay and the Lions displayed no offense in a home loss to the Seahawks. That's where the similarity ends. This game will be a lot closer than it looks. Lions.

Texans at Colts (-13 1/2 ): The Texans are coming off a one-sided loss at home and the Colts are coming off a decisive road victory over a decent Giants team. Everything points to a blowout, but I'm banking on a big defensive play busting that spread. Texans.

Panthers (-1 1/2 ) at Vikings: Carolina was a trendy Super Bowl pick coming into the season, but they'll have to dig out from an 0-2 start after Vikings fans shout them down in the Metrodome. Vikings.

Buccaneers at Falcons (-5 1/2 ): This is a pendulum play. The Bucs aren't nearly as bad as they looked on Sunday and the Falcons aren't 14 points better than Carolina. Bucs.

Saints at Packers (-2): When you're dealing with two bad teams, it's usually a safe bet to stick with the home team, but the home team doesn't have Drew Brees and Reggie Bush creating a new offensive paradigm. Once again, the underdog Saints win outright. Saints.

Browns at Bengals (-10): The Browns are coming off a discouraging loss to the Saints and look like cannon fodder for Carson Palmer and Co. It shouldn't be close, but the double-digit rule is back in effect here. Browns.

Giants at Eagles (-3): Toss-up game. Probably will end up being a push, but I'll stick with my new favorite team. Eagles.

Cardinals at Seahawks (-7): Kurt Warner might as well stop at Pike Place Market and pick up some fresh salmon because nothing else good is going to come of this trip. The Seahawks have some bonding to do with their fans after last week's lackluster offensive performance in Detroit. Seahawks.

Rams (-3) at 49ers: The 49ers opened some eyes with their 27-point performance in last week's loss to the Cardinals. Unfortunately, they used up all this week's scoring, too. Rams.

Patriots (-6) at Jets: I underestimated Eric Mangini's new program last week and was just happy to avoid the angry phone call from his father-in-law (Ron Shapiro). Won't make the same mistake again. Jets.

Titans at Chargers (-11 1/2 ): The Chargers looked good at Oakland on Monday night, but the short week and the fact that the Titans are not the Raiders make this a ridiculously long spread. Titans.

Chiefs at Broncos (-10 1/2 ): Kansas City quarterback Trent Green is out with a concussion, forcing another deviation from my 10-point rule. Broncos.

Steelers (-1 1/2 ) at Jaguars: Ben Roethlisberger is listed as questionable, which means he will play. Don't know if that's a plus or a minus, but it's enough uncertainty to go with the home dog. Jaguars.

"The Peter Schmuck Show" airs on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays.

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