We rolled 12-4s straight up and against the spread last week, and I must brag if youll indulge me. Our record against the line after eight weeks was 39-60-5, 21 games below .500. I was embarrassed. But, did you count me out? Since then, I am 71-51-14 against the spread. The climb to finish above .500 is still on entering the final week. Among last weeks bulls-eyes: our Ravens upset special (Aawwk!), another outright upset with Chargers, a pair of dogs-with-points in Bengals and Vikes, and a rare exact score on Redskins 27-20 win. Dont leave me now, mo!
Line: NE by 10.
Cotes pick: NE 27-20.
TV: 4:25 p.m., CBS (airing in South Florida).
As Week 17 wraps up the 2012 NFL regular season, it says much about this still-disparate division rivalry that New England is gunning for a first-round playoff bye while the Dolphins seek the consoling hug of a .500 record. The Patriots bid for that coveted bye depends on a win here and a loss by either Houston (playing at Indy earlier) or Denver (hosting Kansas City concurrently). So, if the Texans win, the Patriots would have little shot at a bye. But they need to enter playoffs with a sense of tailwind after a loss to San Fran followed by an unimpressive win over lowly Jacksonville. So Miami should expect a full dose of Tom Brady, who is 9-1 in home starts in this series. Thats a big uh-oh for Miami. So are expected temps in the 20s with a chance of snow. (Snowplow Incident II?) Still, Miami is getting an awful of points here. Dolphs played Pats tough in a 23-16 loss last month, and should again.
Line: WAS by 3.
Cotes pick: DAL 28-27.
TV: 8:20 p.m., NBC.
AAAWWWK! screams the Upset Bird. Prime time! Whole league watching! Game of the Waawwk! Winner-take-aaawwwk!! All 16 final-week games are division contests, but none bigger than this. Its all but all-or-nothing. Winner will be NFC East champion. Loser? Dallas would be out. Washington would be too unless both Chicago and Minnesota lose. Both are riding hot QBs in Tony Romo and wonder-rookie Robert Griffin III, and Washingtons six-game win streak is its longest since 1996. I get why the homies are favored. But I nevertheless like Cows to avenge their 38-31 loss five weeks ago. Dallas is healthier now, and Indians are due a stumble. Two touchdown catches for Dez Bryant. Dez Braawwk! predicts U-Bird. Upon further review, its too bad Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland was so concerned about whether Dezs mother was a prostitaaawwwk!
Line: TEN by 4.
Cotes pick: TEN 20-17.
TV: 1 p.m., CBS.
Quick work for the meeting of the Dog panel, which saw this games combined 7-23 record, pounded the gavel, then pounded holiday shots of Crown Royal Maple tempered with a splash of egg nog. Jaguars played Pats tough last week while Titans were getting clobbered by Packers, but give me Tenners at home. Titans are 5-2 vs. teams with losing records, and Jags are 1-6 on road. Jax won 24-19 a month ago but isnt qualified to sweep a floor, let alone an opponent.