A starving man does not hold out for a ribeye, he says thanks for the pigs foot. And so my week just past makes me smile, even though a 9-4 record overall and 7-6 against the spread are not cause for ticker-tape. Had some nice hits including underdog Cowboys, Giants and Rams with points. I sense an upturn. Would not call myself hot by any means, but would say I have shaken off the season-long veneer of ice and am approaching tepid. Pigs feet are not bad, by the way. Have had them in a Hawaiian-style soup, but prefer them pickled and vinegary, the way Southern general stores used to sell them right out of that large jar on the front counter. Mmm! [Note: Thursday-game pick was Dolphins (+2) over Bengals, 24-20].
Line: GB by 11.
Cotes pick: GB 31-17.
TV: 8:40 p.m. Monday, ESPN (airing in South Florida).
For the second week in a row no clear-cut Game of the Week is offered by the NFL, but this one rests on two pretty sturdy legs. First, Bears-Packers oddly enough is the only Week 9 duel in which both teams have a winning record. Second, this 185th all-time meeting makes Chicago-Green Bay the leagues most-played rivalry and arguably its best. Alas, the Bears downshifting from injured QB Jay Cutler to shaky Josh McCown severely decreases the likelihood the Monday stage will be filled with a close game. Chitown is also missing LB Lance Briggs, so Eddie Lacy and the Packs suddenly fearsome ground game could run wild. Gee Bees have won 11 straight at Lambeau and six straight in this series. Pandas getting 11 tempts, but Id resist. I did mention Josh McCown is starting, didnt I?
Line: IND by 2 1/2.
Cotes pick: HOU 23-20.
TV: 8:30 p.m., NBC (airing in South Florida).
AAWWK! Happy Hallowaawwk! warbles the Upset Bird. Will I never learn? My stubborn faith in the Texans keeps kicking me in the aaawwwk! Sunday nights matchup looks like a good one, with both teams coming off a bye and the home team urgently desperate after a Dolphinesque tailspin of five straight losses. Arian Fosters questionable status (hamstring) gives me pause here, but Indy definitely will be missing a big chunk of offense in injured Reggie Wayne. Former Houston Cougar QB Case Keenums first home start could spark a Texans offense that needs a jump. Im more sure J.J. Watt and that Texans D will keep it close enough for an upset to occur. Yes, J.J. Waawwk, concurs a nodding U-Bird. Prepare to be sacked repeatedly, Andrew Laaawwwk!
Line: SEA by 16 1/2.
Cotes pick: SEA 24-10.
TV: 4:05 p.m., FOX
Sheer Buccaneers putridity and a Saturday point spread suggesting lopsidedness earn the Doggy points here. Russell Wilson does not lose at home, literally (11-0, 117 rating, 22-4 on TDs/picks), and Percy Harvin seems ready to return from injury just in time to replace sidelined Sidney Rice. Seabirds are giving up an awful lot of points here, though, after struggling to beat St. Lou last week. So with some trepidation I like T-Bay with the head start in a low-scoring affair.