The Pigskin Profit: Take Bills, Rams, Broncos, Saints


Another disaster last week, with so many spreads out of whack. And yet I keep leaping into the trap. How many torpedoes can the boat take? Oh, well. Like Bogart muttered on his death pillow, “I never should have switched from Scotch to Martinis.”

(Home teams in caps.)

NAVY (-6.5) over Rutgers: A comedown game for Knights this week, after stiff effort against Penn State came up empty. Senior QB Nova a big interception QB, including five last week vs. Lions. Middies already No. 1 rushing team in country at 403 yds/game. They also get their zippy QB Keenan Reynolds back after minor knee trouble. Navy 5-1 against the number in last six home games.

WEST VIRGINIA (+7.5) over Oklahoma: Moutaineers showing much more life than a year ago, when team was taking the pipe and giving up 40 and 50 and 73 a game. Valiant loss to ‘Bama more significant than upset of Maryland so far. Offensively ‘Eers all pass, no run. Sooners stiff on D – only 11 ppg allowed against boilerplate schedule. Stoops good for one or two snafus per year. This could be one of them.

PITT (-7) over Iowa: Pitties rarely home favorite against major conference invador. QB Voytik settling in nicely as offensive leader despite low pass attempts. FB Conner looks like Pitt’s answer to Larry Johnson. Hawkeyes a dull club…and have been for some time. Kirk Ferentz era at Iowa could be closing soon. Program has same feel as final years of Pasqueloni at Syracuse…or Fulmer at Tennessee. A slow, grinding death.

Indiana (+13.5) over MISSOURI: Tigers covered easily against softies Toledo, UCF. Vegas lines were way too low. Now they get Hoosiers, another fleecebag. In my head this should be Mizzou -23. The conspiracy theory continues.

BUFFALO BILLS (-2) over San Diego Chargers: Buffalo the AFC’s September surprise, stopping big arms Cutler and Tannehill in first two games. Bill defense plays angry. QB Manuel doing enough with his arm to make the difference. Chargers coming off delicious upset of champion Seahawks. QB Rivers showing a midseason form, but SD run game in trouble. If Chargers forced to go heavy on the pass, then Buff will sack him to pieces.

ST. LOUIS RAMS (+1.5) over Dallas Cowboys: Contrary to all the preseason reports, Cowboys aren’t dead at all. Bled out Titans last week with 41:11 of clock time. Romo health still a bit of a mystery. Rams QB situation, too, as choices are either wounded Shaun Hill or second-year apprentice Austin Davis. Rams’ defense lousy against run so far; clamping down on fancy Demarco Murray (5.6/rush) will be first step toward redemption.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-10) over Minnesota Vikings:  See what the Falcons did to Tampa Bay the other night? Like Gaul mopping up the Romans at Allia. Brees and Saints, with their distressing 0-2 start, have very similar ideas.

Denver Broncos (+4.5) over SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Here’s an assignment for all the yutzes standing in the endless i-Phone lines – work those thumbs to find out how many times Peyton Manning has been a regular season underdog over the years. It’s not been many. It’s also a personal offense to the man. Defending champ Seattle in danger of slipping to 1-2 if Manning lights it up. Head scratcher is Bronco second-half offense, which has a total of ten points under its belts thus far. But they’ll do just fine this weekend.

Last Week: 2-7

Season: 8-16  (College 5-8; Pros 3-8)

Tom Danyluk joins NFL Spin Zone after nine years as a columnist with Pro Football Weekly. He is an award-winning freelance writer and author of “The Super ‘70s,” which you can purchase on Questions or gripes? Please contact Tom at