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LINE: TAMPA BAY by 2 It doesn’t mat­ter than the Car­di­nals are a home dog. All that means is that we can spot a small price with vis­it­ing the Bucs. This Ari­zona team is a mere shell of the con­tender from a cou­ple of years ago. The loss of RB David John­son has been im­mea­sur­able. The Cards made a desperation move this week by ac­quir­ing 32-year-old Adrian Peter­son af­ter a dis­grun­tled stay in New Or­leans. Good luck with that. De­fences have been able to zone in on Ari­zona’s pass­ing game and that sti­fled unit has only been able to pro­duce 16.2 points per game as a re­sult. Such a puny out­put ranks slightly higher than only the Bears, Browns and Dol­phins. Ari­zona’s two wins have both come in over­time against the Colts and 49ers re­spec­tively, two clubs that are a com­bined 2-8 with Indy’s wins be­ing against equally in­ept San Fran­cisco and Cleve­land. Losses to the Lions, Cow­boys and Ea­gles were all by dou­ble-dig­its. Tampa is well rested af­ter fac­ing the Pa­tri­ots 10 days ago and the solid de­fen­sive unit that held Tom Brady to less than 20 points should have an easy time con­trol­ling this lame op­po­nent. TAK­ING: BUC­CA­NEERS –2 LINE: KANSAS CITY by 4 It’s rare for ev­ery­one to be down on the Steel­ers, but some lack­adaisi­cal ef­forts com­bined with Ben Roeth­lis­berger’s dis­cour­ag­ing com­ments finds Pitts­burgh folk in a funk. Dis­heart­ened, de­mor­al­ized and de­pressed af­ter be­ing hu­mil­i­ated by Blake Bor­tles and the Jaguars, of all teams, the Steel­ers will take on the league’s best team. This is typ­i­cally where the NFL makes you nuts. The Chiefs have been on fire since the start of the sea­son and are sup­posed to roll over this trou­bled visi­tor. But we don’t see it hap­pen­ing. Pitts­burgh finds it­self in a de­sir­able role as the un­der­dog for the first time this year. It marks only the sec­ond time since the start of last sea­son where Mike Tom­lin’s team is be­ing of­fered points dur­ing reg­u­lar sea­son. The only other oc­ca­sion was when vis­it­ing New Eng­land. This sets up for a good bounce-back spot. As usual, Ben is whin­ing af­ter a lop­sided loss, but that’s usu­ally when he is best as Steel­ers are 7-1 vs. spread af­ter los­ing by 20+ points in the Big Ben era. Noth­ing against Chiefs, but Pitts­burgh pro­vides the value. TAK­ING: STEEL­ERS +4 LINE: DEN­VER by 11½ Hur­ri­canes, earth­quakes and the Gi­ants. It has been an aw­ful year for dis­as­ters. The Gi­ants re­main win­less and, to add in­sult to in­jury, their in­fir­mary has more peo­ple in it than a Charg­ers home game. New York’s big­gest star was lost for the sea­son af­ter Odell Beck­ham broke an an­kle last week. In fact, you won’t rec­og­nize many G-men re­ceivers as both Bran­don Marshall and Ster­ling Shep­ard are also side­lined. Trou­bled when they had the cur­rently wounded play­ers in their lineup, the Gi­ants will now have to face Den­ver’s rock-ribbed de­fence with­out them. And it’s not like New York can turn to its ground game, a unit that is av­er­ag­ing 77.8 yards per game (30th ranked) while the Bron­cos run de­fend­ers are nearly im­pos­si­ble to pen­e­trate af­ter giv­ing up just 210 yards on the ground all sea­son! We don’t have to get cute here. There sim­ply does not ap­pear a way the Gi­ants can score with cur­rent ros­ter. The Bron­cos are strong and they are rested. They are also 14-6-1 against the spread (ATS) in past 21 fol­low­ing a bye week. TAK­ING: BRON­COS -11½ Steel­ers QB Ben Roeth­lis­berger dis­ap­pointed many last week, but has been known to bounce back af­ter losses.

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