Want to know how Las Vegas feels about the Chicago Bears? Just look at the line: Chicago is a 2 1/2-point underdog at home on Sunday against Green Bay.
''Everyone says the ball is bouncing our way this year and it is,'' Chicago quarterback Shane Matthews acknowledged.
Indeed it is. The Bears won for the second straight week on a tipped interception returned for the winning TD by Mike Brown. The Bears only got to overtime last Sunday against Cleveland because they recovered an onside kick, then completed a deflected desperation pass for the tying TD.
Matthews, who has engineered the last two comebacks, probably will be back on the bench with Jim Miller starting for Chicago.
The Bears are 6-1, sharing with St. Louis and Oakland the best record in the NFL.
But the Packers are just a game behind the Bears and are considered the better team.
Two conflicting trends:
1. Chicago just isn't good enough to keep winning.
2. As Matthews noted, the ball just keeps on bouncing in one direction.
Try No. 1.
Pittsburgh (minus 3) at Cleveland
Another upstart is an underdog at home. Kris Brown, who missed four field goals in Pittsburgh's loss to Baltimore, misses three extra points this week, but ...
Miami (plus 3) at Indianapolis
Dominic Rhodes isn't Edgerrin James, who might not play again this week for the Colts.
Peyton Manning, who ran 33 yards for a TD last week, takes up the slack.
Minnesota (plus 4 1/2) at Philadelphia)
No reason to think the Vikings won't go to 0-4 on the road.
New Orleans (plus 3) at San Francisco
Too bad both Kyle Turley and Terrell Owens play offense. Steve Mariucci probably wouldn't mind Kyle shutting Terrell's mouth.
For the right to challenge St. Louis ...
Baltimore (minus 2 1/2) at Tennessee (Monday night)
How many must-wins can the Titans survive?
Oakland (minus 7) at Seattle
Hasselbeck's back for the Seahawks.
Carolina (plus 17 1/2) at St. Louis
Mike Martz loves it.
San Diego (plus 7) at Denver
Tampa Bay (minus 5) at Detroit
Winless teams are dangerous.
Kansas City (plus 4 1/2) at New York Jets
Was the Jets' run defense in New Orleans a fluke or does Priest Holmes ramble?
New York Giants (minus 5 1/2) at Arizona
The Giants seem to think their narrow escape against the Cowboys jump-started them.
Cincinnati (plus 5) at Jacksonville
Don't forget the Bengals in the feelgood stories.
Buffalo (plus 6) at New England
Dallas (plus 5) at Atlanta
Ryan Leaf vs. Michael Vick?
LAST WEEK: 8-6 (spread); 9-5 (straight up)
SEASON: 56-51-4 (spread) 71-41 (straight up)
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