||For whatever reason, the favorites usually cover three of the four games in the second round; rarely will more than one underdog pull off an upset. My underdog pick is the Eagles (3-point dogs in Chicago) -- I just like the way they're playing now, and I've never been totally sold on the Bears, who have been just as lucky as they've been good. Donovan McNabb will be the difference. Eagles 16, Bears 13.
As for the other picks, Pittsburgh (minus-5½) should swallow up the Ravens. You can pull that conservative "We're not gonna let our QB kill us" crap against Miami, but that won't work against a hungry Steelers defense. Elvis Grbac will have to make plays on the road for Baltimore to have any chance... and you know how that will work. Don't get swayed by how good the Ravens looked last week against a banged-up Dolphins team (I still think Chris Chambers would have been worth 10 points last week). Steelers 24, Ravens 10.
I like the Pats (minus-3) to hold off the Raiders, for all the typical reasons: Home-field advantage, warm-weather team struggling in cold weather, Bill Belichick
having two weeks to prepare for Jon Gruden, good matchup for the Pats defense, Pats should be able to pound the ball with Antowain Smith, a raucous Saturday
night crowd. This will be easier than you think. Pats 26, Raiders 17.
As for the Rams-Packers game, Vegas is begging you to take Brett Favre and the Packers (10½-point underdogs)... but I just can't shake the fact that 1. the Niners came within an underthrown Jeff Garcia pass of taking the lead in the final five minutes at Lambeau last week, 2. Mike Sherman makes me nervous as hell, and 3. the Packers haven't played the Warner era Rams yet, and the Rams have a tendency to jump all over uninitiated teams early. Just remember, you can
pick against Favre, but don't bet against him. Rams 41, Packers 25.