Mike Tierney

Top Dog

A veteran sportswriter whose work appears periodically in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Mike Tierney has covered the NFL for decades and reported from seven Super Bowls. Mike does not consider himself a pet lover. But he likes 'dogs, preferring to evaluate each game from the underdog's point of view. In 2016, Mike went 22-9 (71 percent) on NFL Over/Unders. For Mike Tierney media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.

12-4-1 LAST 17 NFL OU PICKS | +759

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5 Picks on Upcoming Games
Arizona @ California
Tennessee @ Alabama
C. Michigan @ Ball St.
Buffalo @ Miami (Ohio)
Kansas City @ Oakland

UNDER 46UNDER 46

Tampa Bay 33 @ Arizona 38
10/15
TB 33 @ ARI 38
10/15
LOSS
Sat 10/14

We tend to think an injury to a starting QB is the most damaging to a team. Yet none has been more negatively impactful as RB David Johnson?s. His extended absence, along with shoddy blocking up front, means Arizona?s dynamic offense has been downgraded to mediocre at best. The Cards? scoring average of 16.2 ranks 29th. As a result, their past four games have gone Under. This week?s acquisition of RB Adrian Peterson will only help a smidgen. He averages a paltry 3.1 yards per carry. Tampa Bay pinned just 14 points last week on the Patriots? shaky defense, which was twice as much as it scored against the Cards in the desert last season.

12-4-1 in last 17 NFL OU picks | +759

San Francisco +11SF +11

San Francisco 24 @ Washington 26
10/15
SF 24 @ WAS 26
10/15
WIN
Sat 10/14

The spread?s move from the -9 opener has knocked me off the fence. The Niners? offense under new coach Kyle Shanahan is progressing, if by baby steps, having scored 39 three weeks ago and 23 last Sunday. The defense has allowed more than 23 in regulation time just once. The combined margin in four straight-up defeats during regulation since a season-opening blowout is a minus-5. Two consecutive trips from the West Coast is an impediment but is more than offset by the certain absence of one Redskins standout, CB Josh Norman (ribs) -- and the likely absence of another -- RB Rob Kelley (ribs).

12-4-1 in last 17 NFL OU picks | +759

Arkansas +35ARK +35

Arkansas 9 @ Alabama 41
10/14
ARK 9 @ BAMA 41
10/14
WIN
Sat 10/14

The spread keeps headed up, up, up. Now, it's too high to resist. Razorbacks QB Austin Allen (shoulder) has been ruled out, but this is still a value spot. Unexpectedly tight games dot the recent series history, though dominated by Alabama. Arkansas lost by one on a blocked PAT in 2014, led in the fourth quarter of a 13-point defeat the next year and followed it up by scoring 30 on the Crimson Tide. Bama is 2-5 ATS in its last seven home appearances. Arkansas is in a rut but should muster up the intensity in this semi-rivalry to avoid a runaway by Alabama.

12-4-0 in last 16 CFB ATS picks | +765

OVER 42OVER 42

L.A. Rams 27 @ Jacksonville 17
10/15
LAR 27 @ JAC 17
10/15
WIN
Fri 10/13

Rams games have stayed Under just once since the penultimate weekend of 2016, while Jaguars contests have jumped the total in every game after the 2017 opener. A 10-point afternoon for the Rams last Sunday was a blip; they have rung up 46, 41 and 35 alone in three of their five outings. Jacksonville?s offense is powered by rookie RB Leonard Fournette, the league?s No. 2 rusher. Yet he could be outgained by Rams RB Todd Gurley, who takes aim at a defense with the second-highest ground yardage yield.

12-4-1 in last 17 NFL OU picks | +759

Baltimore -6.5BAL -6.5

Chicago 27 @ Baltimore 24
10/15
CHI 27 @ BAL 24
10/15
LOSS
Fri 10/13

The Bears are so desperate for a quarterback savior that they publicly spun rookie Mitch Trubisky?s debut positively to an extreme. He connected on fewer than half of his 25 passes and had two picks. Uh-oh. The Ravens? nine interceptions rank second, and coach Jim Harbaugh is 9-0 straight-up in Baltimore against first-year QBs. Baltimore flat-out stunk for two weeks, then took a turn for the better last Sunday against the Raiders ? albeit without QB David Carr on the field for Oakland. The Bears were turnover-prone before Trubisky replaced Mike Glennon, so their dilemma might not worsen. It?s bad enough already, which sets the Ravens up nicely for a cover.

12-4-1 in last 17 NFL OU picks | +759

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