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Mike Tierney
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. Over the past four seasons, Mike is 232-204 ATS in the NFL. For Mike Tierney media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.
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NFL | Cleveland @ Carolina | 09/11 | 5:00 PM UTC

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ANALYSIS: Who will start at quarterback for the Panthers? Join SportsLine here to see the full pick!

+60 5-4 IN LAST 9 CAR ATS PICKS
+645 13-6-2 IN LAST 21 CLE ATS PICKS

NFL | San Francisco 17 @ L.A. Rams 20 | 01/30 | 11:30 PM UTC

L.A. Rams -3.5

LOSS

ANALYSIS: The hook on this spread has hung around all week. Given the recent trend of buzzer-beating field goals, it could come into play. However, the Rams were built to serve as Super Bowl hosts in their stadium this season and, despite San Francisco’s six-game winning streak in the series, are the superior squad. The tale of offensive LTs is telling. The 49ers’ Trent Williams either will play with a bum ankle or sit. The Rams’ Andrew Whitworth returns after resting his 40-year-old body last weekend. San Francisco QB Jimmy Garoppolo is a cut above mediocre when healthy, and various ailments hampered his throws a week ago. If Williams is out, he will be ducking for cover. Counterpart Matthew Stafford is a half-mile better and, with receivers and RBs galore, should pile up enough points for a cover.

NFL | Cincinnati 27 @ Kansas City 24 | 01/30 | 8:00 PM UTC

Kansas City -7

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ANALYSIS: My theory: This spread is not higher because the public is swayed by last weekend’s four down-to-the-wire games. The Chiefs have won their last two AFC finales by double digits, and both opponents were superior to Cincy. The Bengals own the better defense, but the edge is mitigated by K.C.’s unparalleled playmakers, who can strike at any moment. How can the visitors, having scored three TDs in two playoff games, keep pace? As gifted as QB Joe Burrow is, he has suffered 62 sacks (including playoffs). The Chiefs have covered in a half-dozen consecutive home gigs. They have a single ATS defeat in the eight most recent matchups against foes with plus-.500 records.

+256 17-13-1 IN LAST 31 CIN ATS PICKS
+575 19-12-2 IN LAST 33 KC ATS PICKS

NFL | Buffalo 36 @ Kansas City 42 | 01/23 | 11:30 PM UTC

UNDER 54

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ANALYSIS: As everyone braces for a shootout, here is a semi-contrarian view. The Bills’ defense remains top-ranked even while displaying some slippage. The Chiefs’ D, though rated low, has made sufficient repairs to raise itself to a decent level. Since these teams combined for 58 points in their Week 5 clash, standout Chiefs DT Chris Jones has returned from injury and ace pass rusher Melvin Ingram was acquired from Pittsburgh. Half of Buffalo’s games this season have gone Under. The Bills tend to prevent big plays, which is Kansas City’s specialty.

+206 14-11-2 IN LAST 27 KC O/U PICKS

NFL | L.A. Rams 30 @ Tampa Bay 27 | 01/23 | 8:00 PM UTC

UNDER 48

LOSS

ANALYSIS: Points were hard to come by in Saturday’s twinbill, so let’s keep the Under train rolling. On the injury front, 40-year-old Rams OT Andrew Whitworth (knee) will miss the rare game in which he’s not the oldest player. Buccaneers OT Tristian Wirfs and C Ryan Jensen, both Pro Bowlers, are iffy with ailing ankles. NFL elder Tom Brady, 44, was under siege at times last week and could feel the heat from ferocious pass rushers Aaron Donald and Von Miller. He could stick to the most recent game plan with short, time-killing throws. Tampa Bay yielded the fifth-fewest amount of points in the regular season and could bedevil Los Angeles QB Matthew Stafford.

+459 9-4 IN LAST 13 LAR O/U PICKS
+90 2-1 IN LAST 3 TB O/U PICKS