After a very average season of regular season picks against the spread, I am ready to impart my wisdom on the wild-card round of the playoffs. If you have said before the season that I’d be settling in this weekend to watch T.J. Yates, Andy Dalton, and Tim Tebow play, I would have said you were as crazy as Rex Ryan when he decided to name Santonio Holmes captain. Oh well.
Final Regular Season Record: 124-120-5
Houston (-3) vs. Cincinnati – This should be an evenly matched, fairly low-scoring game. I do think the Houston running game will control the clock and Arian Foster or Ben Tate will break a big run at some point that will prove to be difference. Cincinnati made it into the playoffs without ever posting a truly impressive win, I do think this will be tight into the fourth quarter but they won’t be able to make the big play late to win this game.
Detroit (+10.5) vs. New Orleans – I do think New Orleans will ultimately win this game but it will be closer than most people anticipate. Detroit has the firepower to run up points in the dome and I think they will remain in striking distance until the fourth quarter, when Drew Brees will make a few plays that Matthew Stafford won’t.
New York Giants (-3) vs. Atlanta – A very evenly matched game, in which both teams should run up a good amount of points. The key to this game will be how well Atlanta can run the football in order to set up the play action passing game where they can hurt the Giants secondary with their big play weapons. Ultimately, in a game this tight I am going with the better quarterback, who is Eli Manning.
Pittsburgh (-8.5) vs. Denver – This game has 20-3 written all over it. Tim Tebow isn’t ready to beat this Pittsburgh defense.