Pick ‘em – Wild Card round

We didn’t make picks in Week 17, more because of life happening than because we were dodging something. But we’re back with a vengeance this week with our wild-card picks. Instead of simply picking games against the spread, we’ll go a little further and tell you why.

Texans QB T.J. Yates faces the Bengals again, via chron.com

Houston -3 over Cincinnati

This is the trickiest game to pick all weekend, because both teams have major warts. The Bengals didn’t beat a winning team all season, and even lost to the T.J. Yates-led Texans at home. The Texans have fallen apart due to injuries. Ultimately, we’re going to go with the home team to make enough plays defensively – thanks in large part to rookies J.J. Watt and Brooks Reed – to get the win. Houston 14, Cincinnati 10

New Orleans -10 vs. Detroit

The Saints should win this game, and if it’s a shootout (as everyone expects) they’ll likely get a late turnover for the cover, because that’s what their defense is built to do. Credit goes to the Lions for breaking through and reaching the playoffs, but they don’t have enough defense for this matchup. New Orleans 31, Detroit 17

N.Y. Giants -3 over Atlanta

The Falcons, like the Bengals, haven’t beaten anyone great while taking care of lesser teams. The Giants, meanwhile, struggled at times against lesser competition but always rose to the occasion. Plus, the Giants team we saw beat the Cowboys in Week 17 had a healthier defense than what we’ve seen all season. That should be enough for the Giants to get one playoff win and move forward into a much more daunting second-round matchup. N.Y. Giants 24, Atlanta 20

Pittsburgh -9 at Denver

The thing that made the Broncos a threat during their midseason rally was defense, and that defense has declined in the past month or so. If Denver can’t stop Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown, they won’t even come close to being in position for Tebow Time. There’s no in-between in this game – it will either go down to the wire, or the Steelers will win by 17 points or more. We think the latter is far more likely. Pittsburgh 24, Denver 3

And by the way, here’s a little bonus from someone who went 48-34-2 ATS in NCAA picks this year: LSU beats Alabama by more than the 1-point spread. We’ve believed for a while that the Tigers are the best team in college football, as shown by regular-season wins over 3 BCS bowl winners – and all 3 away from home (Oregon in Dallas, at Alabama, at West Virginia). They’ll prove it again by winning the national championship Monday night.

Season: 43-50-5 pro, 91-84-7 overall

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2 Comments

Filed under Football Relativity, NFL games, NFL playoffs, Pick 'em, preja vu

2 responses to “Pick ‘em – Wild Card round

  1. Pingback: MVN » Pick ‘em – Wild Card round

  2. G’Day! Footballrelativity,
    Thanks for your thoughts, So it begins, the ending of the NFL season with plenty of good teams playing at this time of the year, and I mean that sincerely. Not one team playing in the Wildcard rounds got here by accident or backed their way in. You have New York, a Super Bowl team 5 years ago, with a revamped line-up, you have Jacksonville with one of the brightest young coaches in the game and a great W-L record, you have New England, 2 time defending champs with THE BEST coach in the game today, and the list goes on and on, not to mention the Super Bowl team from 2 years ago, the Panthers in the mix again! Did I mention that the Steelers or Bengal’s are no slouches either, and Carson Palmer has emerged and become a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback? What a weekend we have!
    Nice One!
    Thank you,
    SECFootballTALKS

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