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Old 01-05-2012, 09:14 AM   #1
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Cool My Wild Card Playoff Picks

Courtesy of Bleacher Report


Last week: 7-7-2. Final regular season totals: 130-118-7, Pct. .524. Best Bets: 29-20-2, Pct. .588.

Home team in capital letters; point spreads (opening line) in parentheses after underdog team; selections with point spreads in bold.


SATURDAY

HOUSTON
20, Cincinnati 6 (+3) - At least the Texans have proven they can beat a playoff-caliber team with T.J. Yates at quarterback, as they in fact did, first over Atlanta at home in Week 13, then, not for nothing, at Cincinnati one week later; while the Bengals took an 0-for-7 collar facing fellow playoff-makers in 2011, neglecting to beat even the pre-Tim Tebow Broncos in Week 2. And here's something to think about heading into next year: Not since 1976 and '77 has Cincinnati posted back-to-back non-strike winning seasons - and if AFC North rival Cleveland lands Robert Griffin III in this spring's draft, come 2012 the Bengals could very well fall back to a place all too familiar to them - the cellar.

NEW ORLEANS 45, Detroit 27 (+10 1/2) - Post-season football can fundamentally differ from its regular-season counterpart in that the running game tends to take on greater significance - and that's most unwelcome news for the Lions, whose leading rusher gained all of 390 yards this season, and he's on injured reserve. The Saints averaged 41 points and change per game at home during the regular season, and Drew Brees should be able to outpass Matthew Stafford - especially given the fact that Brees has playoff experience and Stafford doesn't - by enough to cover the spread.

SUNDAY

Atlanta
21 (+3), N.Y. GIANTS 14 - The Falcons are one of the better warm-weather/indoor teams when it comes to playing in cold weather, going 7-7-1 since 1998 straight up (playing to a tie at Pittsburgh in November of 2002) and a profitable 10-5 against the spread. And speaking of spread-related matters, the road team in this series has covered the spread an incredible 13 consecutive times! The Giants crashed the post-season party with three wins over slump-ridden opposition in their last four games; but Atlanta has won five of its last seven, and Matt Ryan may be able to register his first playoff win in his third try, having lost at eventual Super Bowl runner-up Arizona in a 2008 wild card game, and at home to eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay last January.

DENVER 13 (+7 1/2), Pittsburgh 10 - Since the current playoff format was adopted along with the 2002 realignment, there have been two instances of a wild-card team having to play on the road at a division winner they finished more than two games ahead of. And both of them lost - the 12-4 Colts at 8-8 San Diego in 2008, and the 11-5 Saints at 7-9 Seattle last year. And considering the rich collection of injuries for Pittsburgh on offense, Tim Tebow won't need to light up the scoreboard to keep Denver in the game entering the fourth quarter. Then we all know what happens. The Steelers become the 18th straight Super Bowl loser not to reach the conference championship round the following year.

BEST BET: HOUSTON
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:17 PM   #2
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I have Cincinnati, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh. No freakin' way Denver wins! They've lost three in a row and Tebow sucks. The Steelers always prevail in these games.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc View Post
I have Cincinnati, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh. No freakin' way Denver wins! They've lost three in a row and Tebow sucks. The Steelers always prevail in these games.

What? You have no faith in Tim Tebow?

Bad joke, I know.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:46 AM   #4
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I am so proud of my Detroit Lions,..even in a losing effort. They will be back, give them a year or two.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DETMURDS View Post
I am so proud of my Detroit Lions,..even in a losing effort. They will be back, give them a year or two.

Well they definitely need help in the secondary; and they have to find some way to overcome their problems in cold weather, as they have now lost 18 consecutive games - including two even this year - at northern, outdoor sites in November or later, which is just four shy of the all-time NFL record, held by Atlanta from 1983 through 1996.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:31 AM   #6
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Good call on the Broncos.

The team that scored first in each of the wild card games lost. That bodes well for New England.
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