After a 138-118 (53.9% winning percentage) regular season picking NFL games against the spread in 2011, it’s time to see if that was just lucky or a display of my mad skills. Here are my four picks against the spread for NFL Wild Card Weekend (home team in CAPS):
1) NEW YORK GIANTS -3 over Atlanta Falcons
The Giants have looked strong the last two weeks and Atlanta is never as good on the road as they are at home. As long as the Giants aren’t playing the Redskins or in New Orleans, I feel good about their chances right now.
2) Cincinnati Bengals +3.5 over HOUSTON TEXANS
I know they’ll run the ball a lot, but I can’t buy the Texans at 3.5 with Tyler Yates at QB. They have a shot to win the game, but 3.5 is too much for me to give especially as poorly as they’ve looked down the stretch. I think this game goes down to the wire and I could see it being decided by a field goal either way.
3) Detroit Lions +10.5 over NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
If you like offense, there’s nothing like a battle of 5,000+ yard quarterbacks in a dome. I definitely think the Saints win it, and there’s a good chance they’ll win it by 2 touchdowns and cover, but Detroit’s offense is clicking and New Orleans doesn’t have a shut down pass defense. I may be a bit biased because of my love for Matt Stafford, who led my fantasy football team to a championship 2 weeks ago by lighting up the Chargers and looked pretty good against Green Bay last weekend. In the end, it’s a lot of points to give and Detroit can keep up offensively, so I’ll go with Detroit.
4) DENVER BRONCOS +8.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers
It would probably take Tim Tebow about 50 games to get to 5,000 passing yards, but that didn’t stop Denver from winning the AFC West this year thanks to a solid defense and a running game that eats up the clock. I think the Steelers win a low scoring game but I can’t give them 8.5 points when they’ve only covered a spread that big once on the road this year, especially with Mendenhall out and Big Ben still hurting.