NFL Playoff Picks And Predictions With A Gambling Twist

The 2012 NFL playoffs are upon us. To be completely honest, it isn't exactly a riveting Wild Card Weekend. What is the best way to make something in sports interesting that isn't? Gambling! Here is my picks and predictions for this weekend's game based on the spread.

Cincinnati Bengals +3 at Houston Texans: In a battle of two incompetent coaches with Marvin Lewis and Gary Kubiak as the headliners I like the Houston Texans giving the three points. Both teams are very talented with rookie quarterbacks. T.J Yates looked great in the one drive he played in Week 17 against the Tennessee Titans. Andy Dalton has struggled as the year has gone on and the Bengals haven't handled injuries well particularly starting corner Leon Hall which has really hurt their young defense.

Detroit Lions +10.5 at New Orleans Saints: While the Detroit Lions are a young and improving team, I don't think they are close to being ready to compete with a team like the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome. The Saints will take advantage of the Lions being undisciplined making them pay for their mistakes. I take the Saints -10.5. You can argue New Orleans is currently playing the best football in the NFL.

Atlanta Falcons +3 at New York Giants: This is the toughest game of the weekend for me to call.Two flawed teams who have dealt with injuries all year long. Overall I like the talent on the Falcons roster better, but Eli Manning is a much better quarterback than Matt Ryan. It's a QB league and I don't think Eli Manning lets the Giants lose this game and I like the Giants -3.

Denver Broncos +8.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Pittsburgh Steelers are banged up and the Denver Broncos just aren't very good. I take the Broncos +8.5, but pick the Steelers to win. My biggest concern for the Broncos not covering with the points is the potential of turnovers with Tim Tebow going up against the Steelers defense. Pittsburgh will be without Rashard Mendenhall, which isn't really much of a loss. He has been terrible this year. More of a concern is the possibility of Maurkice Pouncey being out, the Steelers best offensive lineman.

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