NFL Picks Against the Spread: Wild Card Weekend

DeAndre Hopkins

NFL Wild Card Weekend is upon us. There are four interesting match ups to take a look at. Both of the AFC games will take place on Saturday with the NFC owning Sundays schedule. Lets take a look at what will be key in each match up and what teams you should be betting on. Lets find some winners!

>Season Total 46-27-2
>Upset Alert 8-7

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Houston Texans +3.5 vs Kansas City Chiefs

The Houston Texans are catching more than field goal at home? Sign me up! The Chiefs run to close the season has been very impressive. The won 10 straight and flirted with winning the AFC West. However in terms of their against the spread record it’s not as impressive. They did go 7-3 ats in the last 10 but the 3 times they failed to cover came in their last four games. The Texans also went 7-3 in their last 10 games against the spread including covering their final three games. The Houston Texans defense has been strong finishing third this season in terms of yards allowed per game. Expect J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus to be in the backfield all day. Both finished with double digit sacks. They will need to slow down Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware in this game. The Chiefs offense is predicated on getting the ground attack going. The Texans were a top 10 defense against the run and only allowed a 100 yard rushing performance to LeSean McCoy starting in Week 8. I think the Texans can win this game outright but soak up those points for some safety.


Jeremy Hill

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Cincinnati Bengals +3 vs Pittsburgh Steelers

This game was the toughest for me to pick of the four playoff games. I kept looking for reasons to pick against the Bengals. A rookie quarterback making his 5th start overall and his first in the playoffs. That said A.J. McCarron played in plenty of big games during his time at the University of Alabama and the Bengals can tailor the play calling to help him avoid the costly mistakes. Some may look at the last time these two teams matched up but that was the young quarterback’s first start. The Steelers offense is dynamic and can put up points rather easily but could be without running back DeAngelo Williams. He is out of his walking boot but has not practiced as of Thursday. Even if he does play he will be limited. The offense has issues when they are unable to establish the run game. The Bengals will play sound defense and run the ball to control this game. Give me the home team catching points. I think they have a great shot at the outright win as well.


AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt

AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt

Minnesota Vikings +5 vs Seattle Seahawks

The Minnesota Vikings were impressive a week ago on the road against a Packers team that is admittedly struggling. They controlled the game from start to finish winning by a touchdown despite the Packers scoring 10 points in the final quarter. Most may assume the Seahawks are the side to be on in this game. These two teams played the first week of December and Seattle won 38 to 7. The Seahawks have been on a tear in general over the past two months, covering 6 of their last 7 games. However the Vikings are the side to take in this game. The line opened at Seahawks -3.5 and has ballooned to -5 or higher depending on where you look. The Vikings were the cover team this season. They only failed to cover in 3 games all season. The weather will be a real factor in this game. Something that hasn’t come into play in previous seasons with the Vikings typically playing indoor stadium. It is projected to be 3 degrees at game time. Expect a heavy dose of both running backs in this game. The score should remain low as indicated by the total of 39.5. I expect this to be a field goal game either way. Give me the home team catching all those points. Vikings +5 is the way to go.

Aaron Rodgers

(Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)

Green Bay Packers -1 at Washington Redskins

The numbers don’t lie. The Washington Redskins have been good team this season and one that plays better at home. They are peaking at right time including covering 4 straight games which helped them lock up the division. Kirk Cousins had a strong season and excelled down the stretch with three 300 yard performances. he also threw three or more touchdowns in three of those four games. The Packers offensive line has been a mess especially with David Bakhtiari missing time. They tried to move Josh Sitton out to left tackle and that experiment did not work to say the least.  He will be back at left guard this week which should help the rush attack get going. There is also hope Bakhtiari will be back to play left tackle this week. If the offensive line can be cleaned up they should have a great shot to win and cover. The Packers are 7-3 in their last 10 against the spread and 6-1-1 ATS in last 8 against Washington.

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