By: Rich Robbins
Cincinnati at Houston (-4.5)
Not only do I like the Bengals and the points but I think they will pull the upset over the Texans. Both teams are heading in opposite directions; the Bengals have won 3 straight while the Texans have lost 2 straight. Last year the Bengals lost 31-10 to these same Texans in the wild card round. It was the first playoff game in Houston Texan history and Bengal QB Andy Dalton’s first playoff start, however both things are playing in the favor of the Bengals this time around. There are a lot of questions following the Texans hot start, while the combination of Dalton and second year player AJ Green is turning into a dynamic duo. Moral of the story, more experience for the second year pro out of TCU and a defense that leads the league in sacks, take the Bengals and the points.
THE PICK: BENGALS +4.5
Minnesota at Green Bay (-8)
Last week against Packers, Adrian Peterson ran for 199 yards while leading the Vikings to a victory in a must win situation. Now the two teams meet again, this time in Lambeau field where the temperature is predicted to be in the mid-teens. The spread opened at 9.5; the popular play here is the Vikings plus the points and I tend to agree. Although I like the Packers to win, eight points in a playoff game is tough to cover; especially on a colder night in Lambeau Field where the Vikings are not afraid of the Packers. In 12 head to head match-ups since 2001 where the Packers were favored, they are only 7-5 against the spread against the Vikings
The PICK: VIKINGS +8
Indianapolis at Baltimore (-7)
For the season, Andrew Luck has 18 interceptions, one shy of league leaders Tony Romo and Drew Brees. On Sunday he’ll be faced against one the league’s best, Ed Reed. If the Colts have a chance to win, Luck has to protect the football against a defense that welcomes back Ray Lewis. The Ravens should be pretty healthy entering this game, not only will
Lewis be back, but former Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs should also be back. Another factor working against the Colts in this game is their rush defense. The Colts rank 4thworst against the run while giving up 5.1 yards per carry while the Ravens showcase one of the greatest offensive weapons in the NFL in Ray Rice. That is a bad match-up for the Colts
THE PICK: RAVENS -7
Seattle (-3) at Washington
The Redskins are streaking. They have won seven straight to win the NFC East and have covered the spread in all seven of those games. Although it is more difficult to travel from the east coast to the west, Seattle’s 2,700 mile journey is no cupcake. As you make your rounds around the internet, the Seattle bandwagon is growing by the minute and everyone and their sister is picking the Seahwaks and the points in this game. I’ve been the victim of over confidence many a time and for that I’m leaning towards the Redskins in this one.
THE PICK: REDSKINS +3
Follow Rich on Twitter @RichRobbins88