NFL Playoff Picks: Predicting Every Wild-Card Game Against the Spread

Alex KayCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2013

December 23, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) hands off the ball in the second half of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Colts won 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL playoffs are an exciting time for gamblers who like to test themselves against the public.

With only four games taking place during Wild Card Weekend, it’s nearly impossible to find value, meaning you’ll have to trust your gut. For us, that’s taking the points, and we’re going with the underdog in each win-or-go-home contest.

Let’s take a look at each matchup and explain why we are leaning that way.

*Point spreads courtesy of Home team in CAPS.


Cincinnati Bengals (+4.5) over HOUSTON TEXANS

The Bengals are one of the scariest teams in the playoffs. They have momentum, the best wideout in A.J. Green, a talented signal-caller in Andy Dalton, a dominant pass-rusher with Geno Atkins and a slew of above-average corners.

While Cincy only nabbed the No. 6 seed, there is no reason to doubt it will have a problem against the Texans, a team that backed into the postseason and lost a chance at a bye this past week.

It’s going to be a one-sided affair, and getting 4.5 points just makes this all the more sweeter. If you are looking to make it a bit more profitable, take the Bengals plus-170 on the moneyline.


Minnesota Vikings (+7.5) over GREEN BAY PACKERS

We just watched the Vikings take on the Packers in Week 17, and we’ll get the rubber match (sans the Adrian Peterson rushing-record excitement) on Saturday.

However, just because All Day isn’t chasing the record doesn’t mean he won’t be trying harder than ever whenever he carries the rock. Peterson fell nine yards short, so the best he can hope for now is to accomplish something Eric Dickerson never could—win a Super Bowl.

Even if Minny doesn’t win, we expect they’ll keep it much closer than a touchdown at the end of the day. Grab the points while the line is over seven to be safe.


Indianapolis Colts (+6.5) over BALTIMORE RAVENS

The Colts are getting far too many points for a team that has all the momentum in the world against the weak AFC North winners.

Andrew Luck and his receivers have an ideal matchup against a slow, aging, banged-up secondary and there are going to be plenty of instances where the wideouts just sneak behind for big plays.

Baltimore has looked dreadful in four of its last five games, so it’s just impossible to back them against a group peaking at the perfect time. Take the points and consider a Colts plus-240 ML bet.



WASHINGTON REDSKINS (+3) over Seattle Seahawks

We’re finally picking a home team to cover, and this time we’re leaning on star rookies Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris to get the job done.

It’s not going to be easy against a tough Seattle defense and much-improved Russell Wilson, but the ‘Skins have shown us that they can beat anyone—especially in must-win situations.

If this game took place in Seattle, there’s no doubt we’d be backing the ‘Hawks, but that’s simply not the case. Take the points or go Redskins plus-125 on the money.