We've spent the season making picks against the spread, and I thought I'd continue on through the playoffs. I wrapped up the regular season with a solid 10-6 performance, finishing 122-110-6 against the spread for the season. It wasn't a great performance, but finishing over .500 was a step in the right direction.
The Texans were far from inspiring coming down the stretch, losing three of their final four games. I don't expect the Texans to last long in the playoffs, but I do think they can take care of business against the Bengals. This is the second straight season these two have squared off. Arian Foster led the Texans to a big second half last year, and that was with T.J. Yates quarterbacking Houston. Cincinnati could spring the upset, but I think a healthy Texans should be able to take care of business once again.
The Vikings surged late in the season as they upset the Houston Texans on the road, and then knocked off the Packers at home and clinch a wild card berth. With Adrian Peterson, anything is possible. Unfortunately, I don't see it happening this week. The Vikings got an all-world effort from AP in Week 17, along with a strong performance from Christian Ponder, all in front of their home crowd. I smell letdown. AP could run for another 200 yards and I could still see the Vikings losing by two scores.
We've got #Chuckstrong against the retiring Ray Lewis. Andrew Luck making his playoff debut, and Joe Flacco trying to get to the Super Bowl after coming up just short last season. The Ravens are a strong team at home, but they have also been a bit of a Jekkyl and Hyde team. It is so easy to pick the Colts in this one, but I have a hunch Joe Flacco, Ray Rice and the rest of the Ravens offense is able to do enough, while the Ravens defense provides a big enough effort to get the victory. But it's going to be a close one.
These are the two hottest teams in the AFC, with the Seahawks riding a five game win streak, and the Redskins winning seven straight to close the season. We will see two incredibly athletic quarterbacks in what looks like the best game of the weekend. RGIII can lead the Redskins to a win, but I think the Seahawks strong defense will be the difference-maker. Some say the Seahawks struggle on the road, but this is a team that won their last two road games against Buffalo (albeit in Toronto) and Chicago. I think the Seahawks are the stronger team in this one.
Versus the spread: 122-110-6