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2016 NFL playoffs picks against the spread: Wild card round edition

It's wild card weekend, which should make for some fun football. Here are my picks against the spread for the first round of the playoffs.

The 2015 NFL regular season has come to a close, but that certainly does not mean I'm finished gambling! We'll get to Super Bowl prop bets in the coming month, but in the meantime, it's time for picks against the spread.

We start with the wild card round, which features three road favorites. Two home teams opened as favorites, but the lines have shifted fairly quickly. The Cincinnati Bengals opened as a point favorite, but that line swung quickly, even with the Pittsburgh Steelers not having DeAngelo Williams' services on Saturday. Washington opened as a 1-point favorite, but that line has swung back and forth. The Packers were a one-point favorite late in the week, but Washington is favored once again.

I finished this season right around .500, but was 52-31-2 in my SuperContest picks. I picked five games each week, totaling 85 picks. For the season, I finished tied for 24th among 1,727 participants. Not too shabby! I've been making the picks with OddsShark, and we're doing a playoff competition among the 20 OddsShark participants. I finished slowly, going 3-2, 2-3, 2-3, 3-2, 3-2, but it was enough to hang on and win a few bucks. Aside from winning some money, the highlight of it had to be this profile picture they created for me!

Chiefs @ Texans
Line: Chiefs -3
Pick: Chiefs - The return of Justin Houston for KC, coupled with Duane Brown's absence at left tackle is big in my mind. Brian Hoyer has looked great when healthy, but without his left tackle, it could be a long day. I think this goes over the 41-point total and the Chiefs win easily.

Steelers @ Bengals
Line: Steelers -3
Pick: Steelers - I was not overly enthused on this one. For the OddsShark contest I got the Steelers at +1, so I'm happy with that. I do think the Steelers passing attack can do enough to outlast Cincinnati, but the loss of DeAngelo Williams does not inspire me.

Seahawks @ Vikings
Line: Vikings +5
Pick: The Seahawks blew out the Vikings a month ago, but I think this one will be much closer. The return of Marshawn Lynch is important for Seattle, but with the cold weather and his lack of football lately, would it surprise anybody to see Beast Mode potentially cough up a key fumble? I think this one is close with a turnover making the difference.

Packers @ Washington
Line: Washington -1
Pick: Yep, I'm taking Kirk Cousins over Aaron Rodgers. The Washington offense is playing really well right now, while the Packers are struggling. Yes, Washington has beaten some bad teams, but the Packers just are not that great right now. I think Washington sneaks out a win in a shootout.