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2017 NFL playoffs picks against the spread: Wild card round edition

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The 2017 NFL playoffs get underway with wild card weekend. Here are my picks against the spread for the first round of the playoffs.

The 2016 NFL regular season has come to a close, but that certainly does not mean I'm finished losing money gambling. It was a brutal regular season for me, so maybe I can bounce back with an adequate showing in the playoffs. I’m not even looking for a great showing. Just something adequate. And so, I’m back once again with picks against the spread.

This weekend, we start with the wild card round. A year ago, we had three road favorites, but this season it is all home favorites. It is easy to pick all four home teams to win, but covering is a different story entirely. No line is a field goal or less, and we have a double digit home favorite amongst them.

The most difficult game to consider might be the Oakland Raiders vs. the Houston Texans. Derek Carr is out with a broken leg, which turns the Raiders from Super Bowl contenders into a strong possibility to be done in the first round. Of course, they get the Houston Texans, who benched Brock Osweiler, but have to go back to him due to injury. It’s a mess of a game.

I think we see the Raiders as the only upset of the weekend. I was tempted by the Lions to cover against Seattle, but a lot of public money is on Detroit and I don’t trust Matthew Stafford’s hand injury. The Steelers line has steadily grown as Miami remain without their starting quarterback. I think Pittsburgh wins but it is tougher than expected. And while the public is on the Giants side, I think the Packers get the playoffs started well.

Here are my four picks for this weekend.

Raiders @ Texans (-4): Raiders outright
Lions @ Seahawks (-8): Seahawks cover
Dolphins @ Steelers (-10.5): Dolphins cover, Steelers win
Giants @ Packers (-5.5): Packers cover