Three of the four playoff games are being played outdoors, so check weather reports before kickoff. Minnesota is supposed to be bitterly cold, so it could play a factor.
Will the teams that finished hot this year stay hot when the pressure is on?
Will two teams redeem themselves after being blown out by their opponents earlier in the season?
We pick every NFL Wild Card Weekend game against the spread.
Since there are only four games this weekend, as a bonus I will also pick the over/under for each game.
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (+3) – over/under (40) – My pick is Kansas City Chiefs & Under
Houston has been a nice comeback story after struggling for most of the first-half of the season. You could also say the same about Kansas City since they actually played better after losing star running back Jamaal Charles for the year. Alex Smith has been a better, well-rounded quarterback with Charles gone. The Texans defense could make it harder for Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West to run the ball this week. I still think their offensive line has a slight edge and will control the line of scrimmage. I’m taking the Chiefs to cover on the road and for the game to hit the under.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (+3) – over/under (45.5) – My pick is Pittsburgh Steelers & Over
The Steelers suffered a huge blow last week when RB DeAngelo Williams suffered a foot injury that may keep him out of this game. He’s currently listed as questionable, so keep an eye on his status. The Steelers and Bengals split the season series and the road team won both games. Bengals QB A.J. McCarron hasn’t been bad since replacing injured Andy Dalton. He actually replaced Dalton in their last game against the Steelers. I believe Antonio Brown will just be too much for the Bengals secondary, also TE Heath Miller had 20 receptions on 23 targets in two games against the Bengals this season. I’m taking the Steelers to cover and for the point total to hit the over.
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings (+5.5) – over/under (39.5) – My pick is Minnesota Vikings & Under
Seattle blew out Minnesota 38-7 just a month ago. Seattle just came out of the gate on fire and controlled the game. Minnesota doesn’t have the kind of offense that can come back when down by double-digits. I believe the temperature may play a factor in this game, since it is only supposed to hover around zero degrees all game. The trendy pick is to take Seattle due to their dominance in the last game, but if Minnesota can strangle the clock with Adrian Peterson, they should be able to keep this close. I’m taking the points and the under in this game.
Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins (-1) – over/under (45.5) – My pick is Green Bay Packers & Over
Green Bay smoked Washington in Week 2, but that was long before Washington found their groove. Washington was arguably one of the best teams in the NFL in December. They averaged over 30 points per game last month. Green Bay’s offense was hot at the beginning of the year, but ran out of gas. Their problems start at the offensive line and the fact that they miss Jordy Nelson. Aaron Rodgers was sacked a total of 14 times in their last two games. Washington has a very good pass rush. A lot of evidence points to a Washington cover, but Aaron Rodgers has been here before. I don’t trust Kirk Cousins in a pressure game. Sometimes you just need to go with your gut. I’m taking the points and the over.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob’s NFL picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob