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Online NFL Football Betting? – Wildcard Weekend Picks

Cappers Picks Weekly Handicapping Preview – Wild Card Weekend

Wild Card Weekend is nearly here – time to put up or shut up in the fluid world of the NFL. Week 17 was rough from a Handicapper’s standpoint – teams that should have shown up underwhelmed and some teams with little to play for showed up and made life miserable for their opposition.

The Cappers Picks Weekly Handicapping Preview – Wild Card Weekend focuses on all four games on tap for this week. There are some definite favorites and some intriguing underdogs to look at. Teams are past the resting stage – there will no “who is going to be rested – who is going to play” this week. All teams will give it their all in hopes of emerging as one of eight teams remaining in the chase for the Big Prize.

Wild Card Weekend will be a tad more predictable in regards to Point Spreads – a repeat of an uncharacteristic 1-3 week in highly, highly unlikely. So here we go with the Cappers Picks Weekly Handicapping Preview – Wild Card Weekend.


Cincinnati at Houston

Saturday, January 7, 4:30 PM ET
NFL Betting Favorite: Houston -3

The Houston Texans stumble into the playoffs with a third string quarterback and having lost three straight games. Needless to say, there are a ton of question marks ahead of Saturday’s game. Will TJ Yates be effective after separating his non-throwing shoulder? Will Andre Johnson be back at full speed after a season of hamstring injuries?

If there is any team in the playoffs that will be playing “loose” it is the Cincinnati Bengals who were a long shot to make the playoffs even before its Week 17 game. The upstart Bengals seemingly have nothing to lose. Cincinnati possesses a quality rookie quarterback, a great rookie 1000-yard receiver, a 1000-yard running back and a defense that surprised the league this season.

Arian Foster will have to be the difference for Houston in this game. He was limited to just 13 games this season, managed 1841 combined yards (1224 rushing and 617 receiving) and 12 total touchdowns. The Texans second ranked overall defense will be counted on heavily as well.

With so many question marks for the Texans, the Bengals appear to be in a great situation here. I like the Bengals to take another step toward total legitimacy this season – obviously, with the amount of bad luck Houston has endured, it is not their year!

Pick: Cincinnati Bengals +3

Detroit at New Orleans

Saturday, January 7, 8:00 PM ET
NFL Betting Favorite: New Orleans -10 ½

Wow – 10 ½ points is an enormous Spread in my eyes until you take a look at what the Saints have done this season. Drew Brees broke the passing record (5476 yards), Jimmy Graham set a new mark for Tight Ends and Darren Sproles had a combined yardage record of his own this season. That’s right – the Saints were a scoring machine!

The Detroit Lions were no slouches themselves in terms of scoring. Matt Stafford passed for 5038 yards and 41 touchdowns while Calvin Johnson had 96 catches for 1681 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Lions can score with the best of them. The only question is – Can they keep up with the insanely balanced and potent Saints?

While the 10 ½ made me pause to think a little, reality set in. The Saints score virtually every time that the offense takes the field. The Saints have a running game – the Lions don’t. The Saints have four or five pass catchers that can make a difference in a game – the Lions have 1 and most of all, the Saints have some Big Game experience on their side.

They say that teams must face a little playoff adversity before they can achieve ultimate success – it is time for the Lions to pay their dues. With New Orleans’s shocking playoff loss to the Seahawks last year still fresh in their minds; look for the Saints to take care of business early and in impressive fashion!

Pick: New Orleans Saints -10 ½

Atlanta at NY Giants

Sunday, January 8, 1:00 PM ET
NFL Betting Favorite: NY Giants -3

The Atlanta Falcons pay visit to the New York Giants in what could be the closest of the Wild Card Weekend games. Atlanta underachieved a tad this season but looked good especially in their final game – the chronically worn down Michael Turner was solid in Week 17 and Matt Ryan was effective and efficient. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

The New York Giants’ fate was not determined until the start of the fourth quarter of the last game of the season. Still, they have to be viewed as one of the more dangerous teams to squeak into the playoffs. Injuries have been a major storyline on both sides of the ball this season for the Giants but as the playoffs near, they appear to be as healthy as they have been all season. The one constant with this team? Eli Manning who had a career year and made household names out of players like Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.

Both teams have a very balanced attack offensively – defense will likely determine the outcome in this one. Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora make up one of the more dominant Defensive Lines in the game. With no time to throw for Matt Ryan and with no room to run for Michael Turner, expect the Giants to emerge victorious. In a good tactical battle, take the G-Men and the three points!

Pick: NY Giants -3

Pittsburgh at Denver

Sunday, January 8, 4:30 PM ET
NFL Betting Favorite: Pittsburgh -9

The question in this game is not whether the Steelers will win but how much will they win by? It is very simple – the Pittsburgh defense will terrorize Tim Tebow. It appears as though there is finally a formula to defeat the Broncos with Tebow at the helm – keep him in the pocket and make him use his arm to beat you.

Pittsburgh not only has some of the best defensive players in the game, they have possibly the best defensive mind running their show. Dick LeBeau is a defensive mastermind who has seen just about everything there is to see in Professional Football. While the Denver story was nice, the Cinderella run will come to an end on Sunday.

Don’t let the Spread scare you off in this game. I know that the Steelers only put up 13 points on the Browns last week but it is the same team that dropped 27 on St. Louis with Charlie Batch at QB. Look for Ben Roethlisberger to air it out on Sunday and for Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown to be the story. I see a 20-7 victory here!

Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers -9

This is the Wild card weekend series of free NFL Pick articles by our experts here at CappersPicks.com. Check back with us all NFL Betting season long, and keep on winning those NFL Bets folks!

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.