NEW ORLEANS -10.5 vs. Detroit: I know, I know, we all saw what happened last year when the Saints were double digit favorites in the first weekend of the playoffs. However, they obviously don't have to deal with the 12th Man since they'll be at home. The Lions haven't been in the playoffs since 1999 so you know there's a little bit of "we're just happy to be here" syndrome that could creep into their locker room. Drew Brees in that dome with that crowd for a playoff game is a recipe for a big Saints win. Let's put $400 of the bank on it.
DENVER +8.5 vs. Pittsburgh: This pick is under the heading of "don't bet against the streak". I'm not talking about Tebow's 3 game losing streak though. I'm talking about the streak that the last 4 teams who were 8-8 or worse going into the playoffs each won their wild card round game. Pittsburgh is a little hobbled coming into this game with Big Ben's nagging ankle injury, the loss of Mendenhall, and one of their starting DB's being out due to a sickle cell condition that gets worse at altitude. Also, don't under-estimate the "Nobody Believes In Us" theory. The Seahawks used that to perfection in the Saints game last year. Nobody is giving Denver a chance in this game. Everyone's waiting to stick the fork in Tebow. The Broncos may not win, but this should be a fairly low scoring game, making that 8.5 point spread a little high. I'm plunking down $300 on Horse Face Elway's team.
NY GIANTS -3 vs. Atlanta: In my opinion this is the biggest coin flip game of the weekend. On the one hand, you have New York which has been the textbook definition of a Jekyll & Hyde team this year. Then you have Atlanta who look like they're still hung over from that beating Green Bay gave them last year in the playoffs. New York hasn't been all that good at home. But then you have Atlanta and we all know dome teams have trouble on the road in cold weather cities. It's supposed to be sunny and in the 40's in the swamps of Jersey on Sunday so that may be a moot point. Thus, the term coin flip. So the deciding factor for me is the playoff experience of the coach and QB. That makes the pick the Giants, but they're only a $100 pick.