NFL Picks: Wild Card Betting with Swingin'

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, January 5, 2013 1:46 PM UTC

Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 1:46 PM UTC

SJ looks to Week 17 to bust the books and fatten your wallet.

NFL Football Picks: Football Betting with Swinging Johnson

2012 Swinger's NFL: 28-35-2 (-38.3 units)

2012 The Woodman (Guest Handicapper) 9-7-1

2011 Swinger's NFL: 48-33-7 (+34.75 units)

*Each game is graded on a 1 to 5 unit betting system.

Last Week 2-3 (-1.2 units)

After a dominating 6-0 week we returned to earth with a 2-3 Week 17, but for a few points would have swept the board again. It’s emblematic of this entire season as we have gotten every bad beat imaginable but once again, the only person who cares about bad beat stories is the one telling it.

The damage was minimized by our 5 unit maximum play on the Chicago Bears on the money line. It’s always tempting to just buy the hook off of the 3 and get it down to 2 ½ but something told me if Chicago had trouble, it could be nail biter so we are thrilled we laid the heavy lumber and bet it -150 as the Bears won 26-24. Sometimes betting the money line makes you look like a genius but other times you can look like jackass. Fortunately my “genius” prevailed…this time.

Now we trudge onward into the postseason and look to cash in on the wild card action this Saturday and Sunday. I’ve got opinions on every game so here goes our final foray into chipping away at our NFL deficit and getting back in the black by season’s end.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Houston Texans

Normally the formula is that if you add the favorite to your NFL picks, you’re a square but pick the dog and you’re a sharp. It’s a general rule of thumb and one that doesn’t always apply; otherwise we would all grab the points in each and every game and wait to get paid. However in this game you have a free-falling favorite and a surging underdog.

The Bengals have come to life with a tenacious defense while the Texans have played themselves right out of an opening round bye. But even though the smart money looks to be on the Bengals, I am not convinced. Andy Dalton is a bit of a wildcard. He can look cool as the other side of the pillow one week and catch a bad case of happy feet the next. The Bengals big win in Pittsburgh was all defense as the Dalton tossed two picks and no touchdowns. Their victory over Baltimore last week saw the backups get the majority of the reps so throw that game right out.

The bottom line here is that this Texans defense will be ready because though they’ve fallen off markedly in their last several games this defense is not bad. And more importantly their offense is much better than the grind it out Bengals. Let’s go with a small play on the favorite and a big play on the total.

Play the Texans -4 (-120 buying a ½ point) for 2 units at

Play Under 43 ½ for 4 units at


Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers

Adrian Peterson should win MVP this year or at the very least Comeback Player of the Year with apologies to Peyton Manning. But he won’t be enough to defeat the Packers. Look for a rout by Green Bay because Christian Ponder will have to go through the air once his Vikings fall behind. This one will get ugly early as the Cheeseheads celebrate.

Play the Packers -7 (-120 buying a ½ point) for 4 units at


Indianapolis Colts vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are done son and the Colts are more than just lucky. Ray Lewis will retire at the end of the season so he should be a Raven for only a few more days as we can smell an upset in the making.

Play the Colts +7 for 4 units at

Play the Colts +250 for 2 units at


Seattle Seahawks vs. Washington Redskins

The ‘Skins are going to be flat after a huge win over the Cowboys to vault themselves into the postseason. Russell Wilson won’t win this game by himself because he will have plenty of help from his defense. RG3 has no such luxury.

Play Seattle -155 on the money line for 3 units at


Be sure to check out all of the Prop Betting options for Wild Card Weekend.

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