These numbers render the card lukewarm at best. I feel best about the Giants, which, being a Giants supporter, is cause for concern. I'd throw in some point totals for hedging, but that would be throwing good money after bad. Since we have to...
Bengals (+4) over TEXANS - If you must, we're left to figure out whether Cincinnati's 0-7 record vs playoff teams will predominate, or a banged up Houston team will find a way to win its first playoff game. Give me the points and let both happen.
SAINTS (-10.5) over Lions - With everyone being down on the Lions because they were torched by the Packers' back-up QB, they have nowhere to go but up and I think the Lions are sleepers here. Compared to all the other defenses that were torched in the dome, they didn't do so badly last time around, even without Suh. Still, while the back-door cover is in play, after crashing out last year, the Saints figure to want to leave no doubt.
Update 1625 (UTC -5): Barkley just picked the Lions to win outright. Knowing his history with gambling, the Lions are fucked.
GIANTS (-3) over Falcons - The Giants seem to be on an uptrend that's got everyone thinking of another magic carpet ride. There are similarities because, as bad as this secondary may seem, they aren't any worse than 2007's team. The pass rush masked that crew and, off the last few games, we can dream that this line do the same. The road map is there; if they can beat Atlanta, I'll take my chances in Green Bay against their generous defense and a subsequent date in Frisco (assuming the Saints die out in a muddy track at the 'stick. So, they've got a puncher's chance.
It's a pretty day- 60 degrees as I type- out here in the Apple. It'll probably be 45 at game time. That may sound good for the domers, but I think it's even better for Eli. The Giants have been pretty good about getting teams to 3rd down this year where, without a pass rush, they've been horrid. They are on the uptrend, both on defense and with their run-blocking. Bokolis is banking that this will continue and they will handle the Falcons.
Steelers (-9) over BRONCOS - I didn't see odds on whether Tebow will be pulled. This is an issue to me because I fully expect Tebow to be yanked. Bokolis does not expect that the Tebow-led Broncos will be able to sustain more than one drive of more than 50 yards. In my mind, Pittsburgh gets to 10 and they win If we get the back-up, stupid things, like a back-door cover, can happen.