NFL Playoffs: This Weekend's Best (Or Worst) Bets

mario0103.jpg
Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher
With the hiring of a new coach here in town and the NFL playoffs beginning this weekend at the forefront of everybody's mind, flying under the radar is this little bit of news -- the great Mario Williams Engagement Ring Tussle has finally been resolved!

If you recall, earlier this year, Mario Williams and his then fiancee Erin Marzouki broke off their engagement. Reasons were not overtly discussed, although in Erin's defense I think your fiancee willingly choosing Buffalo as a place of employment is grounds for breaking off the engagement.

What we do know is that the breakup degenerated into a "he sued to get the ring back/she released his texts to the media" situation, the rub of course being that the ring had a retail value of $785,000.

Well, finally, we've reached a settlement, according to profootballtalk.com:

"Mr. Williams apologizes for initiating the lawsuit. Ms. Marzouki did not deserve the media backlash she received as a result of this lawsuit, because it in no way describes her good character," said the statement, which was provided to the Buffalo News. "Mr. Williams believes that Ms. Marzouki is a great person, and he regrets how their engagement ended. Ms. Marzouki regrets that after the lawsuit was filed, certain text messages were released by her lawyer without her knowledge that were taken out of context by the media. Ms. Marzouki believes that the media reports do not reflect the good character of Mr. Williams."

Financial details and details on the custody of the ring (I'm betting joint custody with partial visitation for Williams) were undisclosed, because it appears the most important part of the settlement is that Williams and Marzouki both think the other one is awesome again. And, really, it's all about love.

The Beatles said it: "It's all you need."

And one thing I know -- my bookie loves me. And if you've been following my picks all year, your bookie loves you! They love you because now they, like Mario Williams, can probably afford to buy a $785,000 engagement ring, which will make their fiancees love them!

Really, my horrific record at picking games this season is all about spreading the love!

So let's get this over with. First weekend of the NFL Playoffs....GO....

Chiefs +1 over COLTS
The Chiefs are the one team that feels like they've been kind of cruising for the last few weeks, after their sweep at the hands of the Broncos essentially relegated them to being locked in at the five seed. For the last few weeks it's been about getting healthy and staying healthy. Every metric that you'd use to take a road team in the playoffs lines up for Kansas City -- running game? Check. Defense? Been spotty lately, but they get Justin Houston back so, check. Turnover margin? Best in the AFC, so check. (For what it's worth, the Colts were second in turnover margin, so there's that.) I'll take the Chiefs setting up round three against the Broncos.

EAGLES -2 1/2 over Saints
This is officially the "line that scares the hell out of me" for the first weekend of the playoffs. It almost looks too easy. The weather is going to be cold, the Saints are a mediocre road team, and the Eagles are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, with a quarterback in Nick Foles who is sporting an ungodly 27 touchdown pass to 2 interception TD/INT ratio, I am taking the Eagles, but this looks almost too easy, so I would follow Heisenberg's advice....

BENGALS -6 1/2 over Chargers
I've always said that before betting any game, it would be nice if the website that you used to place the wager (assuming we were allowed to gamble over the Internet) would give you one final warning before hitting CONFIRM whereby they showed you the head shots of the two quarterbacks. This game is the reason I've advocated this. Every metric for this game lines up as a Bengals play -- Bengals are vicious at home (8-0 ATS), the Chargers are a West Coast team playing in cold weather, the Chargers are lucky to even be there after the refs bailed them out in Week 17. I mean, the Bengals at under a touchdown??? But then I see Andy Dalton's face, and I think "Holy crap, two playoff games, we've seen it right here in Houston the last two yearns...Dalton's pooped the bed!" So I am placing this wager directly in contrast to my own contrived warning. I am openly betting against the better quarterback.

Come to think of it, as good as Foles has been, he's not Drew Brees...and now it occurs to me, I've bet on the lesser quarterback in all three games so far. So....

PACKERS +2 1/2 over 49ers
....taking Aaron Rodgers, the best quarterback on earth, in cold weather and not looking back.

Enjoy the games!

Last week: 2-4
Season record: 41-64-3

Starting January 2, 2014, listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.

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