Texans, Saints and Tebow! This Weekend's NFL Playoff Best Bets
Notifications to season ticket holders to be in their seats 30 minutes before kickoff? Check.
Colored placards in seats so fans can hold them up to spell "GO TEXANS" across the east lower bowl of the stadium? Check.
Clay Walker scheduled to sing a new playoff version of his Texans theme song? Check.
Bum Phillips to lead the team onto the field in the pregame? Check.
Yep, all of the tasks on the "Acting Like We've Never Been There Before Because We Haven't" checklist are complete. We're go for launch!
Now let's see if we can prognosticate how this whole thing is going to play out, shall we?
TEXANS -3 1/2 over Bengals
Photo by Groovehouse There will be joy in Texansville.
If there's one underdog that "experts" are backing this weekend, not surprisingly it's the Bengals, who head here this weekend to take on a Texans team that limps into the playoffs having lost three in a row and with their offense one good hit on T.J. Yates away from being skippered by Jake Delhomme. I'm just analyzing this game based on three undeniable facts:
1. The Bengals are 9-0 against teams that missed the 2011 playoffs, and 0-7 against teams that made the 2011 playoffs.
2. The Texans offense with T.J. Yates at quarterback ran its smoothest during the first half of the Atlanta game and the first drive of the Tennessee game. It just so happens these are the only times Yates has taken the field with Andre Johnson. Andre Johnson will play this Saturday.
3. The Texans beat the Bengals a month ago in Cincinnati.
Add them all up and I think it's enough to overcome the unveiling of a special playoff edition of Clay Walker's Texans song. Also....
Bengals/TEXANS UNDER 38 1/2
...I think this is going to be a low-scoring affair.
SAINTS -10 1/2 over Lions
When the Lions postseason ends abruptly on Saturday night, they'll look back at last weekend's Packers game and want to kill themselves for giving up 480 yards passing to Matt Flynn. Win that game, and the Lions avoid this trip to New Orleans.
Right now, the Saints at home in prime time has become the "death and taxes" of NFL wagers. In four primetime home games this season, the Saints are 4-0 and have outscored their opponents by a 187-64 margin, including the Lions by a 31-17 count in early December (although that game was the first game of Ndamukong Suh's two-game suspension, worth noting). The Saints have been in this spot before, the Lions are brand-new to this postseason thing. It all sets up, and frankly has the potential to snowball pretty quickly on the Lions. I mean, if they're one week removed from giving up almost half a grand to Matt Flynn, what's Drew Brees going to do? Enough to cover the 10 1/2. that's what. Oh and also....
Lions/SAINTS OVER 58 1/2
....enough to cover the 58 1/2 point over as well.