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For the gambler in you, wild-card weekend

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Each week, we'll take the best -- and cleverest -- odds collected by Bovada for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you'll read all week. Because if you can't lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what's the point of watching sports at all?

Note: Home team is listed first in Against the Spread.

Game Three: Ravens -6.5 vs. Colts

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

2012 Against The Spread
Overall: 6-9-1Overall: 11-5
Home: 3-5Home: 7-1
Away: 3-4-1Away: 4-4
Last 5 vs. IND: 0-5Last 5 vs. BAL: 5-0
2012 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 15thPass defense: 21st
Rush offense: 11thRush defense: 29th
Pass defense: 17thPass offense: 7th
Rush defense: 20thRush offense: 22nd

Verdict: The Ravens are the weakest AFC North title winners in some time, and the Colts are still feeling the emotion of coach Chuck Pagano returning to the sidelines after leukemia treatments. The Colts will go into Baltimore and win this game.

Game Four: Redskins +3.5 vs. Seahawks

Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox

2012 Against The Spread
Overall: 11-5Overall: 11-5
Home: 5-3Home: 7-1
Away: 6-2Away: 4-4
Last 5 v. SEA: 4-0-1Last 5 v. WAS:0-4-1
2012 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 20thPass defense: 6th
Rush offense: 1stRush defense: 10th
Pass defense: 30thPass offense: 27th
Rush defense: 5thRush offense: 3rd

Verdict: This should be a fun one with two of the best rookie quarterbacks in the game facing off. The Seahawks have been so hot in the final month of the season, it's hard to not expect them to score plenty of points on the Redskins. So much of this game depends on the health of Robert Griffin III's knee. He hasn't looked 100 percent healthy the past two weeks. Maybe he is now, but I'm guessing not. Which partially is why I like Seattle here.

Game One: Texans -4.5 vs. Bengals
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, NBC

2012 Against The Spread
Overall: 9-7Overall: 9-6-1
Home: 5-3Home: 3-4-1
Away: 4-4Away: 6-2
Last 5 vs. CIN: 4-1Last 5 vs. HOU: 1-4
2012 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 11thPass defense: 7th
Rush offense: 8thRush defense: 12th
Pass defense: 16thPass offense: 17th
Rush defense: 7thRush offense: 18th

Verdict: All season I've had the Texans as my AFC title winner, but the way they played the second half really has led me to doubt myself. And with Houston losing last weekend to fall from the No. 1 seed to No. 3, forcing a wild-card weekend matchup, that certainly can't add to the team's confidence. In part, that's why I'd go with the Bengals. Houston will win the game, but Cincinnati will be within a field goal.

Game Two: Packers -7.5 vs. Vikings
Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET, NBC

2012 Against The Spread
Overall: 9-7Overall: 8-7-1
Home: 5-3Home: 5-2-1
Away: 4-4Away: 3-5
Last 5 vs. MIN: 3-2Last 5 vs. GB: 2-3
2012 Team Rankings
Pass offense: 9thPass defense: 24th
Rush offense: 20thRush defense: 11th
Pass defense: 11thPass offense: 31st
Rush defense: 17thRush offense: 2nd

Verdict: These two squads played last week with the Vikings surprisingly knocking off the Packers. Well, it was sort of surprising. Minnesota was playing at home, after all. Still, the wild-card game should be high-scoring and fun to watch, especially if Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers continue their respective domination. The Vikings will ultimately lose at Lambeau, but they will stick close to the Packers. Go with Minnesota.

Last week: 2-1 against the spread (hit on the Bengals -2.5 vs. Ravens, the Cardinals +16.5 vs. 49ers; missed on the Cowboys +3.5 vs. the Redskins). 3-3 on prop bets (hit on Russell Wilson not breaking Peyton Manning's rookie TD record, Robert Griffin III not leading the league in completion percentage, Aldon Smith not breaking the league's sack record; missed on Ken Whisenhunt as the first coach to get fired, the under of 6.5 on how many coaches would be fired this week, Andrew Luck leading all rookies with touchdowns thrown)

Overall: 24-27 against the spread; 31-17-1 on prop bets; two props still undecided (Broncos will not win the Super Bowl; Robert Griffin III winning the offensive rookie of the year).

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz

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