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NFL Playoffs Picks, Divisional Round Edition

We're down to the final five games of the 2010 NFL season. Six, I suppose, if you count the Pro Bowl. Most of us don't, though. Anyway, this weekend's Divisional Round games feature outstanding match ups in both the AFC and NFC. Before making my weekly picks and sharing muy thoughts on the quartet of games, let's take a look at the opening lines. (Odds courtesy of Odds Shark, SB Nation's odds partner.)

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Baltimore (-115) at Pittsburgh (-3.5)....Over/Under = 36.5

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Green Bay (+1) at Atlanta (-121)....Over/Under = 45.5

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Seattle at Chicago (-9.5).....Over/Under = 40

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New York Jets at New England (-9).....Over/Under = 45

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The Picks

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-P- What to say about the Steelers-Ravens line? I'd have a hard time picking against the Steelers, but the bottom line is that 1/2 point has to scare a lot of people who are inclined to take a position on Pittsburgh. The last four games between these two great rivals have all been decided by exactly three points. So, perhaps it's wise to buy a half-point. My pick: Steelers to cover with 1/2 point bought.

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-P- I really like Green Bay's chances to stay hot and beat the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons on Saturday evening. Green Bay reminds me a bit of Pittsburgh back in '05 - not in their style of play, that's for sure, but rather how both teams had sky-high expectations at the outset of the year, only to barely get into the playoffs with a late-season winning streak. The Steelers carried the momentum all the way to Super Bowl XL, and my money is on Green Bay at least making it to the Big Game in Dallas in early February. So, if you're in agreement with me, definitely don't bet Green Bay to cover, just take them to win outright. My pick: Green Bay to win outright on the Money Line; also, I definitely expect more than 45 points to be scored in this one.

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-P- Even though I currently live in Seattle and have enjoyed watching Seahawks' fans get all in a tizzy about their team's remarkable performance last weekend against the Saints, I expect reality to crash down on what's been one of the league's worst road teams all year. The Seahawks are 2-6 away from Qwest Field, with one of the two wins incidentally coming against Chicago in Week 6. But the Bears were more of a work in progress at that point in the season, especially offensively. Seattle is also just 2-6 against the spread on the run, which is worse than it sounds. To be that bad against the spread when everybody knows you're awful away from home, well, that's saying something. My pick: Bears to cover the 9.5.

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-P- And finally, the Jets travel to New England to play the red-hot Patriots on Sunday afternoon. From the looks of it, the storms that have been dumping snow on New England all week will have passed and given way to sunny skies and mild temperatures.

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Locks of the Week

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Falcons-Packers Over 45.5

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Upset of the Week

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Packers win over Falcons

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.