After some technical difficulties in Week 17, we’re back with the ATS picks just in time for Wild-Card Weekend.

Week 16 went well, to the tune of 9-6-1. Week 17, with three games off the board because of varying levels of quarterback uncertainty, injury and incompetence, didn’t go so well; as in 5-8.

But it’s the playoffs. The odometer resets to zero here. No one remembers the regular season if you can get it done in January. To wit, I present the 2011 New York Giants and 2010 Green Bay Packers.

So let’s get to it. It’s playoff time, when winners move on and losers go home … unless they just pick games against the spread. In that case, then losers cower in the shadows, trying to avoid the big guys with the baseball bats and crowbars.

Home teams, as always, are in CAPS.

Saturday

Bengals (plus 4½) over TEXANS: It’s not that I stepped off the Houston bandwagon. Oh, no. I leaped off it headfirst. As the Texans began to flounder down the stretch, blowing not one, not two, but three chances to lock up a first-round bye, something began to dawn on me. The next big game Matt Schaub wins will be his first.

PACKERS (minus 7½) over Vikings: Adrian Peterson could pretty much run for 2,097 yards on Saturday night and it won’t matter. Christian Ponder has never faced anything in his life to prepare him for Lambeau Field in January … particularly not the Collapsadome in December.

Sunday

COLTS (plus 6½) over Ravens: Folks around the country are killing the Texans for losing three out of their last four to blow home-field advantage. Somehow, those same folks are overlooking the fact the Ravens lost five of their last six to do the exact same thing. Ray Lewis’ retirement announcement may provide a spark, but having gotten my picking face caved in by #Chuckstrong for the last two months … yeah, Andrew’s Luck holds out for another week.

Seahawks (minus 3) over REDSKINS: The young quarterbacks are a wash. The beastly running backs are a wash. The mediocre receiving groups are a wash. That leaves it up to the defenses and that’s no contest. Seattle’s is much, much better.

Last Week: 5-8
Regular Season: 105-132-8