The NFL regular season is over and the NFL playoffs start this weekend with the AFC Wild card game kicking off this weekend. The Cincinnati Bengals backed into the playoffs although they lost the final game of the season against the Baltimore Ravens. They will go up against the Houston Texans who will be playing in the playoffs despite suffering plenty of injuries.

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These two teams met less than a month ago with the Texans emerging as one-point winners by the final score of 20-19. The NFL Playoff odds opened for this game with the Texans as three point favorites. Early betting action indicates that the public is backing the Bengals at a clip of 61 percent to start off the heavy playoff wagering action.

The Cincinnati Bengals are happy to be in the playoffs. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Bengals, but instead they made it to the playoffs with a stout defense and a rookie tandem on offense. Quarterback Andy Dalton has looked very good under center for a rookie and his rookie wide out A.J. Green is a deep threat on offense. The offense will have to click if they hope to beat the No. 2 NFL ranked Texans.

The Texans are powered by a strong running game and a tough defense. The Texans will also start a rookie under center as T.J. Yates is slated to get the start. Yates had some playing time in the first meeting and performed admirably in getting the come-from-behind win.

If there is a telling stat from that meeting it is the fact that the Texans amassed 144 yards on the ground against the Bengals defense. That kind of effort on the ground will be hard to stop and open up the passing game for Yates and allow the Texans to control the tempo.

The Bengals are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six games against the AFC and 0-4-1 ATS when playing a team with a winning record. The Texans are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 home games when playing a team with a winning road record.

The Texans will be excited to play their first playoff game at home and will respond with a  big win that will cover the number.

NFL Playoff Predictions AFC Wildcard Round: Houston Texans -3