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NFL Playoffs, Wild Card Weekend Picks: Take Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints On Saturday

The NFL playoffs are upon us, and the Wild Card Round begins Saturday with two games on the schedule. The Cincinnati Bengals travel to Texas to battle the Houston Texans in the early game, with the Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints battle in prime time in the Big Easy.

Here are my picks for Saturday's game, though I'm trying something a bit different here. Rather than simply make a decision myself I will pick the team with more former USC Trojans on their active roster.

Bengals at Texans

Time: 1:30 p.m. PST

Location: Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas


Favorite: Texans are favored by four points, per Odds Shark

USC Factor: Bengals have three former Trojans on the active roster: Rey Maualuga, Taylor Mays, and Frostee Rucker, with Keith Rivers on injured reserve; Texans have two former Trojans on the active roster in Brian Cushing and Shaun Cody, with Matt Leinart on injured reserve.

The Pick: Take Cincinnati and the points

Lions at Saints

Time: 5 p.m. PST

Location: The Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana


Favorite: Saints are favored by 10½ points, per Odds Shark

USC Factor: Lions have one former Trojan in defensive end Lawrence Jackson; Saints also have one former Trojan on the active roster in Sedrick Ellis, but New Orleans gets the tiebreaker thanks to tackle Charles Brown on injured reserve.

The Pick: It's a lot of points, but take New Orleans and give the 10½ points.