I stumbled through to the end of the season, but I escaped with a .500 record. That’s not exactly how I envisioned the year after such a hot start, but it’s better than being in the red.

Now, it’s time for the Wild Card weekend, and this could be some of the worst slate of games I’ve ever seen for a Wild Card weekend. Two games feature spreads of more than a touchdown, with another game pitting two teams that would have difficulties beating the Cleveland Browns.

Here’s the Wild Card best bets.

DeAndre Hopkins will guide Houston to a win this week. Flickr/http://bit.ly/1JDHBw9

Last Week: 3-3 ATS

Overall: 49-49-3 ATS

Oakland at Houston (-3.5)

A co-worker reminded me that this isn’t the worst playoff game in recent memory.

This one isn’t as bad as that under-.500 Carolina team hosting an Arizona team without its starting quarterback in 2015. But it should give it a run for its money.

This would be an easy pick if Oakland starter Derek Carr was healthy. But we’re left with Connor Cook as the starting quarterback after backup Matt McGloin was injured in week 17. But it’s not like I have any better quarterback situation on the other side, with the rotating carousel in Houston.

Both teams are a mess, but I get a Houston team elite at something. The Texans own the best total defense in the NFL, so that should be the “X factor” against an Oakland team without its best offensive player.

The Raiders rode through this season with an elite offense and a defense that ranks in the bottom-10. Without their quarterback, Oakland is now a below-average offense with a bad defense.

Even if I don’t like Houston, this matchup definitely swings in their direction after the quarterback injuries to Oakland. — Go Chalk with Houston

Detroit (+8) at Seattle

Another Wild Card game where both teams are a mess.

Seattle tried to lose to San Francisco last week and was beaten at home the week before by an Arizona team without a chance at the playoffs. A once-promising season for Detroit almost eroded down the stretch with three straight losses.

But for some reason oddsmakers are giving the Seahawks an 8-point edge, despite their deficiencies on offense. Seattle’s offensive line is not good. That’s been evident all season and it reared its ugly face in the season’s last weeks.

I get that Seattle has all the experience, but there’s something not right about this team. The defense may rank in the top-five in total defense, but it has been weak several times down the stretch. In the last four weeks, Seattle has played only one team with a winning record and was beaten 38-10. In the only other game against a team with a heartbeat (the only wins in this span were against San Francisco and Los Angeles), Seattle gave up 34 points in a loss to Arizona.

Detroit isn’t a bad team, despite faltering in recent weeks. I get a better-than-advertised defense and an offense that can move the chains, even against a Seattle team at home. Seattle is being way overvalued. — Go Against The Chalk with Detroit

Miami at Pittsburgh (-10)

Pittsburgh is going to win this game. The only question mark is if the Steelers can win by double-digits.

The Dolphins did beat an injured Pittsburgh team earlier this season, but that was before the Steelers picked it up. Since going 0-4 in a stretch from weeks 6 to 10, the Steelers have rattled off seven consecutive victories.

But most of those wins have been close, so this may not be as open and shut as many believe. The Dolphins are going to try to run the football, but Pittsburgh has been pretty good against the run, ranking 12th in the NFL, allowing 100 yards per game.

Against the pass, Pittsburgh also is competent, ranking in the top-half of the league. Miami’s defense, on the other hand, can’t stop the run, which should play into Pittsburgh’s hands. The recent win streak by Pittsburgh hasn’t featured many blowouts, but I don’t see this one staying close. — Go Chalk with Pittsburgh

New York Giants (+4.5) at Green Bay

This is by far the best game of the weekend. Both teams have legitimate shots at making the Super Bowl. And when two evenly matched teams square off, I look at defense at being the tiebreaker.

For my money, I’m siding with the Giants on the defensive side of the football. New York has played a murderer’s row in recent weeks, with games against Pittsburgh, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington. They escaped with three wins, but most importantly, in three of those games, they allowed 10 or fewer points.

And that was against offenses that ranked in the top-half of the NFL in offense.

With Green Bay, I have real questions what they can do on defense. The Packers rank second-worst in pass defense, allowing a league-high 8.1 yards per completion. If the Packers need a stop, can they get it against a team as battle-tested as New York?

I have my serious doubts. Oddsmakers are giving me more than a field goal between two teams with an opportunity at making the Super Bowl. I’m taking the points. — Go Against The Chalk with New York

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