This week’s picks are sponsored by the Tony Soprano Auction Show. Bid on something or get whacked!

If we learned anything from last week’s games, that lesson is to take nothing for granted. Some teams that needed to get into the playoffs got in. Others… well, let’s say they’re on the golf course. A week of 5-3 makes me for the season 87-46. While the teams can’t carry their regular season record into the playoffs, I can. Did I neglect to mention that there’s going to be instant replay in the playoffs? This weekend is going to be interesting. Here are this weekend’s picks.

New York Dragons (8-8) at Dallas Desperados (12-4) - Both teams needed wins last week to improve their playoff spots. Neither got their wish as Dallas hurt themselves with penalties in Chicago, losing to the Crush after being tied at 35-35 at the intermission. 15 penalties for 92 yards didn’t help the Desperados much either. Meanwhile, New York was held to 10 first half points against Philadelphia on Long Island last week and could not get their act going either, adding four turnovers to the fire. Dallas did sweep the series between the two teams, winning by a total of 22 points combined in the two match-ups. If familiarity breeds contempt, then Dallas is guilty as charged. Third time’s a charm, though. Dallas rights its ship and beats New York at home.

Colorado Crush (6-10) at Utah Blaze (6-10) - Not exactly two of the better teams in the playoffs. Then again, they earned their way into the post-season party. Utah took down Colorado at home in week 11 in Salt Lake City in their only meeting of the season. The Blaze are coming off a huge win over Arizona last week in Phoenix, so they will be carrying some momentum into the contest this weekend. Colorado also won their season finale last week, taking Kansas City to the woodshed in the Mile High City. The Crush will be looking for revenge this time around. Revenge may be a dish best served cold but Utah will be the ones feasting. The Blaze take the Crush again.

Orlando Predators (9-7) at Cleveland Gladiators (9-7) - Cleveland held Columbus to 14 second half points in the season finale last week on the shores of Lake Erie. The Gladiators only had one turnover last week, which is not bad. That was the regular season. This time, it’s for keeps and Cleveland has to protect their house and the football. Orlando was idle this week and should be well rested for this match-up. The two teams are seeing each other for the first time this season, so it‘s going to be one of the more interesting games in the first round of the playoffs. In fact, this game could be one of the best, if not the best game ESPN could have on air this weekend. Cleveland split their last four games 4-4 but I still like the Gladiators to take this one.

Grand Rapids Rampage (6-10) at Arizona Rattlers (8-8) - Grand Rapids must have done something right against New Orleans last weekend, knocking the VooDoo out of the playoffs and putting themselves in the catbird seat. Grand Rapids forced three New Orleans turnovers, which all but did them in last weekend in the Big Easy. Arizona played as well a game as they could against Utah last week in Phoenix but could not seal the deal. The Rattlers barely got by Grand Rapids in week 13 and better bring their A+ game to the ballpark this weekend. The Snakes beat the Rampage and move on to the next level.