Green Bay Packers vs. St. Louis Rams Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Green Bay Packers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. St. Louis Rams (0-2 SU, 1-1
ATS), 1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, September 27, 2009, Edward Jones Dome,
St. Louis, Mo., TV: FOX

by Badger of

The Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis might not sell out, and there probably wont be too many extra eyeballs watching the game on NFL Sunday Ticket either, but nonetheless the Green Bay Packers will take
on the winless St. Louis Rams in an NFC duel Sunday on Fox.

The Packers are Exhibit A in the case of why you never count the
preseason in the NFL. Green Bays offense ran it up in the preseason
and looked unstoppable at times, but now that it counts theyre
having so many issues along the offensive line that they cant keep
quarterback Aaron Rodgers upright long enough to score.

The Packers gave up six sacks in last weeks loss to the Cincinnati
Bengals, 31-24, and gave up four sacks in their opening-game squeaker
over the Bears, so theyre lucky to be sitting with a 1-1 record
anyway. If you want to talk about lucky, the Packers can thank their
stars they have the Rams on the schedule this week.

The Rams are still a team in transition, or however you want to say
lousy. They slept-walked through an emotionless opener and were
shutout in Seattle, 28-0, and didnt even amass 250 yards of total
offense in a 9-7 loss at Washington last weekend. This will be the
Rams home opener this season, so maybe it will inspire the new
coaching staff and young Rams into a competitive performance for
three hours on Sunday.

Despite the Packers problems along the offensive line, they are still considered by oddsmakers as the large favorite on the road this week
as they opened as 6.5-point chalks on the road. Most online bookies have already moved the number up to Packers minus 7 points, but for the most part 6.5 seems to be holding steady at most of the
offshore sportsbooks around the Web.

The over/under total opened at 40.5 and has moved up the hook to its
current listing of 41 on just about every books board offshore and
in Las Vegas.

When Packers starting left tackle Chad Clifton left the Bengals game in the third quarter, the Packers offense went in reverse. Left guard
Darryn Colledge shifted out and gave up three of Bengals end Antwan
five sacks, and the Packers offense failed to covert crucial
3rd-downs the rest of the game.
The plan is the same for the Packers this week, shifting Colledge out
to tackle to replace Clifton. Center Jason Spitz will move to guard
and Scott Wells, who Spitz beat out in the preseason, will take over
at center as everyone takes a step to the left along the line.

The Rams have their own issues on offense, with the exception of
running back Steven Jackson, who is averaging over five yards a carry
through the first two games. Otherwise the Rams are 30th in total
yards (256.5 ypg), 30th in passing (155 ypg) and dead-last in scoring
at 3.5 points per game.

Defensively its the same story, as the Rams give up huge chunks of
yardage (404 ypg 29th) and arent particularly strong against the
run (146 ypg 25th) or the pass (258 ypg 25th). The Rams benefited
last week from the Redskins inability in the Red Zone (0-for-5), so
their 18.5 points per game average this season is a little deceiving.

The Packers defense is bringing pressure, creating turnovers and
making big plays (Charles Woodson INT for TD vs. Cinn.) in its first
two games under the new 3-4 scheme. Theres no reason to believe they
shouldnt have the same success against the Rams this weekend.

The series between the Rams and Packers has been a good one over the
years. The Rams and the Greatest Show on Turf ran them out of the
building in 2002 and 2003, but the Packers beat them in the dome the
last time they met in 2007, 33-14.

All told the Packers hold the edge in the series straight up (6-4
SU), including a 2-3 mark in the Dome, but the Rams have been the
better wager for bettors over the years as they hold a 6-4 ATS edge.

The favorite is a solid 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings too, while
the over has gone 4-1 in the same five games.

And if you bet the Packers a lot (they are a heavy public team), you
know from the past that they are not considered a very good team in
the dome. Alas, the Packers have played better in domes since they
turned over the QB position last year, as they are now 4-0 ATS in the
last four games on turf.

Badgers Pick: With so many other games to watch and wager on this one is hardly worth the thought, but that said, I expect the Packers to cover this one late. The best bet in this game is the under, as
the Rams are challenged and the Packers have offensive line problems.
Take the under of 41.