St. Louis Rams (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS)
NFL Week 5
Date/Time: October 11/1pm ET
Where: Lambeau Field
by Evergreen, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: STL +10/GB -10
Over/Under Total: 46
It is still early in the NFL season but most teams have done a good job in declaring who they are. Not many have jumped off the page as positive surprises but after four weeks, the St. Louis Rams are sitting at 2-2 with wins over Seattle and Arizona. The Rams can further prove they know how to handle the quality opponent this Sunday as they travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers. St. Louis has gotten it done with defense so far but now face the tallest task in football as they look to stop Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau.
Green Bay is going to be a heavy favorite at home and the online betting sites have the Packers most commonly listed as 10 point favorites although there are 9 and 9.5 point lines floating around out there. The Pack is 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall, and are 4-0 against the spread in the last four against the NFC. The Rams have just two ATS wins in their last seven games and for what it is worth, the favorite is 8-0 in the last eight meetings between that includes games started by Brett Favre and Kurt Warner as these teams have faced each other just twice since 2009.
As a writer, I guess Im supposed to pose interesting and creative viewpoints that engage readers but all I really want to say about this game is that the Green Bay offense is really good and the St. Louis offense really isnt. That isnt interesting or creative at all but it is the basis of this game and that scenario is often the basis of any game where there is a double-digit point spread. One team is awfully good at something while the other is limited, usually at that very same thing.
The Packers have shrugged off injuries to Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Andrew Quarless, Eddie Lacy and Bryan Bulaga to be the 10th best offense in terms of yards gained and average 28.2 points per game. Aaron Rodgers has been the catalyst to all the success this year as he has kept the wheels turning and that kind of offensive output lets the Green Bay defense play loose and fast. The Packers have notched 17 sacks so far with three individual defenders accounting for at least three sacks a piece. The D hasnt really had to worry about doing much more than contributing a few big plays a half as Rodgers (11 TD, 0 INT) has let the Packers play with a lead for all but about 6 minutes of action.
The Rams are not likely going to be able to keep up with the scoring pace in this one as they enter the week outside the top-23 in all offensive yardage categories and score just 18.5 points per game. Nick Foles is a fine game manager and will not turn the ball over often but that has not led to many points since scoring 34 in the opener. St. Louis is now with the services of Todd Gurley however and he should see some success against the 21st ranked rushing defense of the Pack. If the Rams can play keep-away with Gurley and maybe hit a few big plays to Tavon Austin, they could drag this one out a bit and perhaps put Green Bay in a more uncomfortable situation than they want to be.
It is pretty clear that I am down on the Rams chances to win this one and I think a Green Bay cover is probable even though I do not laying double-digits under most circumstances. The only thing that I will give St. Louis heading into this week is they do have the type of matchups in the pass game that often cause problems for Green Bay. Kenny Britt and Jared Cook arent burning anyone deep but they are big bodies that work the middle and Green Bay doesnt typically have answers for that in coverage. Tavon Austin can cause problems if he is let loose against an overly aggressive defense but I think even St. Louis best offensive day isnt going to be enough.
The Rams are good on defense and are tough in particular but they are not dominant in any one facet and will be without leading tackler Alec Ogletree. Rodgers, Lacy and Randall Cobb have simply had their way too often at home to think that St. Louis all of a sudden has the antidote. Gurley might be the next Adrian Peterson but the Rams might not be running much if they are down big and there arent enough playmakers for Foles to have success once they start chasing points. The Rams play a gritty brand of football but the Packers are polishing their diamond and get a big win this weekend. Green Bay 30 St. Louis 16
Evergreens Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Green Bay
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