This week’s lines are from USAToday.com (as of Thursday night).
ATS – Against the Spread
SU – Straight Up
O/U – Over/Under
Byes: Miami, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Philadelphia, Atlanta
Green Bay @ St. Louis (+5.5)
The Packers are coming off an impressive 42-24 victory at Houston last week.
QB Aaron Rodgers finally busted out with a big game, passing for 338 yards and six touchdowns, three of them to WR Jordy Nelson. Even with WR Greg Jennings missing most of the season with a groin injury, Rodgers has plenty of weapons with wideouts Nelson, James Jones and Randall Cobb.
The Rams lost in Miami last week 17-14. QB Sam Bradford was without his favorite WR Danny Amendola, who’s out for at least six weeks due to an injured collarbone. The offense was already struggling before they lost Amendola, not to mention that RB Steven Jackson has slowed down this year and is now sharing carries with rookie RB Daryl Richardson. St. Louis has improved on defense this season. Against the pass they rank 5th in the league but will have their hands full against Rodgers and company.
After a slow start to the season, the Packers have some of their swagger back and I expect them to keep it going this week in St. Louis.
Gimme the Packers minus the points.
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay (+1)
The Saints were on a bye last week after finally getting their first victory of the season over the San Diego Chargers two weeks ago, winning 31-24.
LB Jonathan Vilma (knee) is expected to return this week and will provide the Saints with much needed help on defense. New Orleans may be without one of their top offensive players in TE Jimmy Graham (ankle) who has not practiced all week.
The Buccaneers blew out the Kansas City Chiefs last week, 38-10. I’m not really buying this win. The Chiefs have had QB issues all season and had to go with Brady Quinn after losing Matt Cassel to a concussion. Tampa’s defense succeeded in stopping the run and forced Quinn into throwing two interceptions, including one which was returned for a touchdown.
The Saints need this win to stay in the playoff hunt, look for them to make it two in a row.
Gimme the Saints minus the points.
Dallas @ Carolina (+1)
It’ll be interesting to see how Dallas rebounds from last week’s heart-breaking loss in Baltimore. They will be without RB DeMarco Murray who left last week’s game with a foot injury. Backup RB Felix Jones should have a nice day against the Panthers defense who rank 23rd in the league against the run.
The Panthers are coming off a bye and have had a week to prepare for this game. QB Cam Newton is in a sophomore slump and as a result, the whole offense has struggled. I expect Newton to struggle against the Cowboys who rank 1st in the league against the pass, holding teams to just 182 yards per game.
The Cowboys need a win here to stay in the wild card race.
Gimme the Cowboys minus the points.
New England -10.5 over N.Y. Jets
New England should rebound from last week’s tough loss in Seattle.
The Patriots were 2-0 ATS against the Jets last season.
Arizona/Minnesota Under 40
The Cardinals lost starting QB Kevin Kolb for six weeks due to a rib injury and are going back to John Skelton. The Vikings and Cardinals have strong defenses and both teams aren’t really known for their offenses.
Arizona is 5-1 ATS Under for the season while the Vikings are 4-2 ATS on the Under.
Detroit/Chicago Over 47
The Bears are 2nd in the league in points scored at 29.8 and face a Lions defense which ranks 24th in the league, giving up 27.4 PPG.
Five of their last seven meetings have gone over the total.
For those looking to play this game SU, the Bears are 6-1 SU in their last seven meetings with the Lions and 4-0 SU in their last four at home.
Tennessee/Buffalo Over 46.5
Pittsburgh – 1 over Cincinnati
Oakland -4 over Jacksonville
Baltimore +7 over Houston
Indianapolis -1 over Cleveland
N.Y. Giants -6.5 over Washington
SEASON RECAP (W-L-T)
Total Record: 27-28-2