These are some tough picks this week with pretty even match-ups. I guess that would make sense since most of the spreads are pretty small. Those road teams love to reel me in but none are underdogs so here we go.
Packers @ Rams (+5.5): Aaron Rodgers looked back to true form last week against the Houston Texans, which also happen to be one of the top ranked defenses in the league. The St. Louis Rams defense has definitely improved under defensive coach Jeff Fischer, but their offense is still struggling because of the lack of depth at wide receiver. The passing offense is ranked 26th in the league and in a game which will most likely be played in the air, I just don’t think the defense will be able to put enough of a hold on Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers are going against three must win games before they hit the bye and then head into the home stretch that involves 5 division games (4 of which are on the road) and a Prime Time game against reigning Super Bowl champs, the New York Giants. I think it will be a pretty close game but the Packers, who are not satisfied with being third in the division, know how important this game is. Packers win by a touchdown.
Saints @ Tampa Bay (+2.5): It is true, the New Orleans Saints are not good without suspended head coach Sean Payton, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are worse, and they don’t have any excuses. While Jonathan Vilma still is appealing league suspensions, his presence on the practice field this week after undergoing surgery is sure to spark a team that needs any moral boost it can get. The Saints have had a week to rest and are coming off of their first win in the 2012 season. Quarterback Drew Brees knows this is a winnable game and I expect him to come out strong. If the Saints want any chance to redeem themselves this season, this game is one that must be won. Brees leads the team to a victory this week and win outright.
Cowboys @ Panthers (+2.5): The Dallas Cowboys are coming off of a tough loss last week to the Baltimore Ravens, finding a way to lose when the game seemed all Cowboys. Needless to say, owner Jerry Jones is about to burst and laying the pressure on quarterback Tony Romo. Reading between the lines, it seems a line has been drawn in the sand and Romo needs to step up after leading the league in turnovers this season. On the other side, Cam Newton seems to be struggling with some growing pains, as his sophomore year seems a bit tougher than his rookie. Cam and the Carolina Panthers’ offense ranks 22nd in passing yards and Cam alone has 5 interceptions along with 3 fumbles. Until the franchise seriously tries to upgrade this offense and stops relying solely on Cam, the team will continue to be mediocre. I’m going with the team that has more to lose, Cowboys cover.
NYJ @ Patriots (-10.5): Rex Ryan is at it again and will most likely end up on the losing end, but at least we don’t make picks solely on winners and losers. Despite their equal records of 3-3, the New England Patriots are clearly the better team of these two enemies but regardless, this rivalry if always a good match-up. Of the last 10 times that these two teams have played, the Patriots have come out on top 6 times, and have won by more than 10.5 points in 3 of those 6 wins. Tom Brady and the Patriots are furious to have such a major let down last week against the Seattle Seahawks and you can bet they will come out angry. While Rex has been jabbering all week, there has been silence coming from Foxboro and you can bet this is the calm before the storm. Patriots show no mercy this week and win by 14.
Check out my top four picks every week for Sunday and Monday games and let me know what you think. Follow me on Twitter too @christynepolle.