2008 Season NFL Football Past Picks

November 24, 2008

This pick was released to clients on December 31, 1969 at 9:00PM ET.

24

Green Bay at New Orleans

Monday 11/24 08:35 PM Eastern

2 units on Green Bay +1 (-110) (risk 2 to return 2)  RESULT: loss

3 units on Game Total UNDER 52.5 -110 (risk 3 to return 3)  RESULT: loss

This is a must-win for both teams as each sit at 5-5. With the tight wild-card races this year, a loss will likely deal the death blow to the playoff hopes of the loser. The Packers are certainly the better team overall in this game, and the team has certainly playing been better recently. Green Bay is just seven points away from being 6-0 in their last six games with an OT loss by three to Tennessee, a single-point loss at Minnesota, and a three-point loss to Atlanta. Those teams that dealt the Pack the close losses have a combined record of 23-10. So, I think Green Bay is the best 5-5 team out there and certainly much better than their record indicates. Locked in a three-way tie for first in their division going into this week, both Chicago and Minnesota won which sends the Packers a clear message as to their mission here. The New Orleans offense has been the best in the NFL, led by Drew Brees. But the Packers' vulnerability has been to the run, not the pass. Green Bay is in fact great vs. the pass, allowing just 176 passing yards per game. And, they have intercepted 16 passes already on the season. Drew Brees has had a big year, but at the same time he has been careless. He has already thrown 11 interceptions on the season. Aaron Rodgers has done a much better job taking care of the ball with just six picks to 15 TD passes, and otherwise these QBs are rated about even. The Packers started slow because Ryan Grant was injured, but he is now getting healthy. He rushed for just 289 yards in his first five games and his team went 2-3 ATS. He has since gotten healthy and rushed for 501 yards in the last five and it is no coincidence the Packers are 5-0 ATS. He should be able to run for over 100 here as Mike McCarthy tries to shorten the game to keep the New Orleans offense off the field and their defense fresh. The Saints have lost Mike McKenzie and Tracy Porter for the year, so with favorable down and distance situations created by Grant's running, I look for Rodgers to have his opportunities. The Packers defensive weakness is against the run and New Orleans has had trouble running the ball all season and with Reggie Bush sidelined, I don't see a great rushing day for the Saints. Since Al Harris has returned to the secondary, the Packers are much better against the pass and very opportunistic. The Packers haven't lost a game ATS since last season vs. teams with poor defenses and under McCarthy they are a perfect 7-0 ATS in dome games. I like the Packers to get it done here. I also like the UNDER. These teams know what's on the line here and I expect the intensity to be very high - almost playoff like (as this is essentially an elimination game). Those types of games are usually lower scoring than expected. What do you think these head coaches focused on this week? With each offense averaging 27 ppg, it was not there. With a very important must-win game coming up, they were very likely focusing on their area of perceived weakness - defense. But are these defenses really that bad? New Orleans has been decent defensively at home this season, holding foes to 17.5 points per game. The Packers have quietly built a very sold defense, holding their last five opponents to an average of just 16.2 points per game. Last game they held Chicago to 234 total yards and 3 points. This total is set too lofty thanks to Drew Brees and the Saints offense. But that's only part of the story. This situation calls for the UNDER.
FINAL SCORE
TEAM 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q FINAL
Packers 7 14 0 8 29
Saints 14 10 21 6 51

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Wins Losses Units
2443 2157 +189.24

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