Pro Football Picks: Defending Super Bowl champion Packers try to stay unbeaten

St. Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers
Sunday, 10/16/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Green Bay -15.5
Current Betting Line:  Green Bay -14.5
Opening Total:  48
Current Total:  47.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Packers Rams NFL Preview
Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers has the highest passer rating in the NFL this season.

The Green Bay Packers will look to remain unbeaten this season and win their 12th game in a row overall, including last year’s playoffs, when they host the winless St. Louis Rams on Sunday.  The Packers (5-0) routed the Rams (0-4) two years ago on the road 36-17 and have won three of the last four meetings both straight-up and against the spread.

Green Bay (-14.5, O/U 47.5) stayed undefeated by rallying back for a 25-14 win at Atlanta on Sunday Night Football, scoring 25 unanswered points after trailing 14-0.  Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 396 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions to overcome the lack of a running game with James Starks and Ryan Grant totaling 58 yards on 19 carries between them.

Rodgers leads the NFL with a 122.9 passer rating and has completed almost 72 percent of his pass attempts with 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions.  The defending Super Bowl champions have covered the spread in their last three games and are 4-1 ATS this year.  The only game they did not cover came in a 30-23 victory at Carolina in Week 2 when they trailed 13-0 early and then scored 30 of the next 33 points before the Panthers put the final points on the board.

Meanwhile, the Rams just had their bye week and are dealing with a rash of injuries that have affected them on both sides of the ball.  They signed wide receiver Nick Miller and cornerback Brian Jackson earlier in the week because WR Danny Amendola (elbow) and CB Bradley Fletcher (knee) are out for the season with injuries.

Amendola led St. Louis in catches (85) and receiving yards (689) last year, and his absence hurts second-year quarterback Sam Bradford, who has struggled mightily following an impressive rookie year.  Bradford has completed less than 50 percent of his passes with three touchdown passes and one interception in four games.  He also has not gotten much protection, getting sacked a league-high 18 times for 116 yards while losing four fumbles.

The Rams have not only lost all of their games so far this season, but they have also failed to cover any of them.  They have not been able to generate much of a rushing attack either, averaging just 92.5 yards per game on the ground with one touchdown.

The OVER is 5-1 in the last six meetings and 5-2-1 in the past eight when St. Louis is an underdog.  Green Bay is 7-1 ATS in its last eight home games with the OVER going 7-1 as well.

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