By Nick Shepkowski-
(CBS) With Week 2 in the NFL looming, here a few of my picks against the spread.
Bears at Packers (-5.5, 51.5)
During Aaron Rodgers’ reign, there have been very few teams, if any, that have slowed down the Packers passing game as well as Lovie Smith’s Bears. Sure, that hasn’t amounted in many wins, but take away last Christmas’ meeting between the teams (which Jay Cutler didn’t play in) and the all-mighty Packers offense has averaged just 19.5 points per game the previous six matchups.
With an improved Bears offense (that’s had its own major struggles against Green Bay in recent years) I like the Bears to keep it close enough to cover the 5.5 but especially love the under 51.5.
Picks: Bears +5.5 and Under 51.5
Ravens at Eagles (-1, 46.5)
I know a lot of people fall victim to taking too much out of Week 1 performances and you can argue nobody besides the 49ers were as impressive in their opener as the Ravens while the Eagles had a very unimpressive showing in their win at Cleveland. With that said, I have no idea how the Eagles opened as a three-point favorite in this game, which basically means if the game were played on a neutral field it would be listed as a pick ‘em.
Listen, I don’t love Joe Flacco by any means, in fact I don’t think the Ravens will ever win a Super Bowl with him as their signal caller. That’s neither here nor there though, for this week the Ravens getting a point still is a steal.
Pick: Ravens +1
Saints at Panthers (+1, 51.0)
The Saints were the league’s biggest disappointment in Week 1, allowing Robert Griffin, III to throw all over the field on them. I’m not sold that’s how the season is going to go and fully expect Drew Brees and company to rebound with a strong showing.
Can they stop anyone, though? One thing to consider: The Panthers are 0-7 over the past two seasons when Cam Newton throws for more than 256 yards. Get into a shootout and I like the Saints to win by more than a point.
Pick: Saints -1
Redskins at Rams (+3, 45.5)
There may not have been a more impressive loser last week than the Rams, who came within one more stop of forcing overtime in Detroit. Consider this, though. The Rams finished last year strong against the spread, going 3-0-1 against the number over their final four home games before an easy win against the number last week in Detroit. Also take into account that the Redskins have covered just eight times in their last 35 tries (8-24-3) against a team with a losing record. It’s by no means worthy of a large wager, but I feel that getting three points with the Rams this week is worth a flyer.
Pick: Rams +3
Nick Shepkowski is the associate producer for The McNeil and Spiegel Show. For more information, follow him on Twitter @Shep670