2011 NFL Week 1 New Orleans Saints V Green Bay Packers, Point Spreads and Picks

The “2011 NFL Point Spreads and Picks” feature is provided as entertainment, and is by no means intended for the purpose of gambling. That said, the “2011 NFL Point Spreads and Picks” feature is positively intended for the purpose of gambling, and we want full credit when you win your weekly work pool.

Thursday, September 8, 2011
New Orleans Saints v Green Bay Packers -4.5
Ever think you would see a Drew Brees led New Orleans Saints team getting four and a half points? Opening in Green Bay against the Aaron Rodgers led defending Super Bowl champion Packers is the only way it would happen. And so it has.
Excellent theater indeed. NBC likely sold its soul to end the lockout. Truly, NBC has shown it has no soul when they put Jay Leno back on the Tonight Show, though they are no doubt pleased the NFL’s off-season spat did not mess up tonight’s broadcast.
A season is not lost in a single defeat, and certainly not in the first week. However, the Saints and Packers are among the realistic favorites to represent the NFC in the 2012 Super Bowl (for the unrealistic, see Philadelphia), and someone is going to exit this game with an important statement-win.
The Saints have swapped Reggie Bush for rookie Mark Ingram, as they attempt to iron out a modest weakness at running back. Brees, Marques Colston, Lance Moore and rising star, Jimmy Graham should be enough to carry any offense, but the Packers are returning a stellar, Super-Bowl winning D.
Green Bay has it’s own muddled running game, though Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley and Donald Driver (common, give the ol’ guy a break) will score, and score at will.
There is no future in what we are about to suggest, but this game is a special circumstance. You should never bet on a team which you think will lose, regardless of the spread. Both of these teams are likely so good, however, the standard principles do not apply. Green Bay will win this game, but New Orleans should cover. If your pool does not use spreads, take the Packers. If you can get 4.5 points, go with the Saints.
One factor that may come into play, which no one wants to consider, New Orleans had to bring in John Kasay to replace Garrett Hartley, their regular kicker, who hurt himself during a preseason PAT. Won’t it be interesting if this game comes down to a last-second field goal?

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