On Sunday Night Football we have a battle of the top two teams in the NFC North. The Green Bay Packers sit atop the division at 7-3 and the Chicago Bears are in second place at 5-5 after starting the season with an impressive 5-1 record (8.20pm ET Sunday; TV: Live on NBC).
What gives? Read on for USAbetting’s NFL game preview and picks with Bears vs Packers predictions.
The Packers are coming off a brutal loss to the Colts in a game in which they dominated the first half. They were up 28-14 at halftime and proceeded to give up 17 unanswered points. It took a late field goal in the fourth quarter for the Packers to push the game into overtime where they ultimately lost 34-31 after fumbling the opening possession of the extra time. The Packers offense scored at will in the first half but it is impossible to beat any team in the NFL when you turn the ball over four times.
The Packers look to rebound against a Bears team that can’t buy a win right now. They have managed to lose four straight games and starting quarterback Nick Foles is questionable with a hip injury. He was carted off the field at the end of their week 10 loss to the Vikings. His status will be worth monitoring throughout the week. The offense has been one of the worst in the NFL with him, but backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky is arguably worse. Trubisky’s status for Sunday is also in question due to a shoulder injury. He missed their week 10 clash with the Vikings as a result of the injury.
Can Strong Bears Defense Slow Packers?
It is no secret that the Bears’ defense is the biggest strength on the team. They rank 14th in average rushing yards allowed per game (115.1) and 10th in passing yards allowed per game (225.0). They also only give up on average 20.9 points per game, which is good for 6th in the NFL. They would be one of the worst teams in the league without such a stout defense. They have been able to keep the Bears competitive in nearly every game despite an offense that has struggled for much of the season.
Four of their five losses have been by eight points or less, which has led to not only a 5-5 record overall but also a 5-5 record against the spread. The disappointing offensive play is what makes them a mediocre team. The Bears are one of the worst passing offenses in the league and are statistically the worst rushing attack. They average only 222.7 passing yards per game, which is good for 25th in the NFL. They are 32 out of 32 teams in average rushing yards gained per game with an abysmal 78.2. The Bears will be in trouble if their defense can’t play a near flawless game come Sunday night. Their offense only averages 19.1 points per game (31st), which is quite a pitiful output when you compare it to the explosive Packers’ scoring attack.
The Packers rank 3rd in the NFL in average points per game (30.8) and are coming off a 31 point performance against one of the better defenses in the Colts. We discussed last week in our preview about this strength on strength battle and how we sided with the strong offense against the stingy defense. They scored with relative ease and if it was not for four turnovers they would have won comfortably. If the Packers can hold on to the football and cut down on all of the mental mistakes they will handle the Bears with ease.
Our Preview’s Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict
USAbetting is going to be rolling with Aaron Rodgers’ and this explosive offense at home as over a touchdown favorite with the sports betting sites for USA players. We simply don’t think that the Bears can keep up. Their defense will be exhausted trying to shut down the Packers’ high-flying attack with their offense not being able to score.
The Packers rank 6th in the NFL in average passing yards per game (277.0) and have arguably the best wide receiver in football in Davante Adams. We have also seen the emergence of Marquez Valdes-Scantling as a legitimate deep threat. He is second on the team in receptions of 20+ yards with eight and averages 20.7 yards per reception. We saw how much of an impact he had in stretching the filed against the Colts. This not only creates huge plays, but also allows Adams to get open underneath.
I expect the Packers to exploit the Bears’ secondary, which we have seen happen at times so far this season. In their last game in week 10, we saw Kirk Cousins carve them up for 292 yards passing and two touchdowns. We want to back the drastically better quarterback, the better coach, and the better offensive weapons at home. They will ultimately be too much to handle for a Bears’ defense that has had success for much of the season. We don’t think the Bears’ offense will be able to do nearly enough to keep this within the number.
Rodgers has also been dominant against the spread at home, against divisional opponents, and even more impressive at home within the division. He is 55-32-3 against the spread at home, 44-26 ATS against divisional opponents, and 22-12 at Lambeau Field against NFC North opponents.
Another trend that lends to the Packers is Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy’s 0-2 record coming off a bye week. The line is currently at -7.5pts (-125) on Betonline and we would feel comfortable playing this as high as -9.5. We think this will be at least double that margin of victory. We are also going to be playing this in a six-point teaser with the LA Rams, who are also currently sitting at -7.5 home favorites as well. I would recommend using the Packers in a teaser leg if that is something you do. We see this being a 31-16 win and cover for the home favorites. So, in summary, our Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers predictions for this preview are: