Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears
NFL Odds: Bears -3, O/U 46.5
Time: 8:20 PM EST
Date: Thursday, September 5, 2019
The Chicago Bears (-3) host the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field to kick off the NFL regular season. These teams split the two games in 2018 by a total of 8 points in two games. The Packers finished 6–9–1 last season and found themselves looking up at the Bears in the NFC North standings for the first time since 2010. Chicago finished at 12–4 in the regular season last year and took first place in the NFC North and enter this season with heightened expectations.
As with any other year, Green Bay’s season will depend upon Aaron Rodgers’ health. Rodgers played most of 2018 with a sprained MCL and he still managed to throw for 4,442 yards and 25 touchdowns with only two interceptions in 2018. Rodgers is healthy again but without receiver Randall Cobb, so he will have to depend even more on Davante Adams, who has gradually become one of the league’s premier receivers. The Packers defense should be improved from their 2018 season which they allowed 25 points per game and ranked tied for 29th with 15 takeaways. The Packers are 3–0–1 ATS in their last four Thursday games and 2–7–1 ATS in their last 10 road games.
Chicago ended their 2018 postseason by a missed FG that hit the uprights in a 16–15 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky made huge strides of progress in his first full season as a starter with 3,223 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. Trubisky was able to grow into the quarterback position because Chicago’s defense terrorized opponents all season. The Bears 3rd ranked defense was impenetrable at times, led by LB Khalil Mack who finished with a team-high 12.5 sacks and another 10 for losses to go with 18 quarterback hurries. The Bears are 7–0 ATS in their last seven versus the NFC North and 9–2 ATS in their last 11 overall.
Both teams will need to work out some wrinkles and become familiar with new teammates. The Packers will challenge the Bears for the NFC North and the weight of the franchise rests on Aaron Rodgers shoulders. Both defenses will take center stage in this first game and we should see a close game that could come down to the 4th quarter. I like the Under 46.5 in this game and expect to see some offensive rust from both teams.