Without playing a single preseason snap, Aaron Rodgers heads to the Windy City to face a Bears team that finished with a league-best 12-4 ATS regular-season record last season.
Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears (Matchup Report)
Date/Time: September 5, 8:20 p.m. ET
TV Coverage: NBC National Game
Sportsbook Odds: Chicago -4 | O/U 44.5 (Line History)
The Bears opened as 4-point favorites, but that has dipped slightly to Chicago -3. The Packers moneyline is +145 and the point total opened at 44.5 and rose to 46. Chicago was 1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS against the Packers last season and the average point total of the two matchups was 44.
Green Bay News & Notes
It’s tough to garner much about the Packers’ 6-9-1 ATS record of a season ago when Rodgers played through injuries most of the season and the team lost its second-best receiver, Geronimo Allison, for the final 11 games. Allison paired with Davante Adams provides Rodgers two reliable targets. Receiver Equanimeous St. Brown will miss the next four to six weeks with an ankle injury. A combination of a sore back and poor field conditions led to Aaron Rodgers sitting out all four preseason games, but he claims he’s ready to go come Week 1.
With all the attention on Rodgers, it’s easy to sleep on running back Aaron Jones’ offensive impact. His 5.5 yards per rush led all tailbacks last season, but after missing four games in each of his first two seasons, durability concerns linger. He was a non-factor in both games against the Bears last season.
Over their last 10 games as road dogs of 3 or fewer points, the Packers are 2-8 SU, 3-6-1 ATS and the OVER has hit in eight of those 10, including seven straight contests.
Chicago News & Notes
The Bears’ league-best 12-4 ATS record does come with an asterisk as their schedule was one of the easiest of 2018 and due to that success, their 2019 schedule becomes much more difficult.
If defense does indeed win championships, then Matt Nagy’s Bears are well on their way to a Super Bowl title. Their defensive unit, anchored by Khalil Mack, led the NFL with 36 takeaways and 27 interceptions and boasted the best rush and scoring defenses last season. The total has gone UNDER in the Bears’ last five games with the average combined score 30.0.
One of Mitch Trubisky’s best games of a season ago came against the Packers in mid-December when he completed better than 70 percent of his passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Behind him this season will be rookie David Montgomery, who replaces Jordan Howard. Many pundits believe Montgomery could mimic Kareem Hunt’s first-year production when Nagy was calling the plays for the Chiefs.
Betting Pick: Packers +3
Aaron Rodgers at 90 percent is better than most NFL quarterback options. The return of Geronimo Allison and two healthy running backs provides this Green Bay offense a much-needed boost against an elite Chicago defense. The Bears offense continues to be a work-in-progress that I just don’t trust yet and another reason why I’m backing Rodgers and the Packers on the road in Week 1 (+3).