Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears Pick and Preview
Point spread: Green Bay -4
The Green Bay Packers take their annual regular season trip to Soldier Field this week for a Sunday afternoon NFC North showdown with the Chicago Bears. The Kick-off is slated for 4:15 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
Green Bay has passed its first two tests in its quest to get back to the Super Bowl and while Aaron Rodgers and the offense has picked up where it left off, the defense has been less than stellar in giving up a total of 57 points in the first two games. The Packers won an opening-day 42-34 shootout with New Orleans as 4.5-point home favorite. This past Sunday, they came from behind to beat Carolina 30-23 on the road, but could not cover the 10-point spread. The total went ‘over’ in both of these games.
Two of the key figures in last year’s run to the title have been instrumental in the early success with Rodgers throwing for 620 yards and five touchdowns and James Starks adding 142 total rushing yards with an average of 6.8 yards per carry.
It hard to say which version of this 2011 Chicago team will show up on Sunday. Bears fans are hoping it’s the one that waxed Atlanta 30-12 on opening day as a 1.5-point home underdog and not the one that got trampled 30-13 by the Saints as a 4.5-point road underdog. The total went ‘over’ the 40.5-point line in the first game, but stayed ‘under’ the 46-point line against Carolina.
The emotional strain of the sudden loss of All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher’s mother could have taken its toll this week, but quarterback Jay Cutler was also up to his old tricks with a dreadful completion percentage of 42.2 percent after completing 68.8 percent of his throws against the Falcons.
Green Bay is 4-1 straight in its last five games on the road and 5-0 SU in its last five games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in nine of its last 12 road games.
Chicago is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games overall and 5-2 SU in its last seven games at home. The total has gone ‘over’ in five of its last six games at Soldier Field.
The Packers are 14-4 SU in their last 18 games on the road against the Bears and 10-3 against the spread in their last 13 trips to Soldier Field. The total has stayed ‘under’ in six of the last seven meetings there. Stick with the Packers to follow suit on these recent trends with a win that covers the four-point spread.
The NFL Pick: Green Bay 31 Chicago 24
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