Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers Preview and Pick

NFL Football Betting Preview
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field Sunday, September 13th betting line – Green Bay -3.5, 46.5 O/U

The Green Bay Packers had high expectations going into 2008 despite it being Brett Farve’s first season not controlling the offense since 1991. The Packers stayed effective on offense through the solid play of Aaron Rodgers. However, Green Bay simply could not win the close games to have the season they desired. The Packers lost an amazing 7 games by less than 4 points to finish the season at 6-10. Again, Green Bay will look to change things this season and have high expectations to get back to the top of the NFC North.

However, the Chicago Bears fail just one game short of clinching the division a year ago and there may be not other fan base more excited to get this year started than Bears fans. Chicago made the biggest move of the off-season by landing Jay Cutler at quarterback. Cutler has averaged 4,000 yards the last two seasons turning the Denver offense into one of the most dynamic passing attacks in the league. Chicago has been plagued by inconsistency at quarterback and Cutler gives promising hope to change that trend. Quite frankly, Chicago developing into an offensive team sounds scary for the rest of the league.

The Bears have historically over the last few seasons maintained a stellar defense. The statistics may not be overly impressive, but that was in large fact to how bad the offense has played. Chicago ranked a dismal 26th overall in total offense in 2008 and still managed to win 9 games. The Bears just simply could not move the ball on a consistent basis. However, with Cutler behind center things are guaranteed to change. Cutler is accurate and Bears fans can finally not gasp every time the ball goes in the air in fear of an interception. Also, with Matt Forte (1,238 rushing yards 2008) at running back there is room to build. Of course the offense lacks a big time playmaker at wide receiver that will be needed in the future, but Cutler should still find a way to target some open receivers and improve the offense.

Green Bay has momentum to build off of from their 2008 performance. Aaron Rodgers played better than most may have predicted throwing for 4,038 yards and 28 touchdowns on the season. Rodgers should have the Packers air attack in full force again this season with the help of wide receivers Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Both players racked up over 1,000 yards receiving last year and have the possibility to provide similar numbers this season. Jennings especially will be the main target this season and expect him to see a good bit of attention this Sunday. On the ground, the Packers were just a bit better than average last season rushing for 112 yard per game mainly behind the legs of Ryan Grant. Grant will get the touches to put together another 1,000 yard campaign, but if the Packers are to breakout like some believe the success will have to come through the air.

The big question here is how will both of these teams play out of the gate? The Bears should be a solid team by the 2nd half of the year, but how early will they play well? Green Bay played better earlier in the year last season which causes some concern. Both defenses ranked 21st and 22nd respectably. The Packers added a lot of depth to the defensive side of the ball, but that may not see an immediate impact. The game will definitely be fun to watch between the quarterback play of both offenses. However, Green Bay may be the best prepared team at this time. Expect the Bears to start playing well later in the year and they will fall to the Packers this time around.

Pick – Green Bay -3.5