Bears vs Packers Picks, Predictions: NFL Sunday Night Football Preview

Bears vs Packers Picks, Predictions: NFL Sunday Night Football Preview article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers (left) and Justin Fields.

  • The Packers are huge favorites on Sunday Night Football against the Bears.
  • Chicago is 1-0 after an upset win over the 49ers, while Green Bay was blown out by the Vikings last week.
  • Chris Raybon lays out how he's betting this game below.

Bears vs. Packers Odds

Sunday, Sept. 18
8:20 p.m. ET
Bears Odds
-110o / -110u
Packers Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM.  Get details on the  BetMGM bonus codeand up-to-the-minute  NFL odds here.

The Packers failed to score double-digit points for the second time in as many Week 1s last week at Minnesota while the Bears pulled off a home upset over the 49ers in a monsoon.

But the NFL is a week-to-week league, and this is Aaron Rodgers against the Bears. Ownership is involved. Rodgers is 20-7 against the spread (ATS) in his career against the Bears, and he hasn't lost or failed to cover against them since 2018.

Will the past trends hold up, or was Week 1 a sign of things to come?

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Bears vs. Packers Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Packers and Vikings match up statistically:

Packers vs. Vikings DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA2531
Pass DVOA2326
Rush DVOA1824
Overall DVOA147
Pass DVOA224
Rush DVOA519

Last week in this space, I wrote about how a team led by a Hall of Fame quarterback would look like a shell of itself in the passing game due to roster turnover and injuries, and it would instead have to lean on its rushing attack and defense.

This week, the team and quarterback have changed, but the message is the same.

In a best-case scenario for the Packers, they would get back LT David Bakhtiari (questionable, ACL), RT Elgton Jenkins (questionable, ACL) and WR Allen Lazard (questionable, hamstring).

And Green Bay's offense still wouldn't be the same, because Davante Adams isn't walking through that door.

Adams' ability to get gain separation — and quickly — is what allowed the passing game to survive with no other receiver who can separate at an above-average rate. Lazard, who is built more like a tight end than a wide receiver, will not change that.

And even if the protection improves, go back and watch Week 1. When Rodgers did have time in the pocket, he was still forced to hold onto the ball because no one was open.

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When the Packers rebounded from their ugly, 38-3 loss in Week 1 last season, Adams caught eight passes for 121 yards against the Lions, accounting for a cool 47.5% of Rodgers' passing yardage. Without Adams, the Packers will look to lean on a running game that features Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.

Head coach Matt LaFleur has already expressed that Jones getting eight touches last week wasn't enough, so you can bet this week's game plan will feature a whole lot of Rodgers turning around and putting the ball in Jones' belly.

The Packers can afford to play this way because they have a talented defense that is much better than what it showed last week, when everything was undone by stubbornly refusing to let the NFL's highest-paid corner, Jaire Alexander, shadow Justin Jefferson. Darnell Mooney is a good player, but he's no Jefferson, and Alexander may shadow him anyway after what happened last week.

With a quarterback who finished dead last in QBR last season making his second start in a new offense, a shaky offensive line, and one good receiver, the Bears aren't in position to air it out on Green Bay. They too will try to lean on their rushing attack, as well as a defense that pressured Trey Lance 37.1% of the time last week despite blitzing only once.

So what we'll likely see in this game is a lot of running and a lot of zone coverage. And because Rodgers likes to survey the defense at the line of scrimmage, the Packers tend to play at a snail's pace, finishing bottom-two in situation-neutral pace in each of the past two seasons, per Football Outsiders (they were 24th in Week 1).

Betting Picks

Rodgers is 20-7 (74%) against the Bears, 65-34-3 (66%) ATS at Lambeau, and 39-21-1 (65%) off a loss. But it's tough to give those trends any weight considering his current supporting cast.

On top of that, betting on large favorites is not a profitable endeavor. According to our Action Labs data, favorites by more than one score (8.5 or more points) are 443-479-16 (48.0%) ATS since 2005, including 67-77-2 (46.5%) ATS in Primetime.

At a spread of -10, we're not getting any type of discount for the Packers' diminished offensive output in Week 1. In fact, we'd be paying a premium because the Packers are in what looks like a bounce-back spot (I have this projected at Packers -8, and our PRO Models have it Packers -7.7).

Playing the under in this type of spot has historically been far more profitable. Week 2 divisional unders that opened opened 43 or higher (Packers-Bears opened at 45.5) are 39-22 (64%) since since 2005, including 25-10 (71%) when the total drops.

Primetime unders also down more than a point from open are 66-39 (63%) since 2015, falling short of the closing line by an average of 2.8 points per game.

FanDuel Quickslip: Under 41.5 | Bet to 41

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