Packers-Bears Betting Preview: Will Rodgers Continue to Own Chicago?
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12), linebacker Khalil Mack (52).
Betting odds: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
- Spread: Bears -6
- Over/Under: 45
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: Following their big win against the Rams, close to 60% of the public is taking the Bears. But 56% of the money is on the Packers, and it looks like sharp bettors grabbed the Packers +6.5 at the few spots where it was available (click here for updated odds).
The under is getting overwhelming support with 90% of the money so far, causing the total to drop from 46.5 to 45. — Mark Gallant
Trends to know: This is the largest underdog spread of Aaron Rodgers’ career against an NFC North rival. Rodgers has never beaten a division team as an underdog going 0-6-1 straight up and 3-4 against the spread, according to our Bet Labs data. — John Ewing
Rodgers has faced the Bears 21 times in his career, and he is 15-6 ATS (71.4%), making Chicago his most profitable opponent for bettors, netting 8.5 units. This will be just the second time that Rodgers faces Chicago as an underdog, losing in Chicago 20-17 as a four-point underdog in 2008.
For the fourth time in his career, Rodgers enters the game with a worse SU and ATS win percentage than Bears.
In the three previous games, the Packers and Rodgers are 3-0 SU and ATS, covering the spread by 10.2 PPG, winning by at least a touchdown in each of the three games. — Evan Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Bears secondary vs. Packers wide receivers
Packers wide receiver Davante Adams is top 10 at his position, but the Bears rank first in pass DVOA overall and specifically against No. 1 wide receivers. Outside cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller are both more than capable of giving Adams all he can handle.
The 6-foot, 204-pound Amukamara matches up well with the physical Adams, and Fuller ranks as a top-five Pro Football Focus corner in coverage (90.0 grade).
Wide receiver Randall Cobb (hamstring) has struggled this season due to a lingering soft-tissue injury, and the rookie Marquez Valdes-Scantling has just 49 yards receiving over the past month. They are poor receivers in support of Adams.
The Bears are without breakout slot corner Bryce Callahan (foot, injured reserve), but utility defensive back Sherrick McManis has exhibited some promise this year in his limited work. Lining up as a box safety, outside corner and slot defender, McManis has a 90.2 PFF coverage grade on 102 defensive snaps.
With support from Eddie Jackson (PFF’s No. 1 coverage safety), McManis could do well in the slot.
As a unit, the Bears defense is No. 1 with a 94.8 PFF coverage grade, and the Packers offense is just 15th with a 74.8 receiving grade.
With quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers always have the chance to produce through the air, but the Bears secondary is the best pass-defense unit the Packers wide receivers will face all year. — Matthew Freedman
Which team is healthier? Bears
The only Bears player on the injury report is wide receiver Allen Robinson (hip).
The Packers aren’t as lucky, as defensive end Kenny Clark (elbow), cornerback Bashaud Breeland (groin), left guard Lane Taylor (foot) and right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee) should all be considered questionable for Sunday.
Starting left guard Byron Bell (knee, IR) will miss the remainder of the season, as well.
DFS edge: The Bears’ pressure rate (34%) and sacks per game (3.08) are top-seven marks in the field.
They’re set up well as six-point home favorites against the Packers, and they’re the only defense on the main slate with a sack projection above 3.0.
Bet to watch: Packers +6
The Bears’ primetime win on Sunday night was the perfect setup for an overreaction spot in Week 15.
Not only did the Bears outperform as a three-point dog in the most-watched game of the weekend, but with that game taking place in Chicago, it left bettors with a clear takeaway that it’s hard to play in Chicago during cold months.
Historically, though, that really hasn’t been the case, at least when it comes to covering spreads. In our Bet Labs database (which dates back to 2003), the Bears are just 16-22-1 (42.1%) ATS in December and January at home.
On top of that, since the Bears have been great to their backers this season, covering by an average of five points through 13 games, they’re susceptible to seeing inflated lines this time of year.
In the last five weeks of the season, fading teams still holding a cover margin of five points has gone 124-84-6 (59.6%) ATS since 2005.
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.