Packers vs. Bears Picks & Predictions: Our Experts’ 3 Favorite Bets

Packers vs. Bears Picks & Predictions: Our Experts’ 3 Favorite Bets article feature image
Credit:

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers, Mitchell Trubisky

Packers vs. Bears Betting Odds, Picks

  • Odds: Bears -3
  • Total: 46.5
  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBC

All odds above are as of Wednesday evening and via PointsBet.

The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears kick the regular season off on Thursday night at Soldier Field. Who has the advantage in this NFC North matchup: The reigning division champs or Aaron Rodgers and Co.?

Our analysts reveal their three favorite bets for the season opener.

Mike Randle: Under 46.5

The Packers will face a Bears defense that dominated the NFL last season. Per Football Outsiders, Chicago was first overall in weighted defense, first in pass defense efficiency and second overall in run defense efficiency. Last season, the Bears totaled seven sacks in their two games against the Packers.

This has been a historically close rivalry with just a 2.79 point differential over the past 10 contests. The combined team averages for both the Bears (20.2 points) and Packers (24.7 points) over that time projects less than the over/under total. Per Sharp Football, the Bears have hit the under on 57.4% of their home games since 2016.

Green Bay improved its defense this offseason, investing their two first-round  picks on outside linebacker Rashan Gary and safety Darnell Savage, while also signing free-agent linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. These upgrades will allow defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to increase pressure on Bears turnover-prone quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (career 31-to-19 touchdown-to-interception ratio). Last season, the Bears offense ranked 30th in pace, lending even more credence to a low-scoring battle.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur chose not to play Rodgers, Aaron Jones and Jamal Willams during the preseason, further limiting the likelihood of a high-scoring opener.

Take the under of 46.5 (-110), down to a floor of 45.5.

Stuckey: Packers +7 or Better Live

I like the Packers and might play them pregame, especially if a +3.5 or +4 pops up again. But I’m most interested in grabbing them live if the Bears get off to a hot start, which they did quite frequently last season.

Plus, it might take a few drives for the new Packers offense to get into a rhythm, especially since Rodgers didn’t play during the preseason. They might need to work out a few kinks, get the timing down and shake the rust over the first few drives.

The Bears offense enjoyed a ton of success in the first quarter as a result of Trubisky performing significantly better during the scripted plays portion of a game.

Also, the Packers allowed 6.5 points per 1Q (worst), while the Bears only allowed 2.4 (second-best). However, despite all of the Packers struggles and injuries on D, Green Bay actually performed better than the elite Bears defense in the third quarter (3.8 v 4.3), which speaks to solid Pettine adjustments. The same story holds by half.

Defensive Scoring By Half in 2018:

  • First half: Bears 5.8 (first); Packers 14.7 (29th)
  • Second half: Bears 11.4 (16th); Packers 10.3 (11th)

Dream pick: Packers +7 or better live, but I’d also jump at +4.5.

Scott T. Miller: Mike Davis Under 11.5 Receiving Yards (-110)

This might seem random, but here are a few things I know:

  1. We have an amazing player props tool over at FantasyLabs that compares Sean Koerner‘s all-world projections to odds posted around the market.
  2. Last year the props with a bet quality of 10-out-of-10 went 239-122-12, good for a 66.2% hit rate.
  3. Betting unders overall was very successful on our highest-rated props (72.7 win percentage).
  4. Drilled down more specifically, betting running back receiving yardage UNDERS on 10-out-of-10 props cashed at a 86.4% rate (38-6).

The good news is Koerner hasn’t gone anywhere: He’s still doing our player projections — and betting power ratings, and fantasy tiers, and pick’em confidence index — and the market is still grossly overestimating how many receiving yards a mediocre pass-catching back like Davis will accumulate.

The general public loves to bet overs on small prop totals like this, but when Koerner projections are this far off from the market (Davis is projected for fewer than eight receiving yards in our models), I tend to blindly trust it.

I wouldn’t bet this if the line moves to 10.5 or if the juice on Under 11.5 gets out of control.

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