Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Line: Packers -10
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
When: Sunday, 9/18 at 8:20 p.m. ET
The Green Bay Packers were one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL during Week 1, but they have a chance to make a bounce-back statement in front of a national audience against the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.
Green Bay is coming off a 23-7 loss to Minnesota and now finds itself behind the Bears in the division standings for the first time since 2018, which is the last time Chicago won the NFC North. The Packers have won every division title since then, going a perfect 6-0 against the Bears during that stretch, covering the spread in all six victories.
The betting market expects that success to continue on Sunday, as Green Bay opened as an 8.5-point favorite and has risen to -10 as of Friday afternoon. Sunday night’s total opened at 45.5 and has dipped drastically to 41.5.
Chicago has struggled to contain Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is 23-5 against the Bears during his career. He has a passer rating of 109.2 with 6,549 yards, 61 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in those 28 games.
“I love the history of this game,” Rodgers said. “When I got to this squad, Chicago was beating us in the all-time record. Now we’re up by eight, I believe. That does mean a lot to me.”
He completed 22 of 34 passes for just 195 yards and an interception against the Vikings last week, though. Rodgers was playing in his first game since the team traded two-time All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams to the Raiders.
Running back A.J. Dillon was the team’s leading receiver against Minnesota, catching five passes for 46 yards out of the backfield. Rookie wide receiver Romeo Doubs had four catches for 37 yards, while tight end Robert Tonyan had three receptions for 36 yards. The Packers were a strong offensive team last season, ranked No. 10 in yards per game (365.6).
They are facing a Chicago defense that finished sixth in the NFL in yards allowed per game (316.7) last year. The Bears held firm against San Francisco last week, holding the 49ers to just 10 points in a 19-10 win. Second-year quarterback Justin Fields did just enough offensively, passing for 121 yards and two touchdowns—the Bears had the lowest yardage total of any team last week (204).
Fields posted a passer rating of 72.8 with 398 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions in two games against Green Bay last season. He completed 18 of 33 attempts for 224 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the second meeting.
The Bears were not a good offensive team last year, ranked No. 24 in the NFL (307.4 ypg). They are facing a Green Bay defense that ranked ninth, allowing 328.2 yards per game.
The Packers have won 12 straight regular-season night games, with 11 of those wins coming since the start of the 2020 season. They can gain sole possession of the longest prime-time winning streak since 2000 with a win on Sunday. Chicago has gone 0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS in its last seven primetime games.
Green Bay has gone ‘over’ in six of its last nine games, while Chicago has cashed the ‘over’ in four of its last five road games. The Bears are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games, and the Packers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games.
The pick: Bears +10
There was room for debate when this line opened at 8.5—I wouldn’t have hated a bet on Green Bay at that point—but I think it is hard to justify taking the Packers now that the line has inflated to double digits. Chicago has the better defense and is facing a Green Bay offense that struggled in its first game without Adams. The Bears are not going to light up the scoreboard, but they can control possession and field position like they did last week, which will be enough to cover this large of a spread. I need to see more from Green Bay’s offense post-Adams before I am willing to back the Packers.