Two NFC North rivals are set to collide on Sunday Night Football in Week 10, as the Green Bay Packers (5-3, 4-3 ATS) will host the Chicago Bears (3-5, 3-5 ATS). Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 EST at Lambeau Field and will be televised nationally on NBC. Oddsmakers currently have the Packers listed as a 7.5-point home favorite with the total set at 53.5 points.
These two teams will be meeting for the second time this season. Green Bay went into Chicago back in Week 4 and defeated the Bears 38-17 as a 1.5-point favorite. The final score makes it look like the Packers dominated the entire way, but they only went into the half leading 21-17 and were actually outgained on the game by 138 yards (358 to 496).
Early Lean on Bears +7.5
There’s no question that Chicago has been one of the most disappointing teams in 2014. A lot of experts thought the Bears were poised to win the division, but 4 losses in 5 games leading up to their bye has drastically lowered expectations. I believe it’s created some great value on Chicago getting over a touchdown against a division rival.
While their chances of making the playoffs are slim, they are just two games back in the loss column of both Dallas and Seattle for the two wild card spots. A win over the Packers would have them just 1 game back of Green Bay and they still have two games to play against division leader Detroit, who they trail by 3 games. I expect this team to come out of their bye as motivated and focused as we have seen them all season. Keep in mind they were embarrassed going into their bye in a 23-41 loss to the Patriots.
Road teams who have been beaten by the spread by 42 or more combined points in their last 5 games are 38-13 (75%) ATS in Weeks 10 through 13 over the last 10 seasons.
One of things that you can’t overlook with the Bears is that they have played a difficult schedule to this point. Four of their five losses have come against teams who are currently 5-3 or better. The lone exception being a road game against the Panthers, which they somehow managed to blow a 21-0 lead.
It’s also worth noting that the Packers haven’t exactly been the most impressive defensive team. Green Bay comes in ranked dead last in the league against the run (153.5 ypg) and will be going up against one of the elite backs in Matt Forte. While they are a respectable 9th in the league versus the pass (225.8 ypg) a lot of that has to do with teams not having to throw due the success they are having on the ground. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 62.2% of their attempts for 6.6 yards/completion, which is more along the lines of the league average.
I’ll take my chances that we get the good Jay Cutler off a bye. If Cutler can simply avoid turning the ball over, Chicago not only should cover, but they will have an excellent shot at winning this game outright. There’s also a nice system in play backing the Bears to bounce back after their recent poor showings. Road teams who have been beaten by the spread by 42 or more combined points in their last 5 games are 38-13 (75%) ATS in Weeks 10 through 13 over the last 10 seasons.