We are ready to make our NFL Picks against the spread. Are you ready for some football? It’s the start of the 100th NFL season as the Green Bay Packers head south down I-94 to square up against their in-division rival, the Chicago Bears.
Las Vegas has the Bears as the 3-point favorite with a total of 47. Last year, the teams split their series with each team defending their home turf; however, the Bears covered the spread in both games with the Chicago game under the total and the Green Bay game going over.
Despite having one of the league’s most dynamic passers, the Pack have a disadvantage on the road against the spread. Green Bay has underperformed versus the line in nine of their last 12 away games, including their last in Chitown.
On the flip side, the Monsters of the Midway play better against the spread with home cooking than they do on the road. The Bears have outperformed oddsmakers’ expectations in 10 of their last 11 home games.
According to our proprietary home/away advantage/disadvantage model, the Bears should be a 9 ½ point favorite instead of Vegas’ 3-point line. Meanwhile, our power rankings suggest the Pack would be a 0.5 point favorite on a neutral field, which is in line with Vegas’ line with home team up by 3.
The pace of the game should not benefit either squad as last year the Bears D allowed an average of 63 plays per game and the Pack’s O averaged 64. It’s nearly identical when the teams switch sides of the ball with Mitch Trubisky leading the Bears to an average of 63 plays and the Pack D giving up 64.
For Green Bay to get off to a 1-0 start, Aaron Rodgers will likely need to do all the heavy lifting as the Bears defense allowed just 80 rush yards a game last year while the Packers were the 22nd ranked rushing offense on a per game basis.
Although Green Bay beefed up their defense in the offseason, the Bears should be able to stay balanced as the Packers were at best average at stopping the pass or run in 2018. If Green Bay’s updated D can’t put the game solely in Trubisky’s hands, then the Bears should start the season with a W.
Our prediction: Bears 26 – Packers 21