Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:57 PM
TNF - Packers at Bears
Green Bay: 2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, 4-0 O/U
Chicago: 1-3 SU, 1-3, 4-0 O/U
The Bears were limited to 15 points or fewer in three exhibition losses, while dropping to 3-6 in the last two preseasons. The Packers won both their home games, but lost both their exhibition contests away from Lambeau Field. Since 2016, Green Bay hasn’t lost a home preseason game by posting an 8-0 record.
Green Bay: 6-9-1 SU, 6-9-1 ATS, 8-8 O/U
Chicago: 12-4 SU, 12-4 ATS, 8-8 O/U
The Packers qualified for the postseason for eight consecutive seasons from 2009-2016, which included a Super Bowl title in 2010 over the Steelers. However, Green Bay has been shut out of the playoffs the last two seasons, while suffering its worst record since Aaron Rodgers’ rookie season of 2008 when the Packers finished 6-10.
Green Bay didn’t win consecutive games once last season, while grabbing only one victory within the NFC North. Five of the Packers’ six wins came against teams owning losing records, as longtime head coach Mike McCarthy was fired following a Week 13 defeat as a 13 ½-point home favorite to Arizona. In spite of the struggles in the win column, quarterback Aaron Rodgers put together one of the best seasons of his career by throwing 25 touchdown passes and only two interceptions, while accumulating 4,442 yards through the air.
The Bears captured their first NFC North title since 2010 as Matt Nagy’s first season as head coach was an absolute success. Although Chicago lost to Philadelphia in the Wild Card round on a missed field goal in the closing seconds, the Bears won their most games since 2006, when they took home the NFC championship. Four of Chicago’s five losses came by three points or fewer, while the Bears covered the spread 11 times in 12 victories.
Mitchell Trubisky rebounded from a rough rookie season to throw for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns, but was intercepted 12 times. The acquisition of standout linebacker Khalil Mack from Oakland prior to the season boosted Chicago’s defense, which finished third in the NFL in yards allowed per game (299.7), and tops in the league in rushing defense (80 yards per game).
The Bears put together a solid 7-1 SU/ATS regular season record at Soldier Field in 2018 with the lone loss coming to the Patriots in a 38-31 Week 7 setback. Chicago’s defense yielded 17 points or less in five home games, while giving up 16 points in the playoff loss to Philadelphia. This was in stark contrast to the 3-5 home mark in 2017, as the Bears scored 17 points or fewer in regulation six times that season.
It took until the final road game of the season for Green Bay to break through away from Lambeau Field in a Week 16 overtime triumph over the Jets. The Packers had lost their first seven away contests, while covering only once in the road underdog role in a 29-27 defeat to the Rams as 7 ½-point ‘dogs in Week 8.
The Packers and Bears kick off the season in primetime for the second consecutive season after Green Bay rallied to stun Chicago, 24-23 at Lambeau Field in Week 1. The Bears jumped out to a commanding 17-0 halftime lead, highlighted by a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown by Mack on an errant screen pass by backup quarterback DeShone Kizer.
Rodgers exited the game in the second quarter with a leg injury, but limped back after halftime to lead an epic comeback as Green Bay erased a 20-0 deficit. Rodgers connected on a pair of touchdown passes to Geronimo Allison and Davante Adams early in the fourth quarter, while hitting Randall Cobb on a 75-yard scoring strike in the final minutes to put the Packers in front. In spite of the loss, the Bears grabbed the cover as seven-point underdogs, while the final touchdown pushed the total over 45.
Chicago picked up revenge against Green Bay in Week 15 by clinching the NFC North title in a 24-17 victory to cash as 5 ½-point favorites. Trubisky tossed a pair of touchdowns, including a 13-yard connection to Trey Burton in the fourth quarter to break a 14-14 tie. The win snapped a five-game skid to the Packers dating back to 2016, while Chicago beat Green Bay at home for the first time since 2010.
THURSDAY NIGHT HISTORY
The underdog has won outright in the Thursday night season opener in each of the past three seasons. The Broncos (+3) edged the Panthers, 21-20 in a Super Bowl matchup in 2016, while the Chiefs (+8) chased the Patriots in 2017 at Gillette Stadium in a 42-27 upset. Last season, the Eagles (+1) slipped past the Falcons, 18-12 in a playoff rematch, marking a victory by the home team in the league season opener for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
For the fourth time in five years, the Packers and Bears are meeting for a Thursday night contest and for the first time in this stretch, the game will be played in Chicago. Green Bay won the last two Thursday matchups with Chicago by double-digits, including a 35-14 blowout at Lambeau in 2017.
The Packers have won four consecutive Week 1 games with the most recent loss coming on a Thursday night at Seattle in 2014. Green Bay started the last two seasons at home as the Pack is playing their first road season opener since 2016 at Jacksonville when they edged the Jaguars, 27-23.
The Bears are looking to snap a five-game skid in season openers with the last Week 1 win occurring in 2013 against the Bengals. Chicago is favored in a season opener for the first time since 2014 when the Bears were tripped up by the Bills in overtime, 23-20 as seven-point chalk.
VegasInsider.com expert Joe Nelson checks in with his thoughts on these old rivals hooking up on Thursday, “There isn’t a clear consensus on either of these teams for 2019 with the Packers featuring an unproven head coach in Matt LaFleur and Rodgers battling injuries the past two seasons and last season featuring the lowest touchdown count of his career in a season in which he played in all 16 games. The Packers went just 6-9-1 last season, but six defeats came by a single-score as it isn’t hard to envision a turnaround in 2019 back to contention in the NFC.”
From a primetime standpoint, that advantage belongs to Green Bay’s All-Pro quarterback according to Nelson, “Trubisky has not yet played on a Thursday night game and he has eight interceptions in going 3-2 in night games in his career. Rodgers is 26-22 in prime time contests in his career, going 8-4 on Thursdays with 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions as there is a clear disparity in the experience levels on this stage.”
In the Week 15 matchup at Soldier Field last December, Nelson points out some interesting tidbits from Chicago’s seven-point win, “The box score reveals a few surprises from that most recent meeting with the Packers posting a big edge in rushing per attempt at 4.6 compared to 3.4 for Chicago, while Trubisky and the Bears averaged 3.0 more yards per pass than Rodgers and the Packers. Green Bay had twice as many penalty yards and took five sacks in a game that was led by Joe Philbin as an interim coach.”
PLAYER PROPS - According to Westgate Superbook
Total Gross Passing Yards - Aaron Rodgers (GB)
Over 267 ½ (-110)
Under 267 ½ (-110)
Total Touchdown Passes - Aaron Rodgers (GB)
Over 1 ½ (-110)
Under 1 ½ (-110)
Total Receiving Yards - Devante Adams (GB)
Over 81 ½ (-110)
Under 81 ½ (-110)
Total Completions - Mitchell Trubisky (CHI)
Over 21 ½ (-110)
Under 21 ½ (-110)
Total Touchdown Passes - Mitchell Trubisky (CHI)
Over 1 ½ (-110)
Under 1 ½ (-110)
The Bears opened up as 3 ½-point favorites at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas back in April, as Chicago has dropped slightly to three-point chalk. The opening total of 46 has stayed put at the Westgate, which is a half-point lower than the Week 15 game in Chicago last season.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
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