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Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers Free Pick

November 27, 2020
bears at Packers free play

It started back in 1921. The Bears-Packers rivalry is the oldest in the NFL. Chicago owned the series for many years even building a 24-game advantage in the early 1990s.

The Packers have reclaimed ownership of the series having won 17 of the past 20 games. Since the 2010 playoffs when Green Bay beat the Bears 21-14 on the way to a Super Bowl title, Chicago has won just three times. The Packers now lead the series 99-95-6.

The two teams will meet Sunday night in prime time at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers are looking for their 100th victory over their biggest rival. Can they get it? More importantly, can bettors find a value play here?

Scoring History

Looking at the past five years in this series, we see games that are relatively low-scoring. For example, in the first game last season, the two teams battled at Soldier Field with Green Bay pulling out a 10-3 win. The second meeting last season didn’t feature all that much scoring either as the Packers won 21-13 at Lambeau Field.

In those previous 10 games, all but two finished with a total of less than 50 points. The highest-scoring game in that time span was a 30-27 Green Bay win in Chicago in 2016. The same is true of the scoring margins. Only twice has the winner won by double digits. Three games were decided by seven points and two more by eight.

Defense

Historically, the Bears have always been known for defense. Go back to Dick Butkus or Brian Urlacher. Chicago has always been built around its defense. The 2020 season is no different. In fact, the only reason the Bears are 5-5 and still alive for a postseason berth is because of the defense.

The Bears rank 10th in the league against the pass and ninth in total defense. Chicago gives up 20.9 points per game, which is sixth in the NFL. It’s that defense that has kept Chicago in games and given them chances to win.

The leader of the defense is Khalil Mack who has 6.5 sacks thus far this season. Mack also has 12 tackles for loss, has forced two fumbles, and has recorded an interception. Linebacker Roquan Smith is among the NFL’s leaders in tackles with 96. Smith leads the Bears with 15 tackles for loss.

If the Bears are going to keep Sunday night’s game close, it is going to be the defense that does so.

Bears Offensive Woes

The problem for Chicago is its offense. It starts with a running game that ranks dead last in the NFL averaging just 78.2 yards per game. The passing game isn’t much better ranking in the bottom third of the league.

Bears head coach Matt Nagy benched starter Mitchell Trubisky early in the season in favor of former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Foles’ numbers haven’t been much better than Trubisky’s. The bottom line though is that the Bears just don’t score a lot of points. If not for the New York Jets, the Bears would be the lowest-scoring offense in the NFL. Chicago averages just 19.1 points per game. That will not win a lot of games in the NFL.
Edit: Breaking Mitchell Trubisky to start

The Key

The key to Sunday night’s game – and the deciding factor for bettors – is Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. The Packers star has only lost to the Bears four times in his career and one of those losses came after he suffered a broken collarbone.

From a betting standpoint, Rodgers excels in certain situations. One of those is playing at home. In his career, Rodgers record against the spread when playing at home at Lambeau Field is 55-32-3. Rodgers also does very well in games played against opponents from the NFC North Division. His career record ATS in those games is 44-26.

Breaking it down even further, Rodgers shows some serious value in home games against NFC North opponents. The Green Bay quarterback is 22-12 ATS in such games.

The other thing to consider is the Bears performance under Nagy. When he took over the Bears job, Nagy led the Bears to a 13-3 record and the NFC North crown. The Bears offered bettors a solid 12-5 mark ATS during that first season.

Since then though, Nagy’s Bears have not been good to bettors. Opponents of Chicago are 17-8-1 ATS since the beginning of the 2019 season. Plus, Nagy’s teams haven’t done all that well when they are coming off a bye as they are this week. Chicago is 0-2 straight up and 0-2 ATS with an extra week under Nagy.

Click below to reveal our pick:

 

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