The Chicago Bears will square off against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday Night Football.
The line opened at Packers -12.5 on several oddsboards and remained level at most spots, but FanDuel was dealing Green Bay -11.5 as of Thursday morning. The total opened at 45.5, but it’s dropped down to 43 at many books including PointsBet.
Chicago Bears (4-8, 4-8 ATS) at Green Bay Packers (9-3, 10-2 ATS)
Time: 8:20 p.m. EST
BetMGM Line: Packers -12.5 (43.5)
The skinny: The Bears look to give their sagging playoffs a lift when they play in Lambeau against the Packers, who are off a bye and keen on catching Arizona for the top seed in the NFC.
Facts: These teams famously met in Week 6, a 24-14 Green Bay win at Soldier Field that was capped by QB Aaron Rodgers screaming to Bears fans, “I still own you.” Which might be true. Rodgers is 22-5 vs. the Bears in a starting role, and he’s thrown 12 TD passes with no INTs during the team’s current five-game winning streak against Chicago.
The Bears haven’t been a double-digit dog against the Packers since 2013, when they won 27-20 on MNF at Lambeau despite GB being a 10-point choice. Of course, that was the game Rodgers broke his collarbone on the game’s seventh snap.
It would be a surprise if Rodgers (questionable, fractured toe) is kept out Sunday after playing well with the injury two weeks ago vs. the Rams, but if he isn’t able to go at any stage the backup situation is unsettled. No. 2 QB Jordan Love, who is vaccinated, was put on the COVID list Monday. His status for Sunday won’t be known until later in the week. The next man up would be ex-East Carolina/Virginia undrafted free agent Kurt Benkert, 26. He got first-team reps in Wednesday’s drills.
Bears rookie QB Justin Fields, who missed the past two games (cracked ribs), returns to the lineup in place of Andy Dalton, who threw four interceptions in Chicago’s 33-22 home loss to Arizona last week. Fields is 2-6 as a starter, including that loss to Green Bay, and despite having only eight starts is fourth in the league with 31 sacks.
About that Packers bye: Teams off a week’s rest this season are only 9-10-1 ATS when facing a team that played the week before. But that number is 6-2 the past three weeks, with one of the defeats coming in Week 12 when the LA Rams were 36-28 losers to Green Bay.
Analysis: With the temperature likely hovering around freezing and with a wind chill about 10 degrees colder, it’s not exactly going to be like the Ice Bowl. But with winds forecast at 14 mph, that could have an effect on the passing game.
And that could play into the hands of the Bears and Fields, the team’s third-leading rusher, who can add spice to the ground game with his 5.6-yard norm per carry.
And if he does opt to throw, it appears key receiver Allen Robinson will be returning after a three-game absence (questionable, hamstring).
Top RB David Montgomery has issues (questionable, shoulder/groin/glute) after his 90-yard game vs. Arizona, but Khalil Herbert is a worthy backup. He rushed for 97 yards and a TD in that previous meeting vs. GB. The Bears are tied for sixth with nine rushes of 20-plus yards.
The Bears should be able to do enough to stay close here and eat enough clock to reduce Packers possessions. But not enough to avoid clinching a losing season.
Bears at Packers Pick
Packers 21, Bears 14
Last week: 5-9 ATS, 8-6 SU
Season total: 91-100-3 (.476) ATS; 116-71-1 (.601) SU