NFL preview: Bears at Packers

NFL expert Scott Kellen sees value backing the Bears and the Under in this week's early game.

YPR = Yards Per Rush
YPS = Yards Per Pass
YPPL = Yards Per Play

Best Bets
Chicago +9 (released Monday) okay at +7.5 or better
Chicago/Green Bay under 46 okay 45.5 or higher

GREEN BAY -7.5 Chicago 46

The Bears blew a fourth quarter 13-0 lead last week and lost to Jacksonville 17-16. Chicago rushed for 92 yards at 3.4ypr. While the 3.4ypr doesn’t sound great, they did it against a rush defense that is allowing 71 yards and 3.3ypr this year. Chicago held Jacksonville to just 54 yards and 2.7ypr. Brian Hoyer threw for over 300 yards again but the yards per pass were down this week at just 5.9yps and they allowed Jacksonville to throw for 7.5yps. Tracy Porter fell down on a pass that allowed Jacksonville to go 51 yards and score the game winning touchdown so their passing numbers would look a little worse if Porter could have held his footing on that play. Chicago controlled the clock for about 11 minutes more but couldn’t stop Jacksonville in the fourth quarter when they had to. Overall, Jacksonville averaged 5.8yppl while Chicago averaged just 5.1yppl.

In the minds of Green Bay Packer fans the Packers hit rock bottom last week losing at home to Dallas and not looking good doing it. Green Bay lost 30-16 and turned the ball over four times in the game. The Packers allowed the great Cowboy rushing game to run for 191 yards at 5.8ypr while rushing for just 3.3ypr themselves with a limited supply of running backs and the true running backs they had were playing hurt. Green Bay is hurting big time in their secondary and lost more players during the game last week. They allowed Dallas to throw for 8.0yps while GB threw for 6.8yps. Despite running the ball nine more times and allowing GB to throw the ball 14 more times Dallas still out gained Green Bay 6.8yppl to 5.6yppl.

Chicago is moving the ball this year but struggling to get the ball in the end zone. There’s no better evidence of this than to know they average 6.0yppl against teams allowing 5.7yppl but they average just 17 points per game against teams allowing 23 points per game. The Bears are moving the ball through the air as well, averaging 7.0yps against teams allowing 6.6yps. Despite all the injuries on defense the Bears are only allowing 5.4yppl against teams averaging 5.5yppl.

Green Bay is trying to get their offense on track. They have been very average as well, gaining just 5.2yppl against teams allowing 5.3yppl. On defense, despite the yards given up on the ground last week, GB still allows just 3.0ypr against teams averaging 3.7ypr. The Packers defense is average as well, allowing 5.5yppl against 5.6yppl.

Chicago will likely be without LG Josh Sitton who would be making his return to Green Bay. They could also be without CB’s Tracy Porter and Bryce Callahan. If that is the case they could be down their top five cornerbacks. The Bears will also be without RB Jeremy Langford but Jordan Howard and Ka’Deem Carey are capable backups. NT Eddie Goldman is also out again this week.

For Green Bay, they will likely be without RB Eddie Lacy and CB Sam Shields will miss this game as he was put on IR this week. The Packers could also be without their next two cornerbacks as both Randall and Collins could miss this game. They both missed all or some of last week’s game.

Chicago won here last year on Thanksgiving night as eight point dogs 17-13 as we had both the Bears and the under in that game. Three years ago they won here on a Monday night 27-20 in a game Aaron Rodgers was hurt early and had to leave the game. Big favorites with mediocre records are typically not very good against the spread and Green Bay qualifies in a couple of negative situations which are 183-90-6 and 284-173-9 and they both play against Green Bay in this game. This game also qualifies in an under situation, which is 287-199-2 as long as this total is higher than 45 points.

Both of these teams are average teams right now. My numbers favor Green Bay by only four points and project about 44 points. GB is hurting in the secondary and Chicago will look to shorten the game, in my opinion, and run the ball as much as they can. But, they have big receivers and tight ends who can take advantage of a banged up secondary to keep up with Green Bay. The Packers may be able to do the same thing if the Bears are down Porter and Callahan but I don’t see them being able to pull away and cover this number unless turnovers gift them some free points. Mike McCarthy also wants to run the ball in this game as well and take pressure off of Aaron Rodgers. Too many points to be laying for a club who is struggling to get their offense going and is hurting on the defensive side of the ball.

Forecast: GREEN BAY 21 CHICAGO 20

Betting Tips: Chicago +9 and Under 46


Scott Kellen is hitting at better than 56% overall this season for more than $1000 profit.

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