The NFL season could not kick off with a bigger blockbuster as the Green Bay Packers travel to the Chicago Bears to kick off the NFL’s 100th season.
Soldier Field, 8:20pm ET Thursday September 5th, 2019
Let’s start in the obvious place, with the result. These two teams have virtually split their encounters through history with the Packers edging it 97-95-6. However, the Packers have dominated this rivalry for the last three decades. Since 1990 they are 40-19, including 15-4 since 2010. The Bears won for the first time since 2015 last season, as they clinched the division with a 24-17 victory in Soldier Field. That was their first home win in this rivalry since 2010 and came after the Packers had parted ways with head coach Mike McCarthy. As you can see from the new Statschecker page on our site, in all the Packers are 12-7 ATS in games against the Bears since 2010, as well as 7-3 in Chicago.
However, the Packers have Matt LaFleur in place in their new head coach and to some extent this teams’ schemes and plays will be a mystery. Yes, LaFleur called plays in Tennessee, but his team lacked the talent he has right now on offense in Green Bay. This is a game of superior offense meets superior defence, and the key here is that the Packers have one of the better offensive lines in football. They also have Aaron Jones healthy and I expect this offense to have just enough to overcome the very good Bears defense. At the very least they should be able to stay within three points and cover the spread.
2u – GB Packers +3.5 @ -115
However, this game ends it will likely be a close one. Both teams are strong and will fight until the last minute in this rivalry game. This game should be extremely likely finish within six points one way or another and therefore taking the game to be decided by five points or less feels solid value to me.
1u – Game to be decided by five points or less @ +190
In terms of player stats there are two plays I am looking to in this one. One is an easy pick given that Packers wide receiver Davante Adams has scored 35 touchdowns in his last three seasons. He scored in 11 games last season, meaning even at even odds you would still have made money betting him to score in every single week. The Packers and Rodgers tend to fixate on Adams in the end zone and design plays to get him open. With Rodgers likely to be under plenty of pressure in this one he will be looking for his favorite target to get open for him in crunch spots this season.
1u – Davante Adams Anytime Touchdown Scorer @ +115
My other pick to score a touchdown in this game is Mike Davis. There is somewhat of a logjam at running back for the Bears, but Davis has the prototypical body type to be a goal line hammer type back. Davis was rested from the third preseason game suggesting that the Bears have a role planned for him and his odds to find the endzone are quite juicy in this one.
1u – Mike Davis Anytime Touchdown Scorer @ +600
This will not be an easy game for Jones against the Bears defense who were as good as it got against the run last season. However, anytime Jones carried the ball 12 or more times last season he rushed for over 50 yards. In what should be a knockdown slobber knocker of a game I am expecting Jones to have at least 12 carries and maybe even more than 15.
1u – Aaron Jones over 51.5 rushing yards @ -110
By Ben Rolfe