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Packers Bears Spread Line and Predictions NFC Championship

One of the longest, brutal, most intense rivalries in sports will finally be playing on one of the largest stages in the game of football, the NFC Championship game. The Packers-Bears line had opened at -3 in favor of the road team Green Bay, as these two teams will meet in the 2011 NFC Championship. Remarkably it is their first post-season meeting since 1941 (7 days after Pearl Harbor was attacked). There has never been an NFC Championship between these two teams. Much has been made this week over the shape the sod in Soldier Field is in. It was already showing noticeable damage during the Seahawks game last week, and with brutal cold settling in across the entire Midwest, there hasn’t been enough time to re-sod the entire football field. With the game also expected to be played under cold temperatures, the condition of the field will be crucial to both teams, kickoff slated for 3 PM EST.

Spread and Betting Line Comparison Chart:

Betting Site
Spread
Over/Under Line
Visit Site
BetED.com
Packers -3.5 (-115)
42
Sportsbook.com
Packers -3.5 (-110)
42.5
Bodog.com
Packers -4 (-110)
42.5

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The Green Bay Packers have been the most lethal and powerful team thus far in the playoffs. Rodgers has been this playoffs biggest star thus far. With the victory in Philadelphia and the dismantling of the top seeded Atlanta Falcons, Rodgers has given Packers fans their biggest Super Bowl hope since the late 90’s. They were successful in the 2000’s, but with the gun slinging Hall of Famer, Brett Favre (who did bring home one Lombardi trophy), you never knew how many times he’d give the ball away. Rodgers has completed 78% of his passes this postseason, good for 546 yards and 6 touchdowns. He’s scored an additional rushing touchdown and has just 1 turnover. Since missing the week 15 game against New England, Rodgers has been incredible. Over the 4 games since the injury, including the playoffs, Rodgers has thrown for 1,179 yards with 11 touchdowns, and only 2 turnovers. With their backs against the wall, fighting for a playoff spot, and then playing on the road in two difficult stadiums, Rodgers has shown he has the makeup to be mentioned with the upper echelon of quarterbacks. What Aaron Rodgers did in Atlanta was just spectacular. He escaped pressure like Harry Houdini while on the move and made incredible throws that, regardless of the coverage, his receivers were forced to catch. He also handled the crowd noise extremely well and never let the situation appear too big. Rodgers maximized every possession, which forced the Falcons to play from behind — not the kind of game they want to play. Green Bay running back James Starks had his coming out party against the struggling Eagles defense during wild card weekend, but struggled against the Falcons. Rodgers may have eaten up the Falcons secondary, but Starks couldn’t do the same to the Falcons front line. It could be more of the same for Starks this week against Chicago. The Bears own the second best rush defense in the NFL this season, compared the 15th & 10th best attacks found in Philadelphia and Atlanta.

Matt Forte is a proven back in the NFL. He recorded his second career 1,000 yard rushing season and has continued to be a receiving threat out of the backfield. In the Seattle game, he gathered a combined 134 yards rushing and receiving. The only downfall of that game for Forte was his interception. His first career throw, may have turned out to be his last. Jay Cutler has had an inconsistent season. He led the Bears to a first round bye in just his second year on the team. Cutler improved his overall play with Mike Martz as the offensive coordinator, but he still turns the ball over too much for to be called an elite quarterback. He gave the ball away 22 times this season, but did well to protect the ball against the Seahawks on Sunday. In that game, he threw for 274 yards, rushed for 43 yards, and combined for 4 touchdowns. He was the leader the Bears were hoping he’d be when acquired from the Denver Broncos. The Bears are among the best on kick and punt returns, and the Packers have struggled at times with their coverage units. If there is any area that the Pack is vulnerable, it’s on special teams. They must figure out a way to deal with Devin Hester without consistently surrendering valuable field position. The Bears have got to continue doing something they’ve been doing very well lately, and that’s run the ball. By running the ball, they keep it out of Rodgers hands, they slow down the Packers’ pass rush, and they keep third down situations manageable. It’s also very important to Chicago’s chances that Cutler protect the football. Most likely he is going to have to hit some big plays down the field at some point, but he has to be smart with the ball, especially in the red zone. Defensively, the Bears need to keep consistent pressure on Rodgers with just their front four. In doing so, they allow their safeties to remain in a deep cover 2 zone that limits the explosiveness of the Packers wide receiving group.

Packers vs Bears Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

Green Bay Packers -3.5
@ Chicago Bears +3.5

Game Total:

Over (-110)
43.5
Under (-110)

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Packers vs Bears NFC Championship Betting Predictions:

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Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – The Packers dismantling of the NFC Superbowl favorite, Atlanta Falcons, was impressive and at times scary. Aaron Rodgers was sensational for all four quarters and he finished the game with a staggering quarterback rating of 136.6. The Chicago Bears had little trouble putting away the ‘cardiac’ hawks last Sunday and will need an even stronger effort if they have any aspirations of reaching Dallas in two weeks. This is a classic NFC North rivalry game and the stakes are at their highest. I expect the Bears to come out and try and get the run game going early, they had success with the run in their early season win over the Pack. However, I believe the Packers have the defense that is needed to reach the title game and I do not expect them to crumble at this point in the season. Chicago is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games when playing at home against Green Bay and 4-13 SU in its last 17 games when playing at home against the Cheeseheads. With Rodgers on fire in the playoffs and the Green Bay receivers making plays downfield, the Bears have their hands full containing the explosive passing attack on Sunday. Keep an eye on how the Bears rally to the ball on Sunday and try to prevent the Green Bay receivers from picking up those yards after the catch. A few missed tackles and the Chicago secondary could be in for a long day with Jennings and company running loose in the secondary. Expect Aaron Rodgers to pick up where he left off in Atlanta and piece together a fine performance at Soldier Field. We will consider the Packers covering this spread and moving on to Dallas to take part in the games biggest stage.

Top Play Prediction = Packers -3.5

Game Total Prediction – For all of the firepower and explosion each team possess, I do not expect the scoreboard at Soldier to be lit up. This is, in fact, an NFC Championship tilt and one constant in these games, usually, is defense. Both clubs possess stellar offenses but they also have exceptional defenses, as well. The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Green Bay’s last 10 games on the road and has gone UNDER in 5 of Green Bay’s last 5 games when playing Chicago. Also, The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Green Bay’s last 6 games when playing on the road against Chicago. Expect both teams to focus on the run at a cold Soldier Field on Sunday. When these two teams met in week 17, the Packers needed a win to make the playoffs and they pulled out a tough 10 – 3 victory in Green Bay. That game saw just 27 first downs and a near 50/50 split in time of possession. Both teams have had their ups and downs this season on the defensive side. Both teams struggled against the Patriots, and the Bears struggled to keep the Jets out of the end zone, while the Packers shut them out. This game could go both ways. The added drama of this being the NFC Championship game should make both teams come out and play harder than they have all season. The last thing the Bears want is to enter into a shootout with Aaron Rodgers, so ball possession and tight-zone defense should be the game plan used. Take a look at the UNDER, both defenses will be primed to keep this a low scoring affair.

Total Prediction = UNDER 43.5 Total Points

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