Nothing rings in the U.S. holiday season like a matchup between bitter, long-time rivals in the NFC North as the improved Chicago Bears head to Green Bay to take on a Packers squad looking to hit their stride. The Bears have shown some spirit ever since Jay Cutler returned from injury, though they’ll enter Week 12 a tad depleted. Key tight end Martellus Bennett is going to sit this one out, as is the case for stud wideout Alshon Jeffery. Still, the Bears have a ton of talent and the Packers know they cannot take this team lightly. Green Bay got back on track a bit last week dismantling a Vikings team they’re currently battling with for the NFC North lead. They looked clinical on offense and their defense was stifling throughout. Aaron Rodgers was back to his usual MVP form and now the focus will turn to performing like that week in, week out. This should be an intriguing affair, as is always the case between these rivals so read on below for a winning wager to end your Thanksgiving Thursday of NFL off on a winning note.
Bears vs. Packers Betting Odds:
Chicago Bears +8.5 (-110)
@ Green Bay Packers -8.5 (-110)
Over 45.5 (-110)
Under 45.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bears vs. Packers Pick:
Reports of Aaron Rodgers’ demise were greatly exaggerated. The Green Bay QB was awesome last week in Minnesota, silencing a rabid crowd thinking this was finally their shot at the NFC North crown. Green Bay still reigns supreme but they must maintain that level against an improved Bears team. Look for the Packers’ offense to pick up right where they left off from Week 11. This Bears defense is a dream matchup for virtually any quarterback, and let’s not forget this defense allowed Brock Osweiler to look like he was Peyton Manning, circa-2006 against them! Chicago does get to the quarterback, but Rodgers is mobile enough to evade the pressure and will make teams pay when they blitz against him. On the ground, Green Bay should also be absolutely dominant. Much-maligned running back Eddie Lacy showed great potential last week, showing a return to his old form as he ran for 100 yards. Look for him to continue that as well this week. Chicago is awful against the run game, and looked brutal last week against Denver’s rag-tag bunch of running backs. Green Bay isn’t going to face much resistance in moving the chains on Thursday.
Full credit to Jay Cutler as he has been quite good this season. For all the heat he’s taken in his career, Cutler hasn’t been the issue in Chicago this season at all. But still, he’s going to have some problems Thursday evening at Lambeau Field. Green Bay’s defense is hot right now, and looked excellent last week vs. the Vikings. After some key personnel swaps within the linebacking corps, Green Bay applied a ton of pressure to the mobile Teddy Bridgewater, and the same recipe should work wonders against an immobile Jay Cutler. Not to mention the fact that the Bears really haven’t given Cutler all that much protection in the passing game of late. And although he’ll be getting back Matt Forte at running back, being without a legitimate deep threat in Alshon Jeffery will be tough to keep the chains moving.
I don’t think this game will be close at all. Green Bay has had their bad spell and are rolling and healthy once again. The Bears have shown evidence of being better than their record shows, but a bad performance last week combined with a rash of tough injuries, makes it hard to believe in this group. Cutler has always been brutal in Lambeau, and look for a focused Green Bay to put a priority on maintaining their momentum over the next few weeks.
PICK = Packers -8.5 (-110)