Perhaps no team needed a bye week more than the Chicago Bears,
who will attempt to bounce back from a pair of lopsided defeats
and remain in contention in the NFC North race when they visit
the archrival Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. Chicago has
dropped four of five, including a 51-23 beating at New England
prior to its bye, to fall into the division cellar. The Bears’
spiral started with a 38-17 home loss to Green Bay on Sept. 28,
their seventh loss in the past eight meetings against the
Green Bay also comes in off a bye, which followed a 44-23
drubbing at New Orleans that brought an end to an impressive
four-game winning streak during which it averaged a shade over
36 points. Aaron Rodgers threw for a season-high 418 yards
despite suffering a second-half hamstring injury against the
Saints, but he practiced fully Wednesday and expects another
high-scoring duel with Chicago. “Both teams executed pretty
well last time with no punts,” Rodgers said. “They just turned
the ball over and we didn’t.”
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
LINE HISTORY: Since opening at Green Bay -7.5,
the line has shifted to -7. The opening total of 52 has jumped
one point to 53.
INJURY REPORT: Bears – LB Lance Briggs
(Prob-Ribs), TE Martellus Bennett (Ques-Ribs), CB Kyle Fuller
(Ques-Hip) Packers – G Josh Sitton
(Ques-Toe), CB Sam Shields (Ques-Knee), G T.J. Lang
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Bears (+1)
+ Packers (-3.75) + home field (-3) = Packers (-7.75)
WEATHER REPORT: Scattered flurries will start
in the early morning before changing to a snow/rain mix in the
afternoon. Temperature at game time is expected to be 35°F.
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Chicago headed into its bye
week on a two-game slide. The Bears head to Green Bay in hopes
of adding to the four-game road winning streak in the series.
The Packers are fresh off their bye and look to rebound from
their loss in New Orleans as they host Chicago Sunday night.
9-1 ATS L10 coming off a bye.” – Covers
Expert Matt Fargo
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “Bears have been one of the more
banged-up teams on the season and they still have some key
members nursing injuries. Martellus Bennett (ribs) is
questionable and LBs Lance Briggs (ribs) and Jon Bostic (back)
are probable. Aaron Rodgers should have a big day as Chicago is
already missing Charles “Peanut” Tillman and Corey Fuller is
nursing a hip injury. Fuller is probable to play. Shop is gonna
have huge decisions on both the spread and total. Eighty-three
percent of cash and 84 percent of bets are on the Packers and
88 percent of cash and 86 percent of bets are on the OVER.”
CHEERLEADER WAR: Neither the Bears or the
Packers have cheerleaders, so fans will have to do.
ABOUT THE BEARS (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS, 5-3 O/U):
Chicago fell behind by 14 points at halftime in a 27-14 loss to
Miami on Oct. 19 before getting pulverized by the Patriots – a
game in which it trailed 38-7 at the break. Quarterback Jay
Cutler has thrown six interceptions and lost three fumbles over
the past five games, including a pair of second-half picks that
allowed Green Bay to break the game open in Week 4. Running
back Matt Forte has accounted for 1,052 yards from scrimmage
(562 rushing, 490 receiving) and six touchdowns, but wideouts
Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have combined for 72
catches after amassing 189 last season. The Bears expect
linebacker Lance Briggs to return from a three-game absence to
help a defense that has been shredded for an average of 32
points during the 1-4 skid.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (5-3 SU, 4-3-1 ATS, 7-1
O/U): Rodgers had a streak of 212 passes without an
interception halted with a pair against New Orleans – both
coming after he hurt his hamstring at the end of a scramble. He
had 13 touchdowns in the four-game winning streak, including
four in a 302-yard effort against Chicago in the first meeting.
Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson each had a pair of scoring passes
against the Bears and have combined for 90 catches and 15
touchdowns, but the running game has been spotty with
second-year back Eddie Lacy limited to 63 yards or fewer in
seven of the eight games. Green Bay could be without both
starting guards, but three defensive starters could return the
lineup to fortify a unit that was singed for 496 yards and 33
first downs by the Bears.
*Over is 4-1 in Packers last 5 home games.
*Bears are 8-20-1 ATS in their last 29 meetings.
*Over is 19-7 in Bears last 26 road games.
*Favorite is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: According to Covers
Consensus, 65 percent of action is backing Green Bay.