Ostrowski: What To Wager On In Bears-Packers

Taking the points is a smart call in a game that should be close.

Joe Ostrowski
December 12, 2019 - 4:38 pm
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(670 The Score) The Bears are about to enter a game above the .500 mark for the first time in nearly two months, as they visit the Packers (10-3) at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

In the NFL’s 100th season opener, the Bears were 3.5-point home favorites and lost 10-3 to the Packers on Sept. 5. This time around, the Packers are 4.5-point home favorites with a total of 40.5.

The look-ahead line preceding the Bears' primetime victory against the Cowboys on Dec. 5 had Chicago as a touchdown underdog. There was a two-point adjustment to Green Bay -5, and Bears sharp money has lowered the line to Packers -4 to -4.5.

PICK: Bears +4.5

Green Bay’s win in Week 1 will continue to be referenced, but that feels like a different season. Aaron Rodgers announced to the world that the Packers have a defense. Pass rushers Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith each rank in the top 10 in the NFL in sacks, but the Packers' defensive unit is 26th in yards per play allowed.

Mitchell Trubisky had his lowest passer rating (62.1) and QBR (24.9) of the season in the opener, but he’s coming off his only four-touchdown game of 2019. Early this season, the Bears offensive line was a mess, so coach Matt Nagy refused to run the ball in the opener. Beyond that, Anthony Miller played only 22 percent of offensive snaps in the the first matchup. He's come on strong lately, giving the Bears another weapon.

Despite a three-win discrepancy in team records, the Packers aren't the better team on a neutral field right now. The smart move looks right, because this is likely a field-goal game.

PICK: Mitchell Trubisky under rushing yards

Is Maserati Mitch back? Why did it take so long to get him out of the pocket? Those are both great questions. Trubisky’s 63 rushing yards against the Cowboys in the Bears' win last week accounted for more than his previous nine games combined.

There could be value on this rushing total after the performance on a national stage last week. After the Packers' win in Week 1 in which they limited Trubisky to 11 rushing yards, defensive back Tramon Williams said, "We wanted to make Mitch play quarterback." Green Bay has allowed only 103 rushing yards to quarterbacks, the second-fewest in the NFL this season.

Other looks

Packers tight end Jimmy Graham has been targeted 48 times by Rodgers, the third-most on the team, and the Bears defense has allowed the third-most receptions (81) to the position. There is some hesitation there because the 10-year veteran Graham has been on the field for less than half of offensive snaps over the last three weeks.

Can we get a Leonard Floyd prop? Will your buddy take your Floyd prop action? Floyd has lined up against the Packers in seven of 51 career games (13.7%), but 7.5 of his 18.5 career sacks (40.5%) have come against the Bears' hated rival.

Joe Ostrowski hosts evenings on 670 The Score. Listen to his weekly sports betting podcast here. When he's not on the Score in evenings, he's also a host of You Better You Bet, which runs from 5-9 p.m. weekdays on Radio.com Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeO670.​