According to the best NFL gambling sites, the Chicago Bears are eight-point underdogs against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. They have nowhere to go but up. And in fact, ESPN says Chicago is one of teams most likely to improve in 2018. In the last two years, “The second-worst record in games decided by seven points or less belonged to John Fox’s Bears.” The good news is that these are no longer John Fox’s Bears. These are now Matt Nagy’s Bears. So Chicago has already improved in the coaching department. The burden of proof is on Nagy’s side, but, could he really be worse than Fox? As a matter of fact, can anyone other than Hue Jackson be?
Nagy is not the only new arrival in Chicago. Wide receivers Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel, and tight end Trey Burton left Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Philadelphia respectively. One would be hard pressed to say that they left for greener pastures. However, by virtue of their coming to Chicago they have turned those pastures green. Especially for starting QB Mitch Trubiski, who now can be said to have an actual receiving corps. In particular considering the Bears drafted wide receiver Anthony Miller in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. “Miller has brought Antonio Brown-like route running to the practice field,” says NBC Sports.com.
The Bears didn’t overhaul their defense as they did their offense. And that is not a bad thing; that is a good thing, as Diamond Dallas Page would say. The Bears will return the same four starters in the secondary for the first time in six years. And that’s not something at which to scoff. The only major addition to Chicago’s defense is linebacker Roquan Smith. The Bears drafted Smith with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Bears will have a comparatively easier schedule than last season. However, they will get off to a bumpy start against the Packers. Green Bay finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs last season. But guess what? The Packers also stand to improve a great deal in 2018. Wanna know why? Two words; Aaron freakin’ Rodgers. Not only is Rodgers healthy and ready to start under center in Week 1. Also, he and the Packers are moving closer to a contract extension. A healthy and motivated Rodgers accounts for the best NFL gambling sites favoring Green Bay by eight points.
On defense, the Packers have lost linebacker Jake Ryan for the season. Ryan tore an ACL during practice. He started 12 games last season and combined to make 81 tackles (52 solo). Candidates to replace him include Blake Martinez, Clay Matthews, Oren Burks, and Ahmad Thomas.
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers Week 1 Betting Information
- Date: September 9, 2018
- Time: 7:20 pm (CT)
- Venue: Lambeau Field
Best online sportsbooks odds from Intertops.eu:
- CHICAGO BEARS +7½ (-110) 48 (-105) +281
- GREEN BAY PACKERS -7½ (-110) 48 (-115) -350
- The Bears are 7-2 SU in their last nine games.
- The Bears are 3-3 ATS in their last six games.
- The total has gone under in five of the Bears’ last six games.
- The Packers are 2-5 SU in their last seven games.
- The Packers are 3-4 ATS in their last seven games.
- The total has gone over in five of the Packers’ last six games.
Our Prediction: As ESPN says, “Four of Chicago’s five primary defensive backs are 26 or younger.” Thus, “it would hardly be a surprise to see an improved takeaway rate.” Eight points is a lot. However, that takeaway rate should have to be much improved to keep Rodgers from winning and covering the spread.