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Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears Point Spread - Pick

Green Bay Packers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Week 1 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, September 5, 2019 at 8:20PM EST
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: GB +3.5/CHI -3.5
Over/Under Total: 46

The Green Bay Packers take on the Chicago Bears in week one of the NFL season. This NFC North Division matchup will force both teams to hit the ground running in the 2019 regular season. The Bears are on the upswing, coming off a 12-win season that saw them annex the division title. The Packers, meanwhile, are suspected by many to be a team to watch. With a healthy Aaron Rodgers, a revamped coaching staff, and some interesting new pieces, there is reason for the optimism. And after winning just 13 games in their last two seasons, the Packers faithful are looking for better results this season. But they will have their hands full with a Chicago Bears team on the rise.

After a few rough seasons, it's Matt LaFleur's turn to try his luck with the Packers as the new head coach. An offensively-geared coach as a former coordinator, he looks to extract some better results for a Packers' offense that went dry of late. Having one of the biggest talents in Aaron Rodgers always gives a team a leg-up. Though getting up there in years, he still has was it takes. The offensive line was pretty good last season in helping spring the running game at times, however, they left Rodgers largely unprotected. Rodgers was sacked 53 times last season—third most in the league. Second-rounder Elgton Jenkins and signed Billy Turner will help that, but it's still an area of concern.

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The Packers' offense as a whole has a wild-card feel to it. Catching passes will be Davante Adams, who really stepped up last season to be a legit number-one option. They also have Geronimo Allison, a rising receiver in Marquez Valdez-Scantling, along with a pair of tight ends in the useful Jimmy Graham and third-rounder Jace Stellenberger. RB Aaron Jones showed what he can do in the backfield last season, averaging 5.5 yards a carry. If he can stay healthy and some of these young pieces come around, with the O-line carrying its load, it's not hard to see this offense making gains this season. The problem is their opponent and a home Chicago defense that was pretty tough to beat last season. This is an awfully-tough entrance exam for the 2019 Packers' offense.

There may be more optimism on the defense for Green Bay, with some new faces. Up-front, they look to have what could be one of the better groups in the conference. Kenny Clark is a big asset up-front and Preston Smith and Za'Darius Smith should improve the pass-rush. First-rounder Rashan Gary (questionable) could end up being a monster. The front-seven should be a more-impactful group this season. Add in some horses like Kyler Fackrell and this is a formidable group. Jaire Alexander leads a back of deep corners, with Adrian Amos coming over from Chicago in the offseason, after being a dependable playmaking safety for the Bears. Look for this defense to give a Chicago offense that lags behind their defense some issues. Even with far less firepower on this side of the ball, Chicago still scored just 47 in two games against them last season (going 1-1 in the process)

The Bears already did what the Packers are trying to do—see a coaching change and an emphasis on "D" manifest into big things. In his first season, Nagy and his staff were masterful in turning around following a rough patch of seasons for the Bears. The offense and Mitchell Trubisky gained an air of respectability, while the "D" rose to the level of elite-status. They lost a little manpower, but appeared to do a pretty good job bringing in some interesting new pieces. Even if you think they will be pushed to reproduce last season's form of 12 regular season wins, there's no disputing that this is a good football team.

Mitchell Trubisky enters his third season after seeing a big spike in play in season two. He completed two-thirds of his passes, made good use of the tools around him, and showcased a nice set of legs that helps him stay out of trouble and register some big plays, as well. On top of any numerical supremacy, he simply helped take his team from a losing one to a winning one, showing a good nose for securing the victory. With an offensive line that was able to pass-block as well as any group in the conference, the mobile Trubisky was able to sometimes pick apart defenses. It's a good line with some continuity, though they need to be better in opening holes for backs, especially with Jordan Howard now gone. Tarik Cohen is a playmaker, but far from an everyday back. Look for newly-added Mike Davis and rookie David Montgomery to pick up the slack. While there are no star receivers on the team, the depth is startling, with Cohen leading the way with 71 receptions last season, while Anthony Miller (questionable), Taylor Gabriel, Allen Robinson, and Trey Burton (questionable) all contribute an awful lot to the offense. Maybe Cordarrelle Patterson or rookie Riley Ridley can add another dimension.

Again, the Chicago offense isn't great, but with this defense, it didn't have to be. They are really tough up-front, with run-stopper Akiem Hicks doing his thing, bolstered by the unstoppable Khalil Mack, a game-changing force. He is aided by LB Roquan Smith, who showed a lot last season and is a force on the rise. In the secondary, they are a difference-making group, as well. Losing Amos was tough, but getting Ha Ha Clinton-Dix should help. Eddie Jackson is a terror back there and scored three defensive TDs last season. CB Kyle Fuller picked off 7 passes and there are just a lot of game-changers on this side of the ball.

Both games between these division rivals were reasonably close last season, with the combined point-differential being eight points. In looking at what changed from last season, a lot of attention goes on the Packers. The Bears seem to be about the same, at least personnel wise. The Packers have new leadership and more new pieces added to the mix. I see them as being a more-consistent force this season. As far as how their offense will fare in this spot, however. I see it as being problematic. But I also see that taking place with the Bears' offense, as the Packers' "D" should be a lot better in some areas, namely in getting after the QB. Still, I sense a bit of reluctance on the part of the shot-callers to acknowledge what we have all seen in recent seasons, mainly how the Packers aren't the force of old and that the Bears won 12 games last season. The odds here seem to almost suggest we've been looking at something different unfolding. I see the Bears getting decent value here and I'm taking Chicago in week one.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Chicago Bears minus 3.5 points. Bet the Packers vs. Bears game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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