What better way to kick off the 2018 NFL season with the NFL’s oldest rivalry as the first Sunday night game of the year? The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers meet at Lambeau Field in NFL Week 1 with Green Bay one of the biggest NFL odds favorites on the board.
Bears vs Packers NFL Week 1 Odds & PredictionChicago / Green BayStream Option: NFL LiveOpening NFL Odds: Packers -8 (47.5)
Why Bet on Chicago?This will be the Bears head-coaching debut in a game that counts for Chicago’s Matt Nagy, the former Chiefs offensive coordinator. Nagy has taken some heat this preseason for barely playing some of his key offensive starters, including not at all in the third week of the preseason. Usually, starters play at least a half then. Nagy does have a new offense to teach. If he wins his opener in Green Bay, though, he’ll be a Chicago legend immediately.Will Chicago have first-round rookie linebacker Roquan Smith for Green Bay? He missed all of camp due to a holdout and then tweaked a hamstring and won’t play a preseason down. Smith won the Butkus Award last year at Georgia and was projected to start Day 1. Smith’s speed (4.51-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine) also lends itself to the rookie’s staying on the field on passing downs. One of Smith’s strengths at Georgia was his ability to run with tight ends in coverage. Nagy says he there’s a “good chance” that Smith plays vs. Green Bay but he may not start now.“If he’s able to play and we feel good about it, trust me, we’ll give him an opportunity to get in there,” Nagy said. I also don’t want to get to a spot where we quote-unquote rush him back and then all of a sudden he comes back and, boom, you just lost another whatever six-to-eight weeks. I don’t want that.”Another former Georgia linebacker and first-round pick, Leonard Floyd, suffered a broken right hand a little more than a week ago. He’s expected to be ready for Green Bay as well, but he will likely play with a cast the first few weeks.Starting tight end Adam Shaheen likely won’t go. He’s dealing with a foot injury. Shaheen’s injury was originally called a sprain, but an MRI revealed additional damage. The team is hoping he won’t have to go on IR.
Why Bet on Green Bay?When the Packers take the field, QB Aaron Rodgers will be the highest-paid player in NFL history. His record-breaking four-year, $134 million extension could be worth up to $180 million in total money. The extension includes nearly $103 million total in guarantees, another record amount, and has an annual average value of $33.5 million. Rodgers will receive $67 million by the end of the 2018 calendar year. This assures he retires as a Packer, although that was never in doubt.When Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan signed an extension on May 3 that averaged $30 million per season, it cleared the way for the Packers to once again make Rodgers the highest-paid player in the NFL. He is now in both guarantees and average annual value.Green Bay made a trade as well, sending last year’s backup QB, Brett Hundley, to Seattle. Hundley went 3-6 in nine starts last season after Rodgers broke his collarbone. Hundley kept the Packers’ playoff hopes alive for Rodgers’ return in Week 15. In 2017, Hundley threw for 1,836 yards and nine touchdowns, but he also had 12 interceptions. Green Bay apparently will go with DeShone Kizer as the backup; he went 0-15 as the Browns’ rookie starter last season and struggled with accuracy (53.6 completion percentage) and turnovers (league-high 22 interceptions).If Rodgers stays heathy, this won’t matter. But Rodgers has broken his collarbone twice.This is the first time Green Bay has opened the season at home against the Bears since playing them on Sunday night in Week 1 of the 2009 season, a 21-15 win for the Packers. It is the eighth straight season that the two teams have met in primetime at Lambeau Field. Green Bay has won eight of the last 10 meetings against the Bears at Lambeau Field…The Packers have outscored Chicago, 275-134, in the last 10 home games, scoring 20-plus points in eight of those contests.
Latest NFL Betting Trends for Bears vs Packers
- Green Bay is 4-0 straight up against Chicago over the last 3 seasons
- Green Bay is 3-1 against the spread versus Chicago over the last 3 seasons
- Over is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings.
- Favorite is 11-4 ATS in their last 15 meetings.
- Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Green Bay.
- Chicago is 10-25-1 ATS in their last 36 meetings.
- Chicago is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Green Bay.