NFL Thursday Night Betting Preview: Chicago vs. Green Bay

October 20, 2016 •

Tomorrow night two rivals from the NFC North division will face off as the Green Bay Packers will play host to the Chicago Bears in Week 7 of the NFL’s Thursday Night Football.

It would not be such an exciting game if the Packers had not made it so interesting losing to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. This now more interesting contest will kickoff the Week 7 slate of games, as the Packers will now be 3-2, after their 30-16 loss last week. The Bears are coming into this game with much less stress and expectations since they are 1-5, adding to their woes with a tough loss of 17-16 against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 6.

Historically it’s a long-time rivalry game between two historic franchises, and just like in many cases as before, both squads will go into this fight looking to it at a must win situation. Everyone know that the Bears were not going to be a good team this season, but even still for fans, their 1-5 start is worse than just bad, it’s dismal. They’ve had injuries, which have definitely played a huge part in their losing streak, but the Bears look like one of the worst teams in the NFL in almost every category of play.

If realistically, they are going to turn their season around, it has to happen fast and it has to start tomorrow night. A win on the road against their biggest rival would be the perfect momentum starter but how possible is it really? Can the Pack actually lose two straight at home?

Since the Packers’ record of 3-2 is not that bad, but they definitely don’t look like champions or division leaders. QB Aaron Rodgers has obviously struggled this season, with two interceptions against Dallas fresh in his mind. It’s always unwise to count Rodgers out, but he’s not playing like the elite level NFL quarterback that he’s being paid to be right now.

So the main questions for bettors is, can the Packers get back on track this week against the Bears? If they want to get back on track, there is no better game for them to do so.

Rodgers and the Packers’ offense will face a dismal Bears’ defense that has been decimated by injuries. But even despite that downside, Bears’ coach Vic Fangio has this unit playing as well as they can, which means they are always capable of a steal. Yes, Chicago does not have the depth and overall talent to be a dominant defensive unit like the leaders in the NFC, but they are not going to roll over and die against the Packers either. They have too much pride.

If the Packers’ offense can find their “A” game and Rodgers can lick his wounds and use home field advantage in his favour, then we can expect them to get back on track this week. But surprises abound in teh NFL mid-season, and one has to ask: Do the Bears have enough power players to slow down guys like Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy? They might if Rodgers continues to struggle and throws more interceptions at key moments of the game. He has shown recently he is quite fallible.

Offensively, the Bears have been a little better than their defense, with Brian Hoyer making the calls. Hoyer is a definitely a better option for the team at the QB position than QB Jay Cutler. But, he is probably not the guy who will turn this team around and get them to playoffs.

Wide receiver Cameron Meredith has emerged as a great option for Hoyer to throw to in recent weeks. And also, Alshon Jeffery has proven himself to be a massive weapon in the team’s arsenal that could explode at any time.

They have a rookie running back too named Jordan Howard, who has played very well when he was given the opportunity, but he does not have enough experience to dominate in this tough matchup against the Packers’ sobering run defense.

The Packers are nine-point favorites at home, but the under is probably a good bet since even if they win, nine points seems like a lot to cover with how Rodgers is struggling in the pocket.

Despite their records, strangely enough these games between Green Bay and Chicago always seem to be close. Since it’ one of the oldest rivalries in the NFL, both teams will undoubtedly be ready to give it their all and play for their crests.

This Bears’ team is not going to come into Lambeau Field and win, but, in reality these two teams are not that far apart in level of play, so expect this game to be close. Rodgers has to get his team on track and he knows, why not against the Bears terrible defense when he has a chance to catch them at home?

Prediction: Green Bay 17, Chicago 10