Fri, Nov 1, 5:01pm by Ed Scimia
Match: Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers
When & where: 12.40pm (AEST) Tuesday, November 5, Lambeau Field, Green Bay
Bet on the game with IASbet.com. New customers receive up to a $100 free bet.
In Week 9, it seems like the NFL may have saved the best for last. The match-up between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers is not only the latest clash in this age-old rivalry, but it could help better define the race in the NFC North division. The Packers are currently in first place at 5-2, but the Bears are just a game back (while the Detroit Lions are also in the mix at 5-3 heading into their bye week). A win from Chicago could leave the division up for grabs, while a Packers home victory would help them start to put some distance between them and the field, and get them one step closer to securing a playoff spot.
The Packers likely would have come into this game as a favourite regardless of the Chicago injury situation, but the loss of starting quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs is only going to make things harder for the Bears. Chicago has always struggled in Green Bay, and has lost six in a row to the Packers heading into their Monday Night Football clash.
There are other signs that look good for the Packers. They’ve won four games in a row after a rocky start, and have won 11 straight home games at Lambeau Field (including playoff victories). They’ve become very difficult to score against at home, and have been particularly efficient in getting out to early leads, holding opponents without a first-half touchdown in their last five home games.
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If the Bears are going to be competitive in this game, they’ll have to do so on the shoulders of backup quarterback Josh McCown. In a sense, the Bears are quite lucky: in an era where few teams have a reliable veteran backup who can provide dependably solid play should a starting quarterback goes down, McCown is one of the best bench QBs in the league. Chicago is certainly capable of winning games with McCown behind centre, and the loss of Cutler doesn’t mean that the Bears are necessarily going to lose much in the standings over the next few weeks. McCown also has plenty of weapons around him to rely upon, including running back Matt Fore and an underrated group of receivers.
But while the Bears offense could be called capable, the Packers feature one of the best attacks in the game. Aaron Rodgers is throwing the ball well, Eddie Lacy has become a premier running back this season, and Jordy Nelson has posted over 100 yards receiving in two of the last three games. The Packers can truly boast a balanced offensive attack this year after relying overwhelmingly on the pass last season.
With all that said, it’s only natural that Green Bay comes into this game as a big favourite. But in this case, I think they may be favoured by a little bit too much. Chicago will have a tough time staying in the game, but they’re likely to score some points – even the Vikings were able to do that against Green Bay last Sunday. Expect a fairly high scoring game, and a Green Bay win – but the Bears will keep it close enough to cover the spread.
Prediction: Green Bay 31, Chicago 23
Picks: Chicago +10.5, Over 49.5 @ IASbet.com
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