|2009 NFL Betting Preview: Bears at Packers Trends, Injuries & Picks|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Sunday, 13 September 2009 09:00|
GB-CHI Free Pick
Green Bay, WI – In one of the most anticipated matchups on the Week 1 schedule, the Chicago Bears will travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers in an NFC North Divisional clash.
The Bears re-tooled their offense this offseason by acquiring quarterback Jay Cutler from the Denver Broncos and also signing offensive linemen Orlando Pace, Frank Omiyale and Kevin Shaffer. Chicago hopes that these changes will lift the team back into the Super Bowl, especially now that it finally has a franchise quarterback.
The Packers also re-tooled themselves, but with all of their changes coming on the defensive side of the ball. Green Bay hired proven defensive coordinator Dom Capers to install his 3-4 defense and also drafted players like B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews to fit into is scheme.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Packers 4-point home favorites over the Bears on Sunday Night Football. The over/under for this game has been established at 46.
The last time these two teams met was in December of last year when the Bears knocked off the Packers 20-17 in Chicago, but failed to cover the 4-point spread. In November of last season, Green Bay rocked Chicago 37-3 at Lambeau Field, easily covering the 3.5-point spread.
The key factor in this game is that the Bears are banged up in their secondary. Cornerback Charles Tillman missed all of preseason with a back injury and is questionable to play. He’s their best cover man and if he can’t go, the suspect Nathan Vasher will probably start in his place. Chicago might also start a rookie at strong safety tonight in Al Afalava, who was selected in the sixth round of April’s draft.
Aaron Rodgers should be able to pick Chicago’s secondary apart. Greg Jennings and Donald Driver should be able to work down the field and now that running back Ryan Grant is healthy again, the Packers might be able to use him out of the backfield, too.
We know everyone is high on Jay Cutler, but the Packers’ new defense fits them like a glove and should be able to fluster Cutler on the road. Take Green Bay and the over in this matchup.
Our NFL Week 1 Free Picks for this matchup are: GREEN BAY PACKERS -4 and OVER 46.
Chicago Bears +4 Over 46 Moneyline +175
Green Bay Packers –4 Under 46 Moneyline -210
Chicago is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games on the road
Devin Aromashodu, WR, Questionable Week 1 (quadricep)
Charles Tillman, CB, Questionable Week 1 (back)
Israel Idonije, DT, Probable Week 1 (hamstring)
Green Bay Packers
Brandon Jackson,RB, Doubtful Week 1 (ankle)
Will Blackmon, CB, Questionable Week 1 (quadricep)
B.J. Raji, DT, Questionable Week 1 (ankle)
Matt Flynn, QB, Probable Week 1 (right shoulder)
Aaron Rouse, S, Probable Week 1 (hamstring)
Posted: 9/13/09 4:00PM ET