Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
8:25 PM EST. The Bears bounced back in a big way after an embarrassing loss in Tampa with a 23-17 overtime win over the Steelers just four days ago. A "W" over one of the NFL's premier franchises holds a lot of weight in the market and as a result, we've seen a complete 180 in the media coverage and perception of this Bears’ team after the same media saw them as an easy target in Week 3. We call that a “zig-zag” and it's a situation to be mindful of. In a week to week league like the NFL, it's easy to overreact to just one game, especially this early in the year when the market trusts they have a good read on all teams. We say to never trust the erratic markets.
The Bears were predicted to be near the bottom of the NFC standings but have had quality performances against top teams like Atlanta and Pittsburgh but those efforts came in the friendly confines of Soldier Field. The Bears lost their only road game, 29-7 in Tampa. The Bears offense is one-dimensional, as they rely completely on the run game. The NFL Network spent more time this week trying to come up with a cute nickname for the running duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen than they did breaking down the X's and O's. QB Mike Glennon was so limited against the Steelers that he completed just one pass to a wide receiver while throwing two interceptions. In the NFL, teams’ pass the ball to get a lead and then run the ball to keep it. While the Bears have found success in their new found ground game, it's not a recipe for the long term. The strength of the Bears going back to their heyday of the 80s has been the defense but they've been declawed over the years. So far in 2017, this unit has just seven sacks with no interceptions through three games. Give Aaron Rodgers time and he’ll destroy the opposition.
As one of the bigger favorites of the day, the Packers needed a last-minute touchdown drive just to force overtime in a win over the lowly Bengals. Aaron Rodgers was on the run for most of the game, as the Packers were without starting left tackle David Bakhtiari to begin the game and then lost right tackle Bryan Bulaga for the final 23 plays. Three of the Packers primary backups on the offensive line are already on the IR and both Bakhtiari and Bulaga are doubtful tonight. With this Thursday night game coming on a short week, much has been made about Green Bay's injury situation and its ability or lack thereof to protect Aaron Rodgers. The argument you are going to hear from Chicago backers is that the Packers are too banged up to be spotting this many points to the Bears. They couldn’t cover this same number against Cinci just four days ago so surely, the Bears should also cover easily. Throw in the rivalry angle and Chicago’s appeal gets stronger.
Rarely will you see us mentioning injuries. We’ll let Jim Feist and other greasy tout services use injuries to sell a team. Trust us when we tell you that the oddsmakers know about every single injury and more. The injuries are factored into the line so they become completely irrelevant unless there is an overreaction to it, which increases the value of the team with the injuries. All we’re hearing is how Green Bay is so banged up, which in turn causes said overreaction. Truth be told, this is Mike Glennon, who throws a football like he’s starting a baseball game (with a big wind-up) on the road against Aaron Rodgers. On a short week, we doubt the Bears are going to run the ball more than Rodgers is going to pass it. Thus, expect the Bears to be playing catch-up here like they were in Tampa, which resulted in five Chicago turnovers. Chicago chasing a game on the road wasn’t a pretty sight in Tampa and it likely won’t be a pretty sight here either.
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GREEN BAY -7 +103 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.06)