The NFC North title and the right to go to the playoffs will be on the line at Soldier Field on Sunday when the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears close out their regular season campaigns in a do or die Week 17 match-up. The Bears spit the bit on Sunday night in Philadelphia after the both the Lions and Packers handed the division title over to them by losing earlier in the day.
BEARS – PACKERS 2013 WEEK 17 LINE::
OPEN: PACKERS -3 | CURRENT: PACKERS -3 | O/U: 51
1. Why the BEARS will cover the spread: Save for a slim 21-19 loss to the Detroit Lions, Coach Trestman’s squad has come out on the right side of the scoreboard the other three most recent times it took to their home gridiron against the Cowboys, Ravens, and Giants. This squad will no doubt have a bad taste in its mouth after getting clocked last Sunday night in a game many thought the Eagles wouldn’t even get off the bus for with the following week’s match-up with the Cowboys in Big D of utmost importance.
The Packers could be without the services of Clay Matthews once again. His absence would allow Cutler to navigate in the pocket longer to get the pigskin to his bevy of WR talent that should be able to carve up a GBY defense that’s surrendered an average of 416.8 YPG and 33.8 PPG the L/4 weeks.
2. Why the PACKERS will cover the spread: Up until these hated rivals most recent MNF meeting back in Week 9, the Packers had dominated the Bears winning each of the previous six meetings while covering the spread in five of those contests. Bottom line, Green Bay has owned Chicago with Favre and Rodgers at the helm. With Rodgers now officially under center for week 17, the Packers playoff chances just increased dramatically. A 90% healthy Rodgers could carve up the awful Bears secondary.
With rookie RB Eddie Lacy listed as questionable for this one due to re-injuring his ankle against the Steelers, the Packers may have to rely on the pass more than they would like.
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3. Total Talk: The Packers have played to high scorers four of the L/5 weeks and cashed ‘over’ tickets in five of their seven games played away from the frozen tundra. Chicago has played to the ‘over’ in 11 of their 15 games played to date with five of those high scorers occurring at home where it’s scored an average of 26.7 PPG. That said, the ‘under’ is a perfect 6-0 the L/6 times these hated rivals collided at Soldier Field.
4. Betting Trends for Bears/Packers: It’s well known that the Bears possess an awful rush defense. In fact, it’s the absolute worst unit in the league with it surrendering an average of 161.5 YPG at 5.4 YPC (#32). Chicago checks in just 5-12 ATS the L/17 times it returned to the gridiron after conceding 150+ yards on the ground the previous week. But as bad as the Bears have been against the closing number this season (4-10-1 ATS), Green Bay hasn’t been much better (6-9 ATS). It’ll invade this win or go home battle having covered just one of its L/8 games played, and if not for scoring an unbelievable comeback win at Dallas, the Packers would enter their final road game of the regular season having lost and failed to cover each of their L/3 as visitors.
The favorite has covered five of the L/6 in this rivalry, and with the Packers possessing an injury riddled outfit, it’s going to be tough to overcome what will no doubt be a determined Bears team looking to punch its ticket to the second season in front of its rabid fan base.
Chicago 23 – Green Bay 16