Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears: Odds and Predictions (NFL Week 1)

John Breech of CBS Sports takes the under and predicts it Packers 20, Bears 17. My prediction is, take the under, final score Bears 24, Packers 20.

How to watch

What: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

When: September 5, 2019, at 8:20 p.m. ET

Where: Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.

How (TV): NBC

To commemorate the 100th season since the NFL got started, the league has scheduled an opening Thursday Night Football matchup between two of its greatest rivals, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, both of the Black and Blue NFC North.

This will be the 199th time these two franchises have met, but now the Packers have a new head coach for the first time in over a decade and the Bears have lost their defensive guru to the higher call of head coaching in Denver.

Let’s take a quick look at each of these teams now ready for the 2019 season.

The Green Bay Packers

After (almost) thirteen seasons under head coach Mike McCarthy, general manager Brian Gutekunst finally decided to go another way and hired the hot young hand of Matt LaFleur, hoping his experience coordinating the offenses of the Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams will earn him the respect of 14-year veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers is healthy again but without receiver Randall Cobb, so he will have to depend even more on Davante Adams, who has gradually become one of the league’s premier receivers.

With an upgraded defense and a soft-handed tight end named Jimmy Graham now on board, this Packers team looks good enough to win this game against their hated Windy City rival.

The Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears went 12-4 last season and won the NFC North because teams found it tough to make first downs, let alone score, against their 3rd ranked defense led by quarterback hunting linebackers Khalil Mack and rookie Roquan Smith.

The Bears’ talented young quarterback Mitch Trubisky is in his third NFL season, so it’s about time for him to begin putting up better numbers on his side of the ball and help his team win some of those close ones, with all of the team’s losses last season by one score or less.

Chicago is at home for this one so they have that advantage, but they are without defensive guru Vic Fangio now, so now it will be up to new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano to keep that side of the ball just as fearsome.

What’s at stake?

These two teams have met 198 times (including 2 postseason games), with Chicago winning 95 of those games and Green Bay winning 97 games.

The two teams split their games last season but the Packers have won 8 of the last 10 meetings between these two teams.

If the Packers win this matchup, they’ll start the season 1-0-0 and begin in the first place of the NFC North with a one-game divisional advantage over the Bears.

But if the Bears come out winners, they’ll be the team on top of that division with a 1-0-0 record, which would put their main rivals, the Packers, at a major disadvantage.

Questions to answer

Who’s favored to win this Week 1 Packers-Bears matchup?

Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?

Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?

We’re going to compare the Packers and the Bears next and attempt to answer those questions and more.

Offensive stats comparison

Green Bay Packers overall offense

  • Ranked 12th overall in 2018
  • Ranked TBD overall in 2019

Passing attack: Aaron Rodgers was ranked the sixth most productive quarterback last season after going 272-of-597 for 4,442 yards and 25 touchdowns with a league-leading 2 interceptions.

The Packers passing offense was ranked 9th in 2018 after posting an average of 264.89 yards through the air and scoring 23.5 points per game.

The Green Bay offensive line allowed Rodgers to be sacked 53 times, tied for third-most in the league.

Rushing attack: The Packers have a young running back in Aaron Jones, who last year in his second NFL season rushed 133 times for 728 yards and 8 touchdowns while catching 26 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown.

His backup, Jamaal Williams, is also in his third NFL season, last year running 121 times for 464 total yards and 3 touchdowns while catching 27 passes for 210 yards and no touchdowns.

The Packers also have a fullback on their roster, Dan Vitale.

Green Bay offensive injuries

Listed as questionable for Week 1: wide receiver Darrius Shepherd (unknown), tight ends Jimmy Graham (finger) and Jace Sternberger (ankle).

INJURY NOTE: Wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (ankle) was placed on injured reserve and will miss the entire 2019 season

Chicago Bears overall offense

  • Ranked 21st overall in 2018
  • Ranked TBD overall in 2019

Passing attack: Despite their offense being having been ranked in the bottom half of the league, the Chicago Bears were the ninth-best scorers, putting up 26.3 points on the scoreboard every game, 421 total points for the season.

Trubisky’s output (289 completions for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns with 12 interceptions) put him at 20th best among his peers last season.

Rushing attack: The Bears lost head-cracking running back Jordon Howard, who last season ran the ball 250 times for 935 yards and 9 touchdowns, now suiting up with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Remaining in Chicago’s backfield is dual-threat Tarik Cohen, who last season, his second in the league, posted 1,169 total yards from scrimmage with 8 touchdowns and 7 fumbles.

Chicago offensive injuries

Listed as questionable for Week 1: tight end Trey Burton (groin).

INJURY NOTE: Tight end Dax Raymond was placed on injured reserve.

Defensive stats comparison

Green Bay Packers overall defense

  • Ranked 18th overall in 2018
  • Ranked TBD overall in 2019

Pass coverage: The Packers were ranked 12th best in the league in pass coverage last season after allowing 234.5 passing yards per game.

Green Bay sacked opponents’ quarterbacks 44 times, tied for 8th most in the league.

Run coverage: The Packers were ranked 22nd in run defense, allowing opponents to run for 119.9 total yards per game.

The defense allowed opponents to score 25 points per game, 400 total points all season, and posted just 7 total interceptions all year, tied for second-least in the league.

Packers defensive players to watch

Linebacker Blake Martinez is a tackling machine, with 144 total tackles last season (second-most in the NFL) along with 7.0 sacks, 2 interceptions, 10 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries.

Linebacker Kyler Fackrell led the team in sacks with 10.5 of them and cornerback Jaire Alexander had one of the team’s seven total interceptions last year.

The big fun will be watching newly signed outside linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, who had 12.5 sacks between them for different teams last season.

Packers defensive injuries

Listed as questionable for Week 17: currently, no Packers players are listed as injured.

Chicago Bears overall defense

  • Ranked 3rd overall in 2018
  • Ranked TBD overall in 2019

Pass coverage: The Bears were ranked 7th best in the league in pass coverage last season after allowing 219.7 passing yards per game.

Chicago sacked opponents’ quarterbacks 50 times, tied for 3rd most in the league.

Run coverage: The Bears were first overall in run defense in 2018, allowing opponents to run for just 80.0 total yards per game.

Their defense allowed opponents to score 17.7 points per game, 283 total points all season and posted 27 total interceptions all season, most in the league.

Bears defensive players to watch

In his first year with the Bears, linebacker Khalil Mack posted 12.5 sacks, 47 tackles, 5 passes defended, an interception, 6 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries, his destruction will continue.

Rookie inside linebacker Roquan Smith stepped up last season and will continue to produce, with 121 tackles, 5.0 sacks, and an interception and 6 passes defended in 2018.

Cornerback Kyle Fuller led the league in interceptions last season and free safety Eddie Jackson was close behind with 6.

Bears defensive injuries

Listed as questionable for Week 1: outside linebacker Brian Orakpo (elbow).

INJURY NOTE: Defensive end Jurrell Casey (knee-MCL) was placed on injured reserve Monday.

Special teams stats comparison

Punters

Green Bay’s punter, J.K. Scott, is in his second NFL season, and last year he punted 71 times for a net average of 38.8 yards per punt, T-27th best in the league.

Chicago’s punter, Pat O’Donnell, has been with the Bears since the 2014 season, and last year he punted 62 times for a net average of 39.7 yards per punt, T-17th best in the NFL.

Placekickers

Green Bay’s veteran placekicker Mason Crosby is a Super Bowl Champion and led the league in scoring in 2007.

Crosby was 30-for-37 last season, his longest a 53-yarder, and he missed two extra-point attempts (34/36).

Chicago’s placekicker, Eddie Pineiro, was acquired during the offseason through a trade with the Oakland Raiders.

Last season, Pineiro, a former Florida Gator, was placed on injured reserve at the beginning of September and didn’t kick in games at all.

Punt returners

Green Bay’s punt returner, wide receiver Trevor Davis, was ranked T-16th in punt return average last season.

Davis returned 4 punts for 44 yards and no touchdowns, averaging 11.0 yards per return, his longest for 15 yards.

Chicago’s punt returner, running back Tarik Cohen, is ranked 11th in the league in return average.

Cohen has returned 33 punts for 411 yards, averaging 12.5 yards per return, his longest for 44 yards.

Final game analysis: Packers vs Bears

Why will the Packers win this game?

When the Green Bay Packers (particularly Aaron Rodgers) are healthy, and they are (finally), they can beat any team in the NFL, and given that in their last twenty matchups with the Chicago Bears they are 16-4, you can include them in the mix, as well.

Having a new (and younger) head coach has sparked some life into this franchise, and getting an upgraded Smith-enhanced defense during the offseason (see outside linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith) doesn’t hurt, either, especially against a young quarterback like Trubisky.

Expect this team to finally reach its potential in 2019, starting with a Week 1 win over their biggest divisional threat, the Bears.

Why will the Bears win this game?

As good as the Packers’ offense can be, the Chicago Bears defense is even better and they will shut down the rusty Green Bay unit regardless of who their coordinator is right now.

The Trubisky led offense keeps getting better every year he’s played, so there’s no reason to think that they won’t take another step forward in 2019, beginning against a Packers’ defense that will be distracted working in all those new players.

The Chicago Bears are at home, at Soldier Field in front of their football starved fans, and that 12th man will be what gives this team the final edge over their NFC North rivals.

Current odds listed for Week 1: Packers vs Bears

If you live in New Jersey and want to bet on futures in the NFL you can do so on FoxBet and 888sport.

Check out the latest odds here.

Good Luck!

Money Line

SportsbookPackersBearsLink
888Sport NJ+148-182
FoxBet NJ+135-162

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

Point Spread

SportsbookPackersBearsLink
888Sport NJ+3

+102

-3

-122

FoxBet NJ+3.5

-118

-3.5

+100

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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