Against the Spread Pick
The start of the 2019 NFL season is finally here, as the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football. The Bears are a modest favorite here but for a few reasons, I think the Packers will end up pulling off the upset. The Bears’ defense was the best in the league last year, but they lost several key pieces. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, the architect of the defense, left to take the head coaching job in Denver. Then starting cornerback Bryce Callahan and starting safety Adrian Amos both left in free agency. Aaron Rodgers became passive last year as his relationship with Mike McCarthy decayed, but he should be rejuvenated now in his first year in new coach Matt LaFleur’s system. Rodgers has a massive chip on his shoulder, and you don’t want to bet against him when he’s motivated. The Packers beat the Bears in Week 1 last year, and they’ll do it again this season. Take the Packers on the spread but consider some money line as well.
Over Under Pick
I also like the under a lot here. The Packers made upgrading the defense a priority this offseason, and they made some nice additions. In free agency, they added pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith, as well as Amos. They then used their first-round pick on linebacker Rashan Gary, who should contribute right away. The Bears lost some pieces on defense, but the unit will still be very good overall and they still have Khalil Mack. I’m not sold on Mitchell Trubisky and this Chicago offense, and this should be a hard-fought low scoring game between two bitter rivals.