The NFL is celebrating its 100th anniversary this season and so are the Chicago Bears. Thus, the league changed its usual Kickoff Game parameters by having Chicago host it on Thursday night instead of the reigning Super Bowl champion. The Bears host their bitter rivals, the Green Bay Packers, in what is the NFL’s oldest rivalry. Chicago is favored on the Wannamakeabet.com website.
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Packers – Bears NFL week 1 Prediction & more
The teams split, each winning at home. The game in Chicago ended 24-17 in favor of the Bears in Week 15 as they clinched the NFC North title with the victory. Mitchell Trubisky threw for two touchdowns, and Eddie Jackson ended Aaron Rodgers’ NFL-record streak without an interception. Rodgers had thrown 402 passes without a pick. Mason Crosby kicked a field goal in the closing seconds to make it a seven-point game. But Chicago recovered the onside kick. Khalil Mack had 2 1/2 sacks and Leonard Floyd added two.
It is the third time in five years that the Packers have opened the season against the Bears (at Chicago in 2015, vs. Chicago in 2018). It marks the 14th consecutive regular season that the Packers and Bears have squared off in primetime. It’s also the third time in the last nine seasons (2011 and 2014) that Green Bay will play in the NFL’s Thursday night regular-season opener.
- Partly Cloudy: 17°C/62°F
- Humidity: 74%
- Precipitation: 20%
- Cloud Cover: 35%
- Wind: 6 mph SSE
- Stadium Type: Open
Why Bet on Green Bay?
Including a 2010 playoff victory at Chicago, Green Bay has won 20 of the last 25 meetings between the rivals at Soldier Field. Six of the last seven games between the two at Soldier Field have been decided by single digits.
The Packers made a trade on Monday in acquiring linebacker B.J. Goodson from the Giants. The Giants had planned to waive Goodson but instead found a willing trade partner in Green Bay. He gives the Packers some much-needed linebacker depth in the absence of Orem Burks, who is still recovering from a torn pectoral muscle he suffered earlier this summer.
The Pack have also placed receiver WR Equanimeous St. Brown (ankle) on injured reserve, ending his season. St. Brown was injured in the Packers’ third preseason game, suffering a high-ankle sprain. In a bit of a surprise, the team waived quarterback DeShone Kizer and has chosen to go with untested Tim Boyle behind Aaron Rodgers. Boyle did have a very good 112.9 passer rating this preseason.
Will the team have cornerback Kevin King in the lineup for the opener? He did practice Monday so that’s a good sign. “We’re optimistic that [King will] be able to handle some of the workload, but I doubt it would be – for any player that’s had that period of inactivity – I doubt it will be a full game,” Packers DC Mike Pettine said. King was sidelined for a month of training camp with a hamstring injury.
This will be the head coaching debut of Green Bay’s Matt LaFleur.
Team Stats (Last 10 Games)
- Score: 29.20
- Rush Yards: 123.50
- Pass Attempts: 34.40
- Completion Percentage: 65.41
- Passing Yards: 241.30
- Total Yards: 364.8
- Turnovers: 0.70
Why Bet on Chicago?
A Chicago defense that led the league in takeaways in 2018 and scored six touchdowns, while also ranking first in the league in points allowed, first against the run, and third in total yards, lost coordinator Vic Fangio to the head coaching job in Denver. Chuck Pagano has taken over.
Not clear if top tight end Trey Burton will play Thursday after missing all of the preseason. Bears GM Ryan Pace said Burton is day-to-day. Burton’s “mild groin strain” is reportedly unrelated to the offseason sports hernia surgery that’s kept him sidelined since the first week of training camp. It’s also the second groin strain he’s suffered since January, the first being what led to offseason surgery. Fellow injury-prone teammate Adam Shaheen, Ben Braunecker and Bradley Sowell will share the load at the position if Burton is in fact ruled out.
Arguably the biggest job up for grabs on the Bears was at kicker with Eddy Pineiro winning the job. There was some thought the Bears might have interest in Vikings castoff Kaare Vedvik, but instead the Jets snatched him off waivers, cementing Pineiro as the Week 1 starter. “He deserves it,” said Nagy of Pineiro, who converted eight of his nine field goal attempts during the preseason. “He earned every right to be our kicker.”
Pineiro made 29 of his final 30 field-goal attempts—including his last 16—at Florida, and then went 3-for-3 with the Raiders in last summer’s preseason opener before suffering a season-ending groin injury. Of course, Cody Parkey missed a potential game-winning field goal in last year’s playoff game vs. the Eagles.
QB Mitchell Trubisky didn’t throw a single pass in the preseason, so fans will get their first chance to weigh in on the quarterback’s progress Thursday night. Trubisky has tended to perform at his best against Green Bay. In his fifth professional start, Trubisky had one of the best games of his rookie season, completing 21 of 35 passes for 297 yards and a touchdown. He has yet to throw an interception against the Packers.
Team Stats (Last 10 Games)
- Score: 18.50
- Rush Yards: 113.80
- Pass Attempts: 34.20
- Completion Percentage: 60.82
- Passing Yards: 225.30
- Total Yards: 339.1
- Turnovers: 1.90
Packers – Bears NFL week 1 Prediction Betting Trends
- Favorite is 12-5 ATS in their last 17 meetings
- Packers are 1-9 SU in their last 10 games on the road
- Packers are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games against an opponent in the NFC North division
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Green Bay’s last 7 games played in September
- Bears are 4-11 SU in their last 15 games played in September
- Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Chicago’s last 15 games played in week 1
Jack Chambers is a senior NFL analyst for Wannamakeabet.com
Expert Final Score Packers – Bears NFL week 1 Prediction