NFL

Sunday Night Football Betting: Will the Bears Cover as Big Underdogs Against the Packers?

The Chicago Bears travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers tonight in an AFC North rivalry game. The Packers are 11.5-point favorites, per FanDuel Sportsbook, and the total is set at 43.0 points.

Our nERD-based rankings show that this could be a bit of a blowout -- the Packers are ranked sixth, and the Bears check in as the sixth-worst team.

Let's dive into some interesting betting angles for this contest.

How Do They Measure Up?

Justin Fields will be under center for Chicago. Using our Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, we can see that this season has been a struggle for the rookie. He has actually posted a negative mark of -0.15 Passing NEP per drop across 198 drop backs, including an ugly four touchdowns against eight interceptions on the campaign. Yikes.

On the other side of the field, seasoned epidemiologist-turned-quarterback Aaron Rodgers will lead the Green Bay attack. Rodgers has been quite outstanding yet again, logging 0.23 Passing NEP per drop back on the year, including a whopping 23 touchdowns against only four interceptions. Rodgers already has passed for 3,051 yards this year.

As for the running games, despite groin and shoulder injuries for David Montgomery, he looks ready to rock for this game. Montgomery has been quite the workhorse back and weapon this year, rocking 133 carries and 20 receptions.

In Green Bay, Aaron Jones was held in check last time out in his first game back from injury, recording only 23 rushing yards on 10 carries. Jones has not topped 100 rushing yards since October 10th against the Cincinnati Bengals, which is the lone time he has hit the century mark in 2021. Coming off a bye, the workload split between he and A.J. Dillon may shift back toward Jones.

Neither defense is all that good, per our metrics. We rank the Packers slightly better at 11th, but the Bears are only 20th.

Bets to Consider

The Packers are heavy 11.5-point favorites, and the total sits at 43.0 points. Where should you have your money for this one, according to our numbers?

We side with the Packers in this contest, but that spread is a spicy meatball. We are projecting Green Bay to pull out this home tilt by a score of 26.13 -18.53. That makes wagering on Chicago to cover a sound bet, and we forecast the Bears to do so 63.41% of the time, rating it as a three-unit bet.

On the total, our model sides with the over, although isn't particularly a heavy lean in either direction. Our algorithm projects the over to win out 53.47% of the time,

One player prop our projections like is the over on Rodgers passing yards, which is set at 251.5 yards (-110). We project him for 269.5 passing yards.

Rodgers leads the ninth-best passing offense, via our per-play metrics, against a middling Chicago pass defense. Jimmy Garoppolo (322 passing yards) and Jared Goff (299) have both sliced and diced the Bears pass D of late, and they are of far lower stature than someone like Rodgers. As long as this game isn't a blowout, limiting the opportunities for Rodgers, this could be a standout opportunity.

Historical Betting Trends

-- The Packers have been a great bet this season. They are a whopping 10-1 against-the-spread (ATS).
-- Chicago hasn't been so strong for bettors. They are only 1-6 ATS over their last seven games.
-- Green Bay has beaten Chicago in 10 of the last 11 meetings between these two squads.