Green Bay Packers (0-0) at Chicago Bears (0-0)
This line is way too high at a touchdown and yet the public money keeps coming in on the Packers. I love fading the public whenever it makes sense and it definitely does here. The Bears are better than people think (more on that later) and the Packers have not been the same on the road in recent years. While they are 25-20, outscoring opponents by an average of 1.13 points per game, at home, they are 37-7 on the road, outscoring opponents by an average of just 12.13 points per game. Even using the standard 3 points for home field advantage, the Packers should be 13 point home favorites over the Packers according to this line. The Packers could very well cover a 13 point line at home over the Bears because of how good they are at home, but I wouldn’t bet it and I’m certainly not betting them as 7 point road favorites when the public is all over them.
In fact, I’m going the opposite way for a decent sized play. Jay Cutler should bounce back from the worst season of his career, the additions Eddie Royal will help make up for the loss of Brandon Marshall, while the addition of Pernell McPhee more than makes up for the loss of Stephen Paea and Tim Jennings defensively. They also should have significantly fewer injuries than they did in 2014, when they were one of the most injury prone teams in the NFL. Importantly, guys like Matt Slauson and LaMarr Houston will be back, after missing large chunks of last season. Neither one has a history of injuries so both should bounce back to their original form, which is consistently above average. I don’t have them as a playoff team or anything, but they were better than their 5-11 record last season (24th in rate of moving the chains differential) and I think they’re better this season than last season. 7 or 8 wins certainly wouldn’t be surprising from them this season and they should be able to keep it close here against a Green Bay team that is vulnerable on the road.
Green Bay Packers 31 Chicago Bears 27
Pick against the spread: Chicago +7