The Green Bay Packers are in a precarious position. They are competing for playoff positioning against two teams: the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals.
Each of these 3 teams have 3 "should win games" on their schedule and they face one another in the coming weeks. Arizona is one game ahead of Green Bay in the NFC, and Green Bay is tied with Minnesota in the NFC North division.
So, Chicago at Green Bay (-8, 45) is not the game for the Packers to try reverting to the style of play from the early part of this season when they won their first 6 games.
The Packers have to come to terms that they are a team that lost 3 games in a row. This past Sunday's win against the Minnesota Vikings put them back on the right track but they are not fully back. Gone should be, in their memory, the attitude they should win games by 10 points.
If the playoffs were to start today, 5 of the 7 teams the Packers beat would not qualify. The Packers defense gives up too many yards. During the first 6 games, they scored first and were able to control the pace. Most of the teams they beat did not feature high octane offenses, which meant the Packers defense could take risks to force TurnOvers.
In today's game, they face a Chicago Bears team that technically cannot hurt them on offense. The Bears are content to score 23 points and let their defense handle the rest.
The Packers beat the Bears 31 - 23 in this year's earlier matchup. The Bears defense has improved since early in the season. Their focus is to not allow big passing plays, which could be seen as a test for Aaron Rodgers.
Conversely, Green Bay can see this as an opportunity to put the past behind them and be content to mainly rush the ball. This will limit the amount of time their defense is on the field.
The numbers point to a win by Green Bay (.842) but not covering the spread, because the Packers are more comfortable in high scoring games. As such, look for that slim chance of a Bears victory (.158).
I take Bears (OVER) even though I see a Packers victory. Pick wisely, come back for Sunday's picks and until then watch out for the leader of the pack.