The eternal rivalry of the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers — the most-played matchup in NFL history — has tilted heavily toward the Packers over the past generation in large part due to the continuity and consistency at quarterback with Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.
Bears rookie counterpart Justin Fields gets his first chance to begin reversing that trend Sunday in Chicago, where the NFC North enemies meet with the division lead on the line.
Since Chicago (3-2) posted a 30-10 victory in 1992 when Favre made his debut in the rivalry, Green Bay (4-1) has gone 44-14, which includes the Packers winning 21-14 in the 2011 NFC title game in Chicago. Rodgers has had his share — and then some — of success versus Chicago, compiling a 21-5 lifetime record while throwing 55 touchdown passes.
He powered Green Bay to a sweep of last year’s series with eight scoring tosses — four in each game — as the Packers outscored the Bears 76-41. Rodgers is 10-3 lifetime in Chicago when including the conference title victory, and he has thrown three or more TD passes five times at Soldier Field.
Fields, meanwhile, does not have three total touchdowns to his name yet. Bears coach Matt Nagy finally went all in with the 10th overall pick to be his starting QB last week. Fields was effective in last Sunday’s 20-9 victory at Las Vegas, throwing for 120 yards and his first pro touchdown, while rookie and fourth-string running back Khalil Herbert added 75 rushing yards.
Herbert likely will start this week behind Fields in the backfield, as Tarik Cohen and David Montgomery both have long-term injuries and Damien Williams was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list Thursday, putting his availability in doubt.
Given the long-standing rivalry between the teams, Illinois sportsbooks have plenty of offerings. Expect plenty of late adds as player availability becomes more defined. As always, there is value to be found if you look deep enough.
The main plays and numbers
.@Darnell_M1 put up career-highs last time we played the Packers. Can he do it again this year?
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 15, 2021
Money has been coming in on the Packers throughout the week as the line opened with Green Bay as a 4.5-point road favorite following its 25-22 overtime victory at Cincinnati last Sunday. By Friday afternoon, the six mobile operators in Illinois had shifted to Chicago +5.5 or +6 with varying values.
DraftKings, BetRivers, and Barstool Sportsbook were all on the lower number, with DraftKings offering -105 for the Bears and the Kambi platform powering the latter two listing them at -108. Caesars and FanDuel had Chicago +6 at -110, with PointsBet lurking at -115.
The moneyline has a narrow range for Bears backers, with only Caesars willing to reach +200, though FanDuel (+198) and BetRivers and Barstool (both +195) are not far off.
FanDuel has strayed from the pack for the over/under by offering a -114 split at 44.5 points. Everyone else is at 44 points, with Caesars -110 the top value for the over. The -105 split to the under by DraftKings and PointsBet is best there.
Chicago’s over/under team total is 19.5 points everywhere but PointsBet, which has opted for 20.5 with a drastic +105/-136 split. On the lower number, DraftKings has the best value for the over at -110, while those preferring the under can get that number at -102 at FanDuel.
Prop plays not plentiful… yet
Justin Fields' first career passing TD 👏
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 10, 2021
The uncertainty at running back for the Bears has created a ripple effect of limiting current yardage over/under plays at that position and for receivers. FanDuel had -114 offerings of 53.5 yards for Allen Robinson and 45.5 yards for Darnell Mooney, but little was on the board beyond that Friday afternoon.
There was a wide band of yardage offerings for Fields, who could be grabbed as low as 197.5 yards at Caesars (-115) and up to 206.5 yards at FanDuel (-114). For those who think the rookie signal-caller can have his first two-TD passing game, PointsBet had the best 1.5 TDs over/under at +210, followed by DraftKings and Caesars both offering +195.
There were also some wide discrepancies for anytime touchdown scorers on the Bears. DraftKings had Herbert at +125, in contrast to FanDuel offering -115. Fields’ mobility and scrambling ability makes him an intriguing possibility, with Caesars (+410) and FanDuel (+350) notably above the field.
Bears tight end Cole Kmet ranges from +350 at FanDuel to +310 at DraftKings and PointsBet to score a touchdown, while Robinson is more valued by FanDuel’s trading platform (+175) than DraftKings (+210) and PointsBet (+200).
The hook will cost you in the first half
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 14, 2021
Caesars and PointsBet dared Bears backers to put their money where their allegiances are, offering a flat +3 first-half spread at +100 and -105, respectively. Everyone else added the high-side hook for Bears +3.5, with FanDuel and DraftKings both at -115 and the Kambi duo at -125.
The three-way moneyline on FanDuel (+185) provides the highest return for a Bears lead at halftime, while DraftKings, Caesars, and PointsBet all offered +170 on the standard play.
FanDuel took the high ground for the first-half over/under at 23 points with a +100/-120 split, with everyone else at 22.5. BetRivers and Barstool offer -104 for the best value on the over at that number, while DraftKings is trying to woo under players at -105.
One area of consensus on a number is the Bears’ team total of 9.5 points for the first two quarters, with the over -115 across the board. FanDuel is offering -105 to try and entice under players.