Green Bay @ Chicago
Wager: CHI +5.5
Sizing: 1 unit
Injury news: Full injuries here. The biggest news is the Packers found out LT David Bakhtiari tore his ACL. LT Bakhtiari is one of the best tackles in the league, so it’s a significant loss. They will get back RT Rick Wagner (knee) and S Will Redmond (concussion), who both missed week 16. Wagner is a solid tackle, but Redmond isn’t as big of a deal. Kingsley Keke needs to clear concussion protocol and is unlikely to play. If he can’t go, that will be a slight downgrade to the defensive line.
The Bears will still be without CBs Jaylon Johnson and Buster Skrine, but both aren’t very good.
Spread watching: The line is down to 4. The usual disclaimer about getting your bets in early. This week in particular several of our suggested lines moved toward the model.
Matchup breakdown: The Packers offense is first by both DVOA and EPA/play. Aaron Rodgers has likely already cemented his case as MVP of the league, and DeVante Adams is the best wide receiver in football. Though Bakhtiari is a huge loss, the offensive line is still solid. This offense fucks. The Bears on defense are no slouches themselves, sitting at 7th in DVOA and 9th in EPA/play. The downside to losing Bakhtiari is the Bears have Khalil Mack and can line him up wherever, creating a mismatch. That said, the Bears don’t have anyone who can even come close to covering Adams.
The other side of the ball isn’t nearly as exciting — the Bears are 25th in DVOA and 23rd in EPA/play on offense and the Packers are 15th in DVOA and 12th in EPA/play on defense. Mitch Tribusky has had some decent games since regaining the starting job week 12, but he’s still pretty awful. He’s 37th in PFF passing grades (59.5), completing 65.1% of his passes (right at expectation), and gaining 7.1 yards per attempt. Outside of Allen Robinson, there aren’t too many exciting weapons for the Bears. The Packers have weak corners, with the exception of Jaire Alexander, who is one of the best corners in football. If the Bears want to avoid Robinson vs Alexander, they can line Robinson up in the slot — Alexander has logged 97% of his snaps on the outside this season. In the trenches, I give the advantage to the Packers. The Bears line has weaknesses on the right side where Kenny Clark and Za’Darius Smith should be able to win their matchups.
Enjoy the week 17 chaos!