One of the NFL’s oldest and greatest rivalries is renewed on Sunday Night Football in Week 12 with the Chicago Bears (5-5) visiting the Green Bay Packers (7-3) at Lambeau Field for the 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff. The Packers come into the week still safely atop the NFC North after a 34-31 overtime loss on the road against the Indianapolis Colts last week. The Bears had their bye in Week 11; they hope to snap a four-game losing skid on the heels of a 5-1 start to the season. Below, we make our picks for the moneyline, spread and over/under for the first of two 2020 meetings between the Packers and Bears.
The Bears’ last three losses were all played within a single score; their Week 8 home game against the New Orleans Saints went to overtime. The offense has been held to 20 or fewer points six times this season. Green Bay saw a 28-14 halftime lead slip away against QB Philip Rivers and the Colts last week, as they were held to just a field goal in the second half. WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling‘s fumble on the first possession of overtime set up Colts PK Rodrigo Blankenship‘s game-winning 39-yard field goal.
Advice on each of our three bet types is offered below as a “pick” or a “lean”. Leans can hinge on injury developments or anticipation of the odds and lines moving in a certain direction. Picks are high-confidence plays to be made at the listed odds. We’ll also suggest a top prop bet for Sunday Night Football.
Bears at Packers odds
Bears at Packers picks: Moneyline
The Packers are prohibitive betting favorites with the least profitable moneyline odds of Week 12. Their odds of an outright win represent an implied win probability of 80% or higher, but one would need to risk four times their potential return. The Bears offer better than a 3-1 return on investment as the biggest underdogs of the week.
Green Bay ranks third in the NFL with 30.8 points scored per game. It’s outscoring the opposition by an average of 5.0 points per game. Chicago is second-to-last in the league with 19.1 PPG ranking ahead of only the winless New York Jets. Its 20.9 points allowed per game ranks sixth as it’s outscored by 1.8 PPG.
Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky will likely draw the Week 12 start over an injured Nick Foles (hip). He had completed just 59.3% of his passes for 560 yards with six touchdowns and three picks before being replaced mid-way through Week 3. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has topped 300 yards passing in three straight games and has 29 TDs against four interceptions on the year. He’s protected by an offensive line ranked first in ESPN’s Team Pass Block Win Rate. RB Aaron Jones has 795 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns with the O-line also ranked second in Run Block Win Rate.
The Packers can come in well below their season scoring average and still outscore the lowly Bears offense. They win this game but the moneyline price isn’t worth the risk as a standalone play. Put the Packers in a parlay, or PASS and turn to the spread.
The pick: PASS
Bears at Packers picks: Against the spread
The Packers are laying 8.5 points as home favorites at Lambeau. It’s the largest spread of Week 12, the Packers’ second-largest spread of the season, and the largest spread the Bears have faced in 2020. Green Bay is 6-4 ATS and Chicago is 5-5 ATS; both teams cover by an average of 1.4 PPG.
While the Packers boast far more offensive talent than the Bears with Rodgers, Jones, and WR Davante Adams all having Pro Bowl campaigns, Chicago will be able to keep this an ugly, low-scoring game with defense. The Bears have Football Outsiders’ fourth-ranked defense by total DVOA. They also rank eighth in the NFL with opponents averaging just 5.2 yards per play.
The bye week and the return of RB David Montgomery should also help prop up the Bears offense. Green Bay’s defense is just 18th by DVOA and 19th by yards allowed per play.
Additionally, let’s learn from last week’s Sunday night game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders in which the Raiders nearly pulled the upset as 8-point underdogs. Expect another hard-fought divisional game in primetime and take the Bears (+8.5) to cover.
The pick: Bears (+8.5 or better)
Bears at Packers picks: Over/Under (total)
The SNF Over/Under of 45 points is one of the lowest projected totals of Week 12. Factoring in the 8.5-point spread, the suggested final score is 27-18 in favor of the Packers.
The Packers are 6-4 against the O/U and have scored at least 30 points six of their seven wins. The Bears, 3-7 against the O/U, have been held to fewer than 20 points in three of their last four games, and they’ve allowed a high of 26 points this season (twice).
Last year’s two head-to-head contests also saw 13 and 34 total points scored with the Packers winning by seven and eight points, respectively. Take the UNDER (45) as the best play on this game. Even if the Packers cover the spread, that’ll be because of the Bears’ offensive struggles more than anything else.
The pick: UNDER (45 or better)
Best SNF prop bet
First to 25 points: Tie (Neither team to reach 25 points) +163
Follow suit of our above picks and trust in the Bears defense with this plus-money prop. The Packers (-125) are the only real threat to score 25 or more points but the Bears will make life difficult. The Sunday night temperatures at Lambeau Field are expected to hover around freezing, as well.
A companion play could be the Under on the alternate point line of 40 (+165). It’s a number the Bears have failed to top in six of their last seven games.