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2018 Handicapping Chat Week 1: CHI at GB (-7.5)
RC: Well, the momentum here has taken the Bears from +9.0 to start the calendar year and then to +8.0...and now the Mack trade has it to -7.5. Some of us got +9.0, some got +8.0 this summer. Now that it is -7.5, and likely heading to -7.0 -- how confident would you be better the Bears at the reduced line? Who among us is the "I'm taking Green Bay" person all year despite our uber-enthusiasm for the Bears. Never betting against Aaron Rodgers is a strong reason to sit on the sidelines for this game. Where does everyone stand and why?
Katz: I feel like you've sold us all on Mitch Trubisky and the Bears being this years Rams. You've also succeeded in convincing me the Bears have a shot to win this game, so I'm clearly taking the points here. But let's not pretend to be surprised when we look down in the third quarter Sunday night and Aaron Rodgers has 200 yards and three touchdowns already in a 24-7 game.
Rabbitt: I locked in at 8. This was going to be my bet of the week, but as Katz said, Aaron Rodgers is the scary factor. I'm in at anything above 7. If this line dips to 7, I get really nervous.
Skol: RC, I feel what you are saying. Losing line value always causes me to hesitate and I don’t like the attention (IE. Bears money). Nobody should get a 7 here...if anyone wants in, grab the 7.5 right now. If I didn’t have 8 (and 8.5), I would take the 7.5 but the fear would be real if we kick off at 7 with juice or 6.5.
Katz, I don’t think this team is last year’s Rams. No way the Bears earn a home playoff game then totally no show...I think they these guys are the ‘99 Rams!
I didn’t spend the past 4 months traveling the eastern seaboard to place bets on the Bears to turn back now! The Packers are clearly a good team but they do have questions at WR and RB. What would the line be if the Packers had Jordy and a RB we like? I like Pettine as a D coordinator but it is his first game...they have some talent but they aren’t the ‘85 Bears. Not saying any of those things will be bad but there is uncertainty.
The only way to beat an all time great like Rodgers is pressure and that is on the table here. If the things the Bears offense has been hiding all pre-season are good then we’re in good shape. And if RCs fears are realized and Cohen isn’t a big part of the offense, I would be heartbroken, but he could still change the game on special teams. A chance to win outright and a real shot for a back door cover...
In terms of all of the futures bets I still think this game a free roll. Barring major injuries I wouldn’t want to play this defense after the week 5 bye.
Savage: Hard for me to analyze this game. I feel like I win either way. I'm high on the Bears like the rest of the group. They're well represented on my fantasy teams and my future bets. I'm also optimistic about the Packers, and I'm not sure how much of that is logic and how much is blind fanaticism. This is a "when in doubt, take the points" type of game for me right now.
RC: Take away the QB position for a moment, and I'd argue the Bears have a definitive advantage on defense and O-Line...two huge factors. They have the special teams edge. Coaching edge. RB-WR-TE edge in weapons. Consider GB might go with limited-but-solid Jamaal Williams (not a breakaway guy), the not-an-NFL-starter WR Geronimo Allison as the #3 WR. Slowed Jimmy Graham. The Packers have mostly below-average 'playmakers' outside of Adams. Some OK football players, but no one that can change a game in a play. The Bears have Cohen-Gabriel, Allen Robinson...Burton more explosive than Graham. Jordan Howard is one of the best RBs in the game. Weapons all over. Nice O-Line. An upside defense with a nice D-Coordinator. Everything is in Chicago's favor but QB and 'home field'...and those are sweet advantages
If this gets into a shootout, I think the Bears have more weapons and the defense more likely to make a stop when needed. At minimum, this game is close -- but a TD+ in point spread for CHI; I love it.
Rabbitt: I agree with everything RC just said. However, the Rogers can make that disappear in an instant. He has been dragging bad teams to 10+ wins for most of his career in my opinion. I am on board with the bears, and I am betting this game- already laid money down at +8, however just like Katz said... rogers can just ruin this bet for us.
Katz: My confidence level is I took the Bears in my pick em pool, but I'm not putting actual money on them.
Skol: Well, we certainly can lose this bet. We will lose a bunch of picks this season! That being typed, I feel like we are above 55% here and if we stack enough of those games we’ll have a good season. Rodgers is great but not unbeatable...he came back in a must win last year and the Packers didn’t win. We don’t know if the Packers have a running game and we’re pretty sure the Bears are going to be able to get a pass rush. We also have the possibility that the Bears can score and keep up with A Rod. Special Teams advantage is on our side. Even in the worst case scenario the Bears will be trying to score late to build confidence in the new offense. In the best case scenario, I’m ordering an Orange Trubisky jersey to wear the rest of the season.