Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 3:00 PM
If you were watching the NFL action this past weekend, you probably know that Thanksgiving Night’s NBC battle between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers will be highlighted by a ceremony for Brett Favre. He didn’t leave Green Bay on the best of terms when he decided to finish his career in Minnesota. But, all will be forgotten and forgiven on this emotional evening.
Unfortunately, the current Packers can’t lose their focus on the task at hand! They just ended a three-game losing streak with a big win in Minnesota. But, it’s not like Aaron Rodgers and company were on fire. He was below 50% on his completions again, and the offense as a whole only managed 4.6 yards-per-play. That’s not going to win championships.
A tie with the Vikes at the top of the NFC North may only be temporary if the version of the Packers that just last at home to lowly Detroit struggles again vs. Chicago. Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats say about the grand finale to this year’s Thanksgiving Day and Night pro football feast…
Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
Chicago: 4-6 (#4 ranked schedule according to Sagarin)
Green Bay: 7-3 (#16 ranked schedule according to Sagarin)
Chicago’s probably a .500 caliber team against a league average schedule. Which means they were better than you had been thinking! Bad luck to draw such a tough schedule this deep into the season. Green Bay is a legitimate 7-3…but that’s a step down from what had seemed to be a 14-2 team a few weeks ago. In terms of handicapping this game, clear edge for the Packers.
Chicago: 5.4 on offense, 5.6 on defense
Green Bay: 5.4 on offense, 5.6 on defense
Whoa! Where did the edge go! Green Bay had been dominant in these stats a month ago. But, the losses were bad, and then Minnesota outgained them 5.5 to 4.6 on a per-play basis. Amazing, this is an absolute dead heat….with Chicago managing their numbers against the tougher schedule. It is worth remembering that Rodgers is efficient with his YPP because he finishes drives so well. Also worth remembering…the next category…
Green Bay: +8
Jay Cutler can be very inefficient with yardage because of his turnover tendencies. Aaron Rodgers is much better at throwing the ball away or taking a sack. And, THAT’S why the Packers can be a legitimate 7-3 team and clearly better than the Bears with the same yards-per-play. Cutler self-destructs while Rodgers is much more likely to make something out of nothing.
Chicago: 6-4 ATS (4-6 to the Under)
Green Bay: 6-4 ATS (3-7 to the Under)
Interesting that the market has underrated both teams…while overrating the offenses. That’s a combined 7-13 to the Under on the totals…and backing these teams with Unders would be 25-15 through 40 Las Vegas bets.
Current Line: Green Bay by 8, total of 47.5
Green Bay is once again being priced like a favorite to win the NFC, while Chicago would have been getting more respect if they had found a way to knock off Denver last week. The trick here for handicappers is dealing with the Favre distraction. Will the Bears be fired up because they’re so mad about this being done on their dime? Will Rodgers be fired up to make people forget about Favre? Volatile intangibles could see this game miss the mark by double digits in either direction. Heck…Green Bay just missed their last two games by double digits in each direction! Detroit knocked them off on this field as a big dog…but the Packers bounced back to win in Minnesota 30-13.
Bears/Packers will anchor Day One of NETWORK’S annual TURKEY SHOOT. You can purchase game day selections all through the holiday weekend right here at the website with your credit card. For more details on one of the biggest Las Vegas betting weekends of the calendar year, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours Tuesday or Wednesday. Take care of business now and you’ll be giving thanks for months!
Big game previews continue this weekend in the NOTEBOOK to give you a taste of the full week feast. Here’s what’s ahead…
*College Football TV Preview…#4 Notre Dame at #13 Stanford
*NFL Sunday Night TV Preview…New England at Denver
*NFL Monday Night TV Preview…Baltimore at Cleveland
*NFL Thursday Night TV Preview…Green Bay at Detroit
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