|-5.5 GB (-101) @ pinnacle|
8* Take Green Bay (#105)
Aaron Rodgers has played in four NFC Championship Games in his career. All four of them came on the road. Rodgers started talking about getting homefield advantage throughout the playoffs following their Week 14 win: “To have the whole thing come through Green Bay is something we’ve talked about. It was always in play, but it’s definitely in play now.”
The Packers are one win from accomplishing that goal. They’re riding a five game winning streak; each and every win coming by a TD or more during that span. They’re facing a team that they’ve completely dominated of late – the last three meetings since the start of 2019 have all been comfortable Packers wins by a TD or more, and Green Bay has owned Soldier Field – heck; they’re 18-3 SU against the Bears in the last 21 meetings, a streak worth riding here. The Packers are an elite Super Bowl contender with something to prove and something to gain; the type of team I have no hesitation laying points with in Week 17.
Chicago, too, has something to gain – they need a win to make the playoffs. And the Bears, like the Packers, are coming in with some real momentum – three straight victories following an ugly six game skid. Mitch Trubisky has guided the Bears offense to four straight games of 30+ points. But we’ve got to put an asterisk by Chicago’s recent offensive prowess. The four defenses they’ve lit up – Detroit, Houston, Minnesota and Jacksonville are ranked #32, #31, #30 and #27; all truly dismal, bottom tier stop units. Green Bay’s defense is head and shoulders better than any of those four sorry D’s.
And, while Mitch Trubisky is getting accolades for leading the Bears offensive resurgence, if you’ve watched Chicago in recent weeks you already know – Trubisky continues to make unconscionably bad throws every week. Last week in Jacksonville there was a red zone pick into quadruple coverage before halftime that stood out, but it certainly wasn’t the only bad throw and poor decision. Taking a step up in defensive class this week, look for Trubisky to play his way out of Chicago with a poor showing in a ‘must win’ game for a team that has already declined his contract extension. Chalk worthy laying! Take the Packers.