Bears vs. Packers Live: odds, predictions: NFL Kickoff game 2019 picks from expert who’s 24-4 on Green Bay games R.J. White has his finger on the pulse of Green Bay football..
The defending Super Bowl champion typically hosts the NFL Kickoff Game on Thursday night. But this year, the 100th season of the league, is also the 100th season of Chicago Bears football. As a result, one of the league’s storied rivalries takes center stage as the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday at 8:20 p.m. ET to officially kick off the 2019 NFL schedule. It’s the 14th year in a row that Packers vs. Bears has taken place in primetime, tied with the Cowboys vs. Giants series as the longest. Aaron Rodgers looks to snap the Packers’ two-year playoff drought, while Mitchell Trubisky hopes to get the Bears back to the postseason after a stellar 12-win campaign in 2018. The latest Packers vs. Bears odds list Chicago as a field goal favorite, down from an open of 3.5, and the over-under is 46.5 points. Before you make any Bears vs. Packers picks or 2019 NFL predictions of your own, you need to hear what SportsLine’s top NFL expert, R.J. White, has to say.
White has been SportsLine’s top pro football analyst for two-plus seasons. Over that span, the CBS Sports NFL editor and nationally-recognized NFL Draft expert has gone 214-164 on NFL picks against the spread, returning more than $3,200 to $100 bettors. And nobody has figured out the Packers like White. He’s hit on 24 of his last 28 picks involving Green Bay, an astonishing 86 percent success rate.
The stats guru, whose picks are coveted by fans everywhere, has cashed huge in the world’s most prestigious handicapping tournament, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest, twice in the past four years, and anyone who has followed his lead has reaped huge rewards.
Now, White has locked in on Packers vs. Bears in the 2019 NFL Kickoff game. He’s only sharing his pick at SportsLine.
White knows that if coach Matt Nagy’s first year in Chicago is any indication of the Bears’ future, it’s looking promising. Last year, the former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator guided the Bears to a 12-4 regular season and their first NFC North title in nearly a decade, earning AP Coach of the Year honors.
Chicago’s defense remained mostly intact. Linebacker Khalil Mack and company ranked No. 1 in points allowed and No. 3 in yards allowed. Chicago went 7-1 at Soldier Field last year, and the home team in the NFL Kickoff Game has won 14 of 17 all-time. The favorite has covered in this rivalry in 12 of the last 17 matchups, and the Bears were also last season’s top covering team at 12-5, a 70 percent success rate.
But just because Chicago should be improved offensively and still strong on defense doesn’t mean it will cover the Bears vs. Packers spread on Thursday night.
White has also considered that while the Packers went 6-9-1 last season and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row before firing head coach Mike McCarthy, the team also has Rodgers, who is 16-5 all-time against Chicago. He’s thrown 45 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions in those games.
The Packers’ defense was the bigger issue last year, ranking 16th against the pass and 22nd against the run. The team responded with an aggressive approach in free agency, adding pass rushers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith and safety Adrian Amos. They used a first-rounder on safety Darnell Savage, who is expected to start as well.
White has broken down the depth charts of both teams. We can tell you he’s leaning under, but he’s also unearthed the critical x-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. You can see what it is, and which team to back, only at SportsLine.