Packers open season as clear betting favorites on Sunday Night Football

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Aaron Rodgers’ ballyhooed return after an injury-shortened season might well be a lesson in being skeptical when a divisional matchup has many extreme trends.

The Green Bay Packers are 7-point betting favorites against the Chicago Bears with a 46.5-point total for Sunday Night Football at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The OddsShark NFL Database has no end of ways to show that it’s been a near-decade of dominance by Green Bay in one of the NFL’s oldest rivalries, as the Packers are 12-3 against the spread in their last 15 games against the Bears, as well as 7-0 straight-up and 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games at Lambeau Field.

The Bears are also 0-9 SU in their last nine divisional games, with an average margin of defeat of 10.11 points.

The proof will be in their play, but the Bears may be on an upswing after going 5-11 SU and 9-6-1 ATS last season. First-year head coach Matt Nagy has put second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky and primary targets such as wide receivers Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel and tight end Trey Burton in a new offensive scheme, and they will be facing a Packers defense that was third-last in the NFL last season in yards allowed per pass.

In the rushing phase, Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen will try to keep the Chicago offense on the field and Rodgers idling on the sideline. Winning outright will be a tall order, but the Bears have been respectable as a big road underdog, going 4-5 ATS in their last nine road games as an underdog of at least 6.5 points, with the total going UNDER in seven of those contests.

The Packers, sixth on the Super Bowl 53 odds at +1100,  finished 7-9 SU and ATS last season after Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone during their sixth game of the season. Rodgers’ credentials as a future Hall of Fame quarterback barely need burnishing, but the big question with the Packers involves whether the supporting cast, such as wide receivers Geronimo Allison, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb and veteran tight end Jimmy Graham, are good enough to give Green Bay a chance at competing in the Super Bowl.

The Bears’ two big additions on defense, linebackers Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith, will be limited on Sunday since neither has had time to get up to speed on Chicago’s schemes. But their collective presence should help the Bears with occasionally slowing down a Packers offense that had pass protection issues in 2017, allowing the fifth-most sacks (51) in the NFL.

The total has gone OVER in seven of the Bears’ last nine games against the Packers, with an average combined score of 50. The total has also gone OVER in six of the Packers’ last seven games in Week 1.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.