This is it. The final week of the regular season. The Chicago Bears are walking into Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers have a win-and-in scenario. The oddsmakers over at DraftKings have the line opening with the Packers favored by 3 points.
After back-to-back-to-back career performances handed over to subpar quarterbacks, two of which garnered NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, Joe Barry’s defense finally managed to meet expectations against the Minnesota Vikings. Rookie Jaren Hall was given the nod to start over career journeymen Joshua “Passtronaut” Dobbs and Nick “Couldn’t Beat Matt Barkley For A Roster Spot” Mullens. At the end of the first half, Hall was 5 for 10 with an interception and a fumble lost. Mullens took over and performed quite a bit better; however, 13 for 22 and a single touchdown were not enough to dig the Vikings out of Hall’s Hole.
The Packers’ week 18 opponent just beat the brakes off the Atlanta Falcons. The Bears dominated 37-17 while playing in the snow at Soldier “Field”. Justin Fields was at the helm and went 20 for 32 for 268 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. 57% of Fields’ production came from DJ Moore, who had 2 catches for 25 yards against the Packers in week 1. Fields had 11 caries for 45 yards and a touchdown, which would continue to cement him as the Bears’ RB1 if not for the Falcons giving up a downright Joe Barry-ian 6.9 yards per carry to Khalil Herbert.
The Bears have already locked in the number one overall pick due to the ineptitude of the Carolina Panthers and were also eliminated from playoff contention. They quite literally have nothing to play for outside of potentially spoiling the Packers’ postseason hopes.
By the numbers, just about everything favors the Packers. Green Bay have won their last nine games in a row against the Bears. They’ve won the last eleven in a row while favored. Both teams are on two-game winning streaks, but the Packers have done it on the road while the Bears won back-to-back in their soon-to-be-relocated-to-Arlington-Heights-toilet-bowl-stadium. Both teams have the same number of wins against the spread, but the Bears have two games that ended with a “push”. This scenario would repeat itself should the Packers win by exactly a field goal.
The moneyline has been set at -155 in favor of Green Bay, which has a ~58% implied win probability, while the over/under is 44. The Packers are 3-4 against the over/under at home this year. Should everything play out as predicted by the lines, the Packers would win by about 23-20, with the total points staying under 44.
It all comes down to this. Win the last game of the season against the Bears and make it to the playoffs.