The Chicago Bears (9-4) can clinch the NFC North and essentially eliminate the Green Bay Packers (5-7-1) from playoff contention on Sunday when they host them as solid home favorites at sportsbooks.
The Bears are coming off an impressive 15-6 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night while the Packers kept their slim postseason chances alive with a 34-20 victory against the Atlanta Falcons last week.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 32.2-10.4 Bears (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Packers can cover the spread
Green Bay looked much better without former head coach Mike McCarthy on the sidelines in the rout of Atlanta, as his replacement Joe Philbin saw quarterback Aaron Rodgers play inspired football with two touchdown passes. Wide receivers Davante Adams and Randall Cobb scored while running back Aaron Jones also totaled 78 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown.
The Packers head into this rivalry game knowing that they rallied back to win the season opener 24-23 after trailing 20-0 and improved to 15-2 straight up in the past 17 meetings.
Why the Bears can cover the spread
Chicago has been a much different team at Soldier Field this season, going 6-1 there SU and against the spread. The lone loss for the Bears at home came to the New England Patriots in Week 7, and they nearly tied the score as time expired but fell one yard short of the end zone in a 38-31 defeat.
They have also improved a lot since last facing Green Bay, with the defense turning in its best effort of the year in limiting a high-scoring Los Angeles squad to a season-low point total on just two field goals.
Smart betting pick
Rodgers still thought the Packers had an outside shot to make the playoffs three weeks ago, but he obviously did not believe they would go on to lose at home to the Arizona Cardinals as double-digit favorites, costing McCarthy his job.
That said, he has played well versus Chicago over his career, and Green Bay is 12-4 ATS in the last 16 games of this historic series. Take the Packers to keep it close and cover the spread.
NFL betting trends
The Packers are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games vs the Bears.
The total has gone over in the Packers' last four games vs the Bears.
The Bears are 5-16 SU in their last 21 games in December.
All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.