NFC Championship Bear Trap? Chicago Bears Disrespected Underdog Against Packers

James Brown@@chasingballgameSenior Analyst IJanuary 19, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 16:  Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears smiles in the first half against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears are getting no respect heading into the NFC Championship game this weekend against the Green Bay Packers.

Although they are home for this pivotal matchup, they are listed as 3.5 point underdogs by onlinesportsbook, BetEd and the oddsmakers in Vegas.

It could be argued that the Packers deserve to be favorites with the way they are playing right now.

They caged the Eagles in Philadelphia in the Wild Card Game, advancing to the Divisional Round.

In that round they carved up the Atlanta Falcons in their home turf. The defense made some timely plays to seal the deal and quarterback Aaron Rodgers had the game of his life in the playoffs.

Rodgers completed 31-of-36 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons, and the propelled the Packers into the role of favorite to win Super Bowl XLV.

With all due respect to the Packers, what about the Bears?

The Bears piled up 11 wins on the season and were crowned NFC North division champs, finishing above Green Bay in the standings.

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The Bears should be used to this as they were underdogs in both meetings with the Packers this year. They were three point underdogs in Soldier Field for the first meeting and the Bears won the game outright on the field.

In the second game, the Bears did not win, but they kept it close enough to reward Bears backers.

Green Bay will look at injuries in the first game as a possible reason why the Bears won the game, but one person was not hurt for that game, Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers had a great game in the first meeting, passing for 316 yards and the Packers were still unable to win the game.

In the last week of the season, when the Packers were playing to get into the playoffs, Rodgers passed for just 229 yards and had one interception. Rodgers was not a standout in either game, and the Bears defense played well in both meetings.

If you don’t think the players pay attention to the betting line, think again. On a radio interview with ESPN, Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher commented on the line.

“You feel disrespected,” Urlacher said. “I understand all the oddsmakers and all the experts know what they’re talking about because Seattle could have never beaten New Orleans at home [in the Wild Card Round]. It’s crazy. Why would anyone think that? So they all know what they’re talking about. We’ll just go out and do the best we can and hopefully we come out on top.”

The underdog has been rather successful in the NFC Championship Game, winning three straight games outright. The home team is 5-1 in the last six NFC title games and the underdog is a money maker at 7-3 against the spread (ATS) in the last 10.

The Bears are very successful at home, covering the last four out of five games overall and the last four out of five games against a team with a winning road record.

The Bears are at home, fueled by disrespected defense and an edge on special teams.

The Packers are getting all of the attention now, but the Bears will win the NFC Championship and advance to Super Bowl XLV.

Matt Regaw is a B/R Featured Columnist and the founder of BookieBlitz.com,
your one-stop shop for sports articles, previews and predictions. Feel free to contact Matt at mregaw@gmail.com.

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