SpreadKnowledge NFL Free Pick of the Day – Thursday, September 5

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh
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[8:20 p.m. EST] Under 47 – Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

The SpreadKnowledge NFL Free Pick of the Day comes to us from the total in the opener of the NFL’s 100th season getting underway with the most historic of rivalries, as the Bears host the Packers. We’re taking the under in this game, considering there are a few unknowns on offense and two solid defensive units to take into account.

Aaron Rodgers may very well be the most talented quarterback in the NFL, but he’ll be put to the test against one of the league’s premier defensive units. What’s interesting is that Rodgers didn’t play one snap during the preseason, and that could present some challenges with a different game plan under new head coach Matt LaFleur.

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky played three snaps in the preseason, and he didn’t attempt any passes either. This could mean that both Rodgers and Trubisky come out rusty in this one, leading us to a slow start.

Chicago’s defensive unit will be led by Chuck Pagano, with Vic Fangio heading to Denver as the new head coach. The Bears defense shouldn’t look too much different from a schematic standpoint, and they do have talented players all over the place. Their cornerbacks on the outside should make things difficult for Rodgers’ top receivers, so look for a lot more passes towards the middle of the field in the slot, which is one of the Bears’ glaring weaknesses on defense.

The Packers’ defense improved mightily in the draft and during free agency. Perhaps the biggest pluck came from tonight’s opponent, as they grabbed safety Adrian Amos from the Bears during the offseason. That’s a massive upgrade to their secondary, in addition to their corners getting valuable experience last year.

Both of these teams feature solid defenses, but we feel like the Packers will be able to move the ball up and down the field a little better. If bettors can push this total up to 47.5 points, that’d be a more comfortable number to deal with. However, 47 is good enough for us in this instance.

* Final Score Prediction * Green Bay Packers: 23 – Chicago Bears: 20