NFL Picks: Packers vs. Bears +3

Jordan Sharp

Sunday, December 29, 2013 12:30 PM GMT

About three or four weeks ago, these two teams were looking like they would be enjoying the playoffs from their couches, however because of a couple of huge turn of events, they are playing one another for the right to the NFC North in Week 17.

Chicago has not faired well in these matchups in the past with Green Bay, so will they turn things around with a new head coach? The NFL Odds for this matchup favor the Packers at -3, with a total of 53 points. Will the return of a certain star quarterback make or break this game?

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Quarterbacks are back

Jay Cutler made his return two weeks ago against the Browns, and even though he did not play well a week ago against the Eagles, he is set to go up against the Packers for the division one more time. However, the news surrounding his counterpart in this game has been the talk of the league.

Aaron Rodgers is set to make his return for the Packers this week, and much like it has done for the last couple of weeks, word on his official status is what set the lines makers in action, releasing the spread and total for this game just over 48 hours before game time. With Rodgers back in action, the Packers are a completely different team, however coming back from a broken collarbone is going to be tricky, and playing a win or go home game after missing several weeks of action is going to be hard.

It would not surprise me to see Rodgers and/or the Packers’ offense a little rusty in this game, which could lead to the Bears having some value. Cutler has already had his warm up games over the last two weeks, and I see it giving Chicago the edge here at home as +3 underdogs. The Packers’ defense is going to do no favors for Rodgers either.

The Sharp Pick

Clay Matthews is going to miss this game, however everyone else on the Packers’ injury report is listed as probable. Lance Briggs for the Bears came out of last week no worse for wear, and he is also probable after missing half the season with a shoulder injury.

Briggs’ presence is going to be huge, not only to try and slow down Eddie Lacy, but to put pressure on Rodgers. The game between these two where Shea McClellin broke Rodgers’ collarbone on the first series of the game was all the way back in Week 9, and Rodgers has not played since. With guys like Briggs and Julius Peppers running at him, the speed of the game might be an issue.

Rodger is by far one of the best QBs in the league, however I am a little more worried about the Packers’ defense than Rodgers. The Bears had over 440 yards of total offense in that game back in Week 9, and the Packers have given up over 30 points per in their last two games, and in their last four games, the defense is giving up an average of 34 points per game. I see the Bears as home dogs for the play for this game of the week. Take Chicago for your free NFL pick.

NFL Pick: Bears +3