Find out which way NFL bettors – square and sharp - are leaning and where the odds for Thursday night’s NFC North showdown between the Bears and Packers will land before kickoff:
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-4.5, 51)
This spread opened with Green Bay as a 5-point home favorite and climbed to as high as -6 before money came back on Chicago, forcing the most recent drop to -4.5.
According to Aron Black, of bet365.com, the sharp money is taking the Bears and the points as well as Chicago’s moneyline odds (+185) to win straight up Thursday. However, bettors are beginning to buy back Green Bay at the reduced spread.
“I expect the late action to come from the public on the Packers straight up and give the points,” Black told Covers. “It’s hard to move off the 4.5 now, as money has been coming in on the Packers.”
Some books are running the risk of getting middled in this Thursday night game if the final score lands on five points.
As for the total, the number has climbed from 49.5 to the key standing of 51 points. John Avello, sportsbook director at the Wynn Las Vegas, says the public likes to bet the over in these standalone games.
But while the Packers and Bears have the offensive firepower to top the total, that hasn’t always been the case when these divisional rivals clash. The under has paid out in eight of their last nine meetings with the lone over coming in their most recent contest – a 35-21 Green Bay win last December.
"They know each other so well,” says Avello. “They play each other a couple times a year and they might not know the exact offense but they know tendencies and what to expect from players and coaches."
As of Thursday afternoon, 51 percent of Covers Consensus ATS picks are on Green Bay and 63 percent are selecting the Over 51.