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Best Bets: Bears-Packers, survivor pool and more

In our new weekly feature, Jeff and Sam will be breaking down the lines and looking around the league for bets they like

NFL: DEC 16 Packers at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jeff and I are hardly “experts” at handicapping, but it is something we’ve dabbled in and enjoy doing. With the prevalence of legal sports betting, we thought we’d take a stab at bringing some gambling picks to you guys every week.

We’re also doing a WCG Pick ‘Em league on Yahoo and a Survivor Pool also on Yahoo and it’s not too late to join those. We’ll be posting our records each week, so make sure you’re following along and be sure to post your own record in the comments if you’re joining in.

All of our numbers come courtesy of MyBookie.Ag

Bears (-3) vs. Packers
Thursday, 7:20 p.m.

Sam: The Bears are going to want to come out hot. This is the most highly anticipated season in a long, long time and I think Matt Nagy will have his guys ready to play. However, it’s the Packers and by that I mean, whatever shortcomings they have in their coaching and depth, they always play the Bears close. Aaron Rodgers always brings his best against Chicago as well.

However, the last four Packers head coaches all lost their first game to Chicago, all straight up and against the spread. Two as underdogs. Is that a trend? It’s difficult to say.

The Bears swept this series against the spread a season ago, but without much film to go on of the Packers’ new offense and Rodgers wanting to sweep a lot of the doubt of a year ago away, I think the Bears win but it’s closer than we’d like.

Pick: Packers +3

Jeff: Ah, we’re already going different directions! Vegas generally gives the home team a 3 point advantage in an equal game, so the odds makers are saying these squads are essentially equal. I don’t know what they’re looking at. The Packers limped to 6.5 victories in 2018 and will be trotting out a new offensive system for the first time in the career of Aaron Rodgers. Remember all those coordinator changes for Cutler and how they took some time to get rolling (if they ever did)? Same thing is going to happen with Rodgers and LaFleur. Oh, and LaFleur’s last stop in Tennessee didn’t exactly give me confidence in his genius.

The Bears are ready to go and improve on their 12 win campaign from 2018. Trubisky looked better in camp than he did a year ago and the second year of an offense tends to see a lot of improvement anyway. The Bears defense is on lock and seeing green in their cross-hairs. I’ll happily lay the 3 points in this one.

Pick: Bears -3

NFL Picks

Sam: Week one is always a little scary because we really don’t know anything about the teams yet. There are a lot of new coaches, new offenses and new players that will assert themselves or not. For that reason I am going to ride with the tried-and-true NFL home dogs play. I can’t bring myself to hold my nose and take the touchdown that the Dolphins are getting against Baltimore, so I will take the field goal that the Panthers are getting at home against the Rams.

It’s a little crazy, but you have a west coast team traveling east, playing in an early slot. The last five Super Bowl losers were 1-4 in the next season’s opener against the number.

For the Survivor Pool, I’m rolling with the Eagles over Washington. Case Keenum doesn’t give me a ton of optimism that he can hang with a Philadephia team that is going to come out looking to prove they’re contenders once again for a Super Bowl.

Picks: Panthers +3, Eagles (survivor)

Jeff: I like those picks and I’ve already locked in the Eagles in my survivor pool as well. The most popular pick is the Seahawks at home against the Bengals and it is tough to argue with that one. If you want kind of a crazy pick to start off the year, I really like taking a chance at the Cardinals at home against the Lions. The Cardinals will be debuting Kyler Murray and a new offensive system that might break the league or break the Cardinals. With no film on what it looks like, it could catch an average team (and below average coaching) like the Lions off guard. As fun as that sounds, I’m sticking with the Eagles.

There are a few lines that intrigue me this week but right now, they’ve got the 49ers and Buccaneers as a pick ‘em game down in Tampa. With the 49ers still trying to figure their roster out (Is Jimmy G even that good?) and flying across the country to play in the swampy heat of Tampa, I’m rolling with the Bucs. If Jameis Winston can’t find joy in the Bruce Arians system, he never will and I’m overly excited about Mike Evans this year.

Picks: Bucs even, Eagles (survivor)

Who do you like this week? Are you signed up for our pick ‘em and survivor leagues? If not, why not? Get in there!

You can follow us on twitter @samhouseholder and @gridironborn for Bears, NFL, and fantasy football chatter.