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Categorized | NFL

Week 16 Sunday Night NFL Picks: Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers Odds and Predictions – Free NFL Picks 12/25/11

Week 16 Free NFL Picks: Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers NFL Week 16 Vegas Odds, Free Picks, and Expert Predictions on NBC 12/25/11: A few months ago, a meeting between NFC North rivals Chicago and Green Bay seemed like a potential playoff preview. However, a rash of injuries has since caused the Bears to drop four straight games and fall to 7-7. Heck, the Packers aren’t even undefeated anymore after last weekend’s loss in Kansas City dropped them to 13-1. In short, the juice has been squeezed out of this matchup, but at least the long-standing hatred between the two franchises could lead to some hard hitting. That being said, there is a real chance this game could be less than competitive, and Green Bay is a 12-point favorite.

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The trouble all started for the Bears when starting quarterback Jay Cutler went down with a thumb injury. Chicago was rolling at the time, winning five straight games, but the winning stopped when Cutler went down. Backup Caleb Haine has thrown nine interceptions in four games, and the Bears have scored 14 points or less in three of the outings. To make matters worse, workhorse running back Matt Forte suffered a knee injury two games after Cutler, taking away the strength of the Chicago offense. While the injuries to two key players make the Bears’ struggles understandable, it doesn’t make Chicago anymore attractive from a betting standpoint.

After all, Green Bay has already beaten the Bears with both Cutler and Forte healthy. In fact, the Packers went to Chicago and knocked off the Bears by 10 points. With that in mind, the 12-point spread for this weekend’s meeting doesn’t seem all that intimidating. Without Cutler and Forte and playing on the road, Chicago’s 10-point loss earlier in the season could easily approach blowout status this time around.

Even if the Chicago offense was intact, the problem of stopping the Packers’ offense still remains. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is carving up every secondary he has faced, and the Bears rank 27th in the NFL against the pass. Rodgers tossed three touchdowns against Chicago in Green Bay’s Week 3 victory, and a repeat performance is certainly within reach. Throw in the fact that the Packers are coming off their first loss of the year, and Rodgers and company will be even more motivated to bounce back. It is hard to imagine a scenario where the struggling Bears’ secondary can keep Green Bay from putting up plenty of points.

If Chicago does have an edge, it is the fact that the team literally has nothing to lose. The Bears’ two best offensive weapons are out, backup running back Marion Barber is hurt as well, and game-changing kick returner Devin Hester is hobbled and might miss the game. There is no reason the Packers shouldn’t control this game from start to finish, but getting overconfident can get any team beat.

In the end, last weekend’s loss may have been a blessing in disguise for the Packers. A possible trap game against a weakened division rival has suddenly turned into a revenge game. With the pressure of playing for a perfect season out of the way, Green Bay can get back to doing what it does best, scoring points on offense and creating turnovers on defense. The Packers should be able to do both against a bad Chicago secondary and a Bears’ offense that has been in shambles for the last month.

Prediction: Green Bay Packers (-12) Cover the Spread

Free NFL Football Picks and Predictions: Green Bay -12

Week 16 NFL Football: Chicago @ Green Bay
Date: 12/25/011
Time: 8:30 PM EST on NBC
Vegas Odds Favorite: Green Bay -12 | Total: Over/Under 42/5

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