NFL Tips | Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers | 21st October 2016

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THURSDAY night football and we got Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) to deliver his best bets.

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers | Friday 01:25 | Sky Sports 1

My least favourite part of the NFL season. Writing about my own team. In previous seasons, this would have been a fairly automatic piece about the talents of Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and the rest being opposed by the talent(less) Jay Cutler throwing the ball at guys in green and yellow.

This is anything but. These Packers are in name only. Aaron Rodgers, far from being on the path to challenge the best quarterbacks of all time has looked distinctly ordinary.

We have all watched Green Bay struggle over the last couple of years and blamed everything from the offensive line to ‘fat’ Eddie Lacy and wide receivers who cant actually receive. Watching Packers wideout drop balls has become almost as frequent as Donald Trump insulting Mexicans.

The truth may be a lot simpler and Rodgers is simply not the player he was. Believe it or not, it is now 15 games since the (formerly) great one threw for over 300 yards in a game.

The Pack has been unable to rely on Lacy or James Starks this season, to provide some balance to the offence. With those two slated to miss the next few games, Mike Mccarthy has had to bring in Knile Davis a 4th choice runner from Kansas City.

Its clearly not been a fun time in the Windy City either. Cutler went down with injury in Week 2 (high fives fellow Bears fans) and we have ended up with Brian Hoyer under centre.

I have had to check this stat a number of times but its true, Hoyer is out performing Aaron Rodgers. Four straight games of 300 yards passing is a first for any Bear in over 50 years.

Alshon Jeffrey was not happy after Sundays loss to Jacksonville as he is suffering from a lack of targets but I quite like my receivers angry.

The Green Bay secondary has been taken apart at times this year. Marvin Jones and Steffon Diggs managed almost 400 yards between them in two games against this unit.

Already banged up, Green Bay has now placed Sam Shields on IR which weakens them further. Not that the defence has been able to stop the run either, Ezikiel Elliott tore into them for 157 yards on Sunday.

There are a number of lines I like here. Most involve Chicago covering or unders on points but I will go with what I consider the safest and take Hoyer to easily beat his passing line.

Jordan Howard is a fast developing running back who will eventually replace Matt Forte but I am taking Chicago to attack the Packers corners. I am a little shocked to see odds setters favour Hoyer over Rodgers here but 275.5 is something I expect Hoyer to cover regardless of the result.

Green Bay ranks 21st in pass defence surrendering an average 266 yards per game to the likes of Blake Borttles and Sam Bradford. Incredibly, Chicago is the 7th ranked offence in the NFL. No, really.

Best Bets

Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers –  Brian Hoyer Over 275.5 Passing Yards (20/23 Coral)

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I have been interested in betting since a stint managing a bookmakers 20 years ago. I now work in the travel industry but spend 90% of my day thinking (and talking)about sport. Rarely missing an Arsenal home game, I still find time for my 25 year obsession with the NFL and the Chicago Bears in particular. I'm still stuck in the 80's and can't find anything better to listen to than The Jam or The Smiths. I am a stats junkie where the NFL is concerned and there is no sport in the world where they matter more. My mission is to convert you all to a wonderful sport. Oh and win a few quid along the way.

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