- Can Aaron Rodgers get the Pack on the board first?
- Will Trey Burton emulate Travis Kelce in Bears offense?
- The best props to jump on for Sunday Night Football – Week 1
It’s Christmas in September.
The first Sunday of the NFL season is here, and every team that comes out of that tunnel still feels good about where this short, thrilling, and gruelling joyride might take them.
It might be the last time.
Hope you enjoyed your summer, but the NFL is back ?? pic.twitter.com/DRyVdSJWDY
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) September 6, 2018
But we want the good times to roll for you, so each week we’ll get you set for the Sunday Night game with a dash of the tastiest props for you to sink your teeth into.
Without further ado, on to the matchup, a classic NFC North Division showdown between the Bears and Packers from Lambeau field.
Prop #1: Bears Score First
I feel like this is the hiding in plain sight bet.
In Aaron Rodgers’ injury-plagued 2017 season, he started just six games. In those starts, Green Bay surrendered the first points in all but one game. We just seem to forget because the Packers can put points up in a hurry to erase those minor setbacks.
It’s the other side of the ball where the letdown is. Last year’s Packers were 24th in adjusted defensive DVOA, including an especially atrocious 27th against the pass.
There’s literally nothing the Packers pivot can do when the team takes the opening drive for a score, which teams did in four of those six starts.
Of course, the one team he did score first against? The Bears.
Still, this one is a sneaky good return on investment. Take the Bears to score first.
Pick: BEARS SCORE FIRST (+150)
Prop #2: Trey Burton will be Featured in Bears Offense
|Total Receiving Yards for Trey Burton in Week 1||Odds|
In 15 games last year with the Eagles, Burton’s receiving high was 71 yards. The tight end had two other games over 40 yards, but nothing more than 21 yards receiving the other 11 games, including four 0-yard, 0-reception outings.
But there are some lofty expectations for the fifth-year pro, who signed a $32 million contract with $18 million in guarantees from the Bears this offseason.
4 targets, 4 receptions and 1 TD in about one quarter of work for Trey Burton. Another reception called back. Targeted early AND often.pic.twitter.com/ZFt1hQLYy1
— FantasyPros (@FantasyPros) August 19, 2018
New head coach Matt Nagy came from KC, where he had himself a TE weapon in Travis Kelce, who failed to haul in more than 41 yards receiving in just four games a year ago.
Bank on the Bears deploying Burton in the same way, getting him the requisite touches to clear 40.5 yards receiving.
Pick: TREY BURTON OVER 40.5 RECEIVING YARDS
Prop #3: Rodgers Completes Less than 24.5 Passes
|Total Completions for Aaron Rodgers in Week 1||Odds|
Dating back to 2014, Rodgers has faced the Bears seven times, and he has failed to surpass that completion total in six of those seven starts. But it’s not like those completions didn’t have value, as the Packers won six of seven against Chicago.
— Cream City Central (@CreamCityCtral) September 7, 2018
The Bears have something resembling a decent secondary, with Kyle Fuller and newly acquired Prince Amukamara forming a solid corner duo. They’re further supported in their attempts to lock it down now that Khalil Mack is in the fold and soon to be ruining quarterbacks.
You would think that the formula for the Packers to nullify a strong pass rush threat is to keep them off balance by balancing passing and running. That equal parts ground and air attack should keep Rodgers at the under.
Pick: RODGERS UNDER 24.5 COMPLETIONS