NFL Picks: Patriots at Bears Odds and Betting Predictions
by Robert Ferringo - 12/10/2010
They did it once. But can they do it again?
For the Chicago Bears, that statement could refer to their stirring home upset of Philadelphia two weeks ago. Heading into that game the bobblehead media had all but proclaimed the Eagles as the top team in the NFC and Michael Vick as the league’s MVP. The Bears played an exceptional, inspired game and pulled off a 34-27 upset.
For the New England Patriots, that statement could refer to their thrashing of the New York Jets on Monday Night Football. That game was being billed as a Clash of the Titans, but turned out to be a lot closer to the maiden voyage of the Titanic for the Gang Green. New England made a statement last Monday that they are the force to be reckoned with in the NFL and that they are the prohibitive favorites to win it all.
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So that means that two of the best teams in the NFL lock horns this Sunday when New England travels to Soldier Field to take on Chicago. New England is tied for the best record in the NFL at 10-2 and is presently the No. 1 seed in the AFC while Chicago is currently set for the No. 2 seed in the NFC at 9-3.
The foundation of Chicago’s return to prominence this year has been their recommitment to defense. They have the No. 3 defense in the NFL and have gotten back to being the Monsters of the Midway. They have excelled against the run and the pass, they have addressed their secondary issues, and the three stars – Urlacher, Peppers and Briggs – have been dominating.
However, the Patriots love facing Cover-2 teams and they have routinely picked apart the Indianapolis Cover-2 over the past decade. That gives them the strategic advantage and makes it a tough matchup for the Bears.
Also, the Bears have had a lot of trouble with teams that play 3-4 defenses over the last four or five years. New England employs this same alignment and that gives them another matchup edge against Chicago. However, the Bears have faced four teams so far this year (Dallas, Green Bay, Washington and Miami) that run a 3-4 scheme. They are 3-1 in those games despite being held below their season scoring average in three of those four outings.
Chicago does have a nice situational edge in this contest, though. They are catching the Patriots just six days after a peak performance in that huge Monday Night Football blowout over the rival New York Jets. The Patriots are 0-3-1 ATS on the Sunday after a Monday night game and I don’t think there is any way that New England can put together such a complete, emotional performance on the road this week.
Patriots at Bears Betting Odds and Line Movement
The line opened with New England as the road favorite at -3.0, according to NFL odds. Despite nearly 90 percent of the action coming in on the Patriots in this one, the line has held firm. The total opened at 44.0 but has taken a major dip down to 41.0.
New England Patriots at Chicago Bears Betting Trends
Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
Patriots are 3-1-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Patriots are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
Patriots are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0.
Patriots are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 on Sunday following a Monday night game.
Bears are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
Bears are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog of 0.5-3.0.
Bears are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog.
Bears are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Bears are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games as a home underdog.
Patriots at Bears NFL Picks and Predictions
Chicago has won five straight games and this setup reminds me a bit of their game against Philadelphia two weeks ago. Chicago was a home dog heading into that contest at a time when people were seemingly already crowning the Eagles as the best team in the NFC. Chicago hammered Philadelphia (it was more one-sided than the score indicates) and now they are fighting for a first round bye in the playoffs. The Bears are 5-1 ATS as an underdog and they are a scrappy bunch.
However, the Patriots aren’t the Eagles. And that Philadelphia game was just the second that the Bears have played against a team that is currently over .500 this year. The Patriots may be coming off an incredible 45-3 win over the Jets and could be ripe for upset here. But Brady and Belichick have been down this road many, many times before. They are 25-12 ATS in their last 37 road games and they simply have better coaching, quarterback play, offensive and defensive lines. If you like Chicago, I would simply just ignore this game. However, I’ll roll the bones with the Patriots and look for them to come through yet again in a marquee situation.
Robert Ferringo is a writer and a professional sports handicapper for Doc’s Sports. You can sign up for his college football and NFL picks and get more information here.
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