Monday Night Football Predictions: Bears at Eagles Odds and NFL Betting Picks
by Alan Matthews - 11/4/2011
On paper, Monday night’s game between the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles looks rather mediocre: a 4-3 Chicago team that has no hope of repeating as NFC North champs thanks to the Packers, and a 3-4 Eagles team that is in a three-way tie for last in the NFC East (a tad misleading), two games behind the New York Giants.
However, this game could have huge playoff implications. The Iggles all of a sudden resemble the “Dream Team” they were called in the offseason, but even if they don’t win the division they are a threat to take an NFC Wild-Card spot, it would seem.
Chicago also seems like a good Wild-Card team considering everyone is beating up each other in the NFC East, the NFC West is rancid, and the Bears already have beaten fellow likely Wild-Card competitors Tampa Bay and Atlanta from the NFC South (the Lions obviously will have a say in this). So come Week 17, don’t be surprised if this game is a potential tiebreaker for a playoff spot.
There’s a little bit of history here for Philly as it’s the franchise’s 50th game on “Monday Night Football.”
Bears at Eagles Betting Storylines
That “Dream Team” moniker that Michael Vick and Co. tried to distance themselves from during a four-game skid suddenly is looking spot on as Philly has won two straight. The Eagles were downright impressive in last week’s 34-7 blowout of the Cowboys. That ended a five-game home losing streak for the Eagles.
Philly rushed for 239 yards, led by LeSean McCoy’s career-high 185 yards, against the NFL’s top-ranked rush defense. McCoy is the first Eagle with at least 28 rushing attempts in consecutive games since Wilbert Montgomery in 1979.
And make no mistake, this is a running team with McCoy and Vick. McCoy is second in the league in rushing (754 yards) and has scored at least one touchdown in every game this season. Chicago is No. 12 against the run but has allowed three runs of 40 yards or more, which is tied for the second-most in the league and two more than Chicago gave up last season.
As good as McCoy is, the Bears might have the best non-QB offensive weapon in football right now in Matt Forte. Forte's 1,091 yards from scrimmage account for 46.2 percent of the Chicago Bears' total yards, by far the highest in the NFL (he’s on pace to break the NFL record).
McCoy, by comparison, has a 28.4 percent chunk of the Eagles’ total. Forte’s 672 yards rushing is sixth best in the NFL, but he leads all tailbacks with 419 yards receiving. Philly struggled mightily against the run in its first five games but has been solid in the past two. Forte is the first player since 2004 to go more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage after seven games since Priest Holmes and Tiki Barber in 2004.
Chicago is on a two-game winning streak and had the bye week to prepare for this week (again, worth noting that teams off bye weeks were horrid until last week, when they were 5-1 – this is final week of byes in NFL). But the Bears have yet to win a true road game: Their last outing was technically a road game against the Bucs, but it was in London. In Chicago’s two true road games, at Detroit and New Orleans, it lost each by double digits.
These teams played last year in Week 12 at Soldier Field, a 31-26 Bears win (this will be fifth straight year the teams have played, which is odd considering they aren’t in same division). Bears QB Jay Cutler had four TD passes and Forte rushed for 117 yards on just 14 carries. Vick threw for 333 with two scores and a pick.
Incidentally, the Bears seem to handle Vick well. He is 0-3 as a starter against Chicago, with a 76.2 passer rating while rushing for 187 yards with no TDs, three interceptions and 15 sacks in five games vs. Chicago. However, Vick is 4-1 on MNF in his career. If Cutler has a 100-plus QB rating he is 24-0 in his career (he had a career-high 146.2 rating vs. Eagles last year).
Chicago is 4-3 under Lovie Smith after the bye week, but it has won four of the past five.
Bears at Eagles Betting Odds and Trends
The Eagles are nine-point favorites with the total at 47 on NFL odds. About 58 percent of the lean is on the Bears. Philly is 3-4 ATS overall and 1-2 at home. Chicago is 3-4 ATS and 1-2 away. ‘Over/under’ is 3-4 for Bears and 4-3 for Philly.
Chicago is 1-4 ATS in its past five as a dog. Eagles are 1-5 ATS in past six at home but 4-0 ATS overall in past four on MNF. Under is 5-1 in past six for Bears following a win and also in Eagles’ past six as a home favorite.
Monday Night Football Predictions: Bears at Eagles Betting NFL Betting Picks
It’s hard to know what to make of the Eagles, considering they have beaten a sorry Redskins team and a schizophrenic Cowboys club in the past two games. Chicago seems to have figured things out on the offensive line and has protected Cutler very well the past few games.
Nine points seems like too much. I think Philly wins by a touchdown, but, obviously, the Bears cover in that scenario. Weather won’t be a factor, but take the ‘under’.
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