Bears vs. Lions Predictions, Picks, Betting Tips 9/13/20
Game: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Date: 1 p.m., Sunday, September 13, 2020
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Odds/Point Spread: Detroit -1.5
Neither the Chicago Bears nor the Detroit Lions will enjoy the usual Week 1 pomp and circumstance heading into the 2020 season. Neither will be allowed to ease into this season when they face off to open the year. Instead, the pressure will be palpable and the scent of desperation thick when they kick things off in Ford Field.
Both the Bears and the Lions need a fast start to this campaign, raising the stakes for an otherwise nondescript divisional clash.
Chicago coach Matt Nagy learned how quickly fortunes change in the NFL last season. After a breakout rookie coaching campaign, going 12-4 with the Bears in 2018, Chicago regressed back to 8-8 and a third-place finish. Another poor effort will put Nagy on the hot seat.
Matt Patricia is already there. After two completely underwhelming seasons at the helm in Detroit, yielding just nine wins, it is a put-up-or-shut-up season for Patricia. The smart money suggests that if the Lions have another losing season, then the former New England defensive coordinator will be out of a job.
This season opening matchup won’t make or break the season for either the Bears or the Lions. But a win would certainly relieve the pressure in one of these locker rooms while tightening the vice in the other.
These two teams are constructed in similar ways. Patricia has been reshaping the Detroit roster for the past two years, turning the Lions into an allegedly tougher, more physical team. The Bears are the original Tough Guy team in the NFL, winning with their defense and tenacity for decades.
Chicago, though, has a major decision to make before the regular season gets underway. The Bears brought in quarterback Nick Foles to compete with three-year starter Mitch Trubisky. This is obviously a massive storyline for the Bears, and the winner of their preseason quarterback battle will be thrown into the fire in their first start, coming on the road and against an NFC North rival.
My expectation is that Foles, a former Super Bowl MVP, will beat out Trubisky. The Bears appear ready to turn the page from their former Top 5 draft pick, electing not to pick up Trubisky’s fifth-year option. Foles, who is on his fifth team in six seasons, has been injury plagued his entire career. But when he has played, he has been extremely effective, going 25-13 as a starter between 2013-2018.
If Foles does become the starter, then I think the Bears have the upper hand in this matchup. Their defense has dominated Patricia’s simple offense the past two seasons, and I think the Bears are better on both sides of the ball.
But if Nagy chooses to go with the familiarity of Trubisky early in the season, then I think the Lions will swarm. Detroit would have a major advantage in the passing game if it boils down to Stafford vs. Trubisky. The Bears are better on the defensive side of the ball. But not enough to make up for Trubisky’s shortcomings.
Chicago has swept the season series each of the past two years. Only once in the last nine meetings has either team scored 30 points, and six of the last nine matchups between these two have gone ‘under’ the total. I expect another low-scoring game between these two squads and can see this one being decided by one or two plays late in the fourth quarter.
Who will win the Bears/Lions NFL game against the spread?
Robert Ferringo’s Pick: If Trubisky starts, take Detroit -1.5. If Foles starts, take Chicago +1.5.
NOTE: Robert made these picks and predictions in May. Things can and will change in the four months between May and September. These May predictions may or may not match his rated Week 1 picks released to his clients on Thursday, Sept. 10.
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