Chicago Bears (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. New York Giants (1-2 SU, 1-2
ATS), Week 4 NFL, 8:20 p.m. EST, Sunday, October 3, 2010, New
Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J., TV: NBC
by Badger of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Chi+4/NYG -4
As the only remaining undefeated team in the NFC the Chicago Bears will put their unblemished record on the line again this week when they travel to the Big Apple to take on the New York Giants in their New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday Night Football on NBC.
The Bears remained perfect for the season with a late 20-17 victory over the rival Green Bay Packers on Monday Night. Even though Chicago struggled a little on offense, a Devin Hester punt return for a score and a late forced fumble by Brian Urlacher helped put the Bears in position for the game-winning field goal to beat the penalty-prone Packers in primetime.
Chicagoís defense could be in store for a field day Sunday night if the New York Giants continue with their turnover-prone ways, as the G- men gave the ball away three more times last week in their 29-10 loss at home to Tennessee. The Giants now have 10 turnovers through three games, and Eli Manning has more picks (6) than touchdowns (5), something that they will have to change and quick if they hope to get back to .500 and back into the hunt in the NFC East.
The folks setting the odds out in Las Vegas seem to be unimpressed by the undefeated Bears, opening the primetime game with New York as 3.5- point favorites at home. The early steam at the betting window is also unimpressed, or thinking the Giants are due, because most of the early money has moved the number up to Giants minus 4-points or even -4.5.
The over/under total opened at 43.5, but it gone up since itís release to either 44 or 44.5 at most of the offshore sportsbooks on the Web.
This game presents some interesting angles as far as the offensive side of the ball is concerned.
Jay Cutler and the Bears have been solid in the passing game under new coordinator Mike Martz, throwing for 277 yards a game for the 5th- best attack in the NFL thus far. Martz has also reigned in Cutlerís interceptions this year (only two) with better play calling, which has helped spark the Bears to their 3-0 start.
The issue for the Bears is the run game, where their 72 yard per game average in 29th in the league is going to catch up to them sooner than later. Cutler finished with more rushing yards last week (37) than running back Matt Forte (29), something that Forte and the Bears offensive line must change without left tackle Chris Williams (listed as questionable) against a Giants run defense thatís giving up 136 yards per game (26th).
The Giants have had little trouble moving the ball on offense (368 ypg Ė 8th), they just canít stop putting it on the carpet. The passing game is clicking too (253 ypg Ė 9th), it just Manning has thrown some demoralizing red zone interceptions in recent weeks and itís put undue pressure on the Giants defense as a result.
Once New York regains control of the turnover battle, or maybe I should say if they regain control, they could give the Bears defense some problems.
The G-men do have one positive that might prove to be their biggest asset this week, an improved secondary with the addition of Antrel Rolle that is the 4th-ranked pass defense thus far allowing 169 yards a game. If the Bears continue to live and die by Cutler and the passing game, the Giants are equipped to give them a tough time.
These two last met on the gridiron back in 2007, in what turned into a 21-16 victory for the Giants at Soldier Field, but thatís about the lone highlight for Giants fans in this series.
Chicago has been very rude guests in the city that never sleeps, winning their last four visits to New York both straight up and against the spread. The last time was in 2006 when they came in as 1- point underdogs and left with a 38-20 victory.In fact, the road team is on a perfect 5-0 ATS run in the last five meetings for the most impressive betting trend in this head-to-head matchup. The only problem is that the Bears are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 road games, and just 4-11 ATS in their last 15 as an underdog.
Badgerís Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Giants will play their best game of the season so far, but I still think the Bears will get their yards and points too. So Iím taking the safe play here on the over of 44. Take the over.
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