Chicago Bears (4-3 SU 3-4 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (0-7 SU 3-4 ATS) Week 9 NFL Football, Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 1:00 PM ET, November 7, 2010 on FOX
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: CHI -3/BUFF +3
Over/Under Total: 40.5
The Buffalo Bills look to get their first win of the season this Sunday against the Chicago Bears, who have lost 2 straight. The Bills have not played that bad in their last 3 games and in their last 2 games they lost in OT. They are getting much better play from the QB position, as Ryan Fitzpatrick has put up good numbers and has 12 TD’s and only 5 INT’s since becoming the starter in Week 3.
Chicago has lost 2 straight and both games were at home no less. They had a bye last week so they should be ready to go for this game. In the 2 recent losses QB Jay Cutler was sacked 10 times and in their last loss to Washington the Bears turned the ball over 6 times including 4 picks from Cutler. Luckily for Chicago in this game they face a Buffalo pass rush that ranks 25th in the league with 11 sacks and a secondary that ranks dead last in the league with only 1 INT.
In their last games the Bears lost to the Washington Redskins 17-14 and the Bills lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 13-10 in OT.
Cutler has put up solid numbers this season and in the Bears’ loss to Washington he passed for 281 yards with 1 TD, but the 4 picks obviously killed their chances to win. Cutler will have another good game and even though the Buffalo pass defense is giving up the 5th fewest yards in the air per game (196) they have only faced one team that ranks in the top 10 in the league in passing offense. Since the Bills’ pass rush is not very good Cutler will have to time to find his targets and he will not get picked off multiple times.
The major weakness of the Buffalo defense is their rushing defense, as they rank dead last in the NFL giving up an average of 188.7 yards per game. Bears’ RB Matt Forte has had an up-and-down season and he and fellow RB Chester Taylor will have the luxury of facing a Bills’ defense that simply cannot stop the run. The official website of the Chicago Bears stated the team looks to get Forte and Taylor more involved in the offense following the bye week and can their be a better team to do it against than the Bills? Last week Buffalo gave up 274 yards on the ground to the Chiefs and look for the Bills to give up a ton of rushing yards again this week.
This is not a good match up for the Bills and their rushing offense since the strength of the Chicago defense is their run defense. The Bills rank 13th in the league in rushing yards per game, but RB Fred Jackson has averaged only 3.2 yards per carry in the last 2 games. He will have a tough game picking up yards against a solid Chicago rushing defense that expects to get back one of their best run-stoppers in LB Lance Briggs.
The bulk of the offensive load will fall on Fitzpatrick in this game and look for him to play well against a Chicago defense that is giving up an average of 216 passing yards per game. I think Fitzpatrick will have a HUGE game since he will have to air it out often. Also, the Bears only have 11 sacks on the season and they will have trouble getting to the Bills’ QB.
Both teams have identical ATS records this season (3-4) and something has got to give in this game, as the Bears are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games when they are the favorite and the Bills are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games as an underdog of 0.5-3. However, the Bills have covered the spread in their last 2 games.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Buffalo gets their first win of the season on Sunday! Cutler makes more mistakes and Fitzgerald continues to grow into one of the more intriguing QB’s in the league. Take the Bills plus the points and put some lunch money on the moneyline!