Chicago Bears vs. Buffalo Bills Pick
Chicago Bears (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS) vs. Buffalo Bills (2-6 SU, 3-5 ATS)
When: November 4, 2018, 1:00 PM EST
Where: New Era Filed, Orchard Park, New York
By: Rick Wise
Point Spread: CHI -9/BUF +9
Takeaways From Week 8
The Bears improved to 4-2 after a 24-10 victory over the New York Jets Sunday, putting an end to their two-game skid and tying them with the Minnesota Vikings for first place in the NFC North. They remain a favorite with sportsbooks valuing them as 9 points better than the Bill.
The Chicago offense was far from great, but they did enough to ensure the win after another dominant performance from the defense. Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was held to his lowest output of the season, finishing 14-of-29 for 153 yards and 1 touchdown, while the Jets ground game was stuffed for 57 total yards.
Mitch Trubisky was a mix of hot and cold, completing 16-of-29 for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns, but his best work of the day came on the ground where he posted 51 yards on 6 attempts. Jordan Howard also had a good day, carrying 22 times for 81 yards and a score. Tarik Cohen is beginning to emerge as the Bears’ top home run threat. He totaled 110 yards from scrimmage on the day, catching a thrilling 70-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and rushing five times for 40 yards.
Meanwhile the Bills dropped their third straight after a 25-6 loss to the New England Patriots Monday night in a game that was actually competitive through three quarters.
Against Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense, almost anybody could seem out-manned and the Bills certainly did heading into this one. But somehow the Buffalo defense put in an outstanding performance for the majority of the game, holding the Pats to just 12 points until early in the fourth quarter. Despite finishing with 324 yards, Brady looked out of sorts all night long and it took a pick six from Devin McCourty late in the fourth quarter for the Pats to finally seal it.
For as well as the defense played, the offense once again stunk up the joint. And such is the all too frequent plight of this Bills team. Such a brilliant defensive performance wasted by an offense that never seems able to rise to the occasion. Derek Anderson got the start and went 22-of-39 for 290 yards and 1 interception, but Buffalo failed to reach the red zone even once and the ground game was a compete no-show, totaling just 46 yards on 19 attempts.
These two teams first met in 1970 but they haven’t gotten together very much in between that time. Chicago leads the series 7-5 and they’ve also had the upper hand as of late, winning six of the last 10 meetings dating back to 1979.
For Chicago, questionable for Sunday’s game are G Eric Kush (neck), G Kyle Long (foot), LB Khalil Mack (ankle), WR Allen Robinson II (groin), TE Ben Braunecker (concussion).
For Buffalo, listed as questionable for Sunday are RB Taiwan Jones (neck), DE Trent Murphy (knee), LB Tremaine Edmunds (concussion).
When the Bears Have the Ball
Mitch Trubisky isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire with his passing numbers but he still presides over the NFL’s 10th-ranked total offense. Somehow. And that means he’s doing enough to assist one of the best defenses in the league, a defense that’s had to work overtime to bail out a mediocre offense. That’s a formula that should work fine against a Bills team that’s essentially a carbon copy of themselves—great defense and little to no offense. Especially when they have a little bit more going for them when they have the ball.
When the Bills Have the Ball
As stated above, this will be a matchup between two virtually identical teams. Excellent defenses having to work a little bit harder to make up for a lack of offense. Only Buffalo’s offense is considerably closer to terrible than Chicago’s is. Buffalo ranks 31st in total offense, 32nd in passing offense, 23rd in rushing offense and 32nd in scoring offense. Simply put, against the Bears’ 7th-ranked total defense, they’re biggest offensive weapon will be defense. And this time they’ll need it for a full four quarters.
· Chicago is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games
· Chicago is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
· Chicago is 3-16 SU in its last 19 games on the road
· Chicago is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Buffalo
· The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Chicago’s last 7 games when playing Buffalo
Buffalo is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Buffalo’s last 5 games
Buffalo is 15-8 SU in its last 23 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 14 of Buffalo’s last 19 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Buffalo’s last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Buffalo’s last 7 games when playing Chicago
Temperatures around 40 degrees are expected for this one under mostly cloudy skies with 64% humidity and 8 mph winds from the south.
Rick Wise’s Pick: Buffalo +9