Chicago Bears (3-9 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (8-4 SU, 7-4-1 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date/Time: Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 1:00 PM EST
Where: Ford Field
TV: CBS, DTV: 710
by Chad Holloway, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:CHI +8/DET -8
Over/Under Total: 43.5
What a statement win for the Detroit Lions last Sunday when they went down to New Orleans and came away with a 28-13 win against the Saints, who had the NFLs top offense. The Lions are out in front in the NFC North, and theyre headed to the Playoffs if they continue to win. This week theyll face the division rival Chicago Bears, who they lost to 14-17 back at the beginning of October.
The Lions are heavy favorites at home, and rightfully so. The Bears have been simply awful and have been devastated by injuries since the last time these two met. Still, its a big line and the Bears, who are coming off a 26-6 win at home against the San Francisco 49ers, shouldnt be taken lightly.
They enter Week 14 with the leagues 16th-best offense averaging 348.2 total yards per game (YPG) and 17 points per game (PPG). Their passing game is 17th averaging 246.1 YPG, while their rushing game is 19th averaging 102.1 YPG. As for their defense, theyre ranked seventh in the NFL holding opponents to an average of 326.8 total YPG (220.3 passing YPG and 106.5 rushing YPG) and 22.5 PPG.
As for the Lions, they boast the 21st-ranked offense averaging 337.2 total YPG and 22.9 PPG. Their rushing game is abysmal averaging just 81.2 YPG, which puts them 29th in the league, while their passing game is 15th averaging 256.1 YPG. Defensively, the Lions are ranked 15th holding opponents to an average of 354.8 total YPG (256.6 passing YPG and 98.2 rushing YPG) and 20.9 PPG.
If the Bears happen to fall behind early, their goose could be cooked. Do you really want to rely on quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Josh Bellamy if it becomes a shootout? The Bears need to do what they do best, which is play good defense and control the ball on offense by establishing the run. Running back Jordan Howard, who could very well be Rookie of the Year, makes that a real possibility; in fact, last week he rushed 32 times for 117 yards and three touchdowns.
Chad Holloway’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: My problem with this game is the big line. The Lions won last week by 15 points, but before that they hadnt won a game by more than seven points. They play close games, most of which come down to the wire. The Bears not only played a close one last time, they dealt the Lions a loss. They could very well do it again, and even if they dont they have an eight-point cushion to work with. I actually like the Bears to keep it close and win ATS.