Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions Pick 11/28/19
Chicago Bears (5-6 SU, 3-8 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (3-7-1 SU, 4-7 ATS)
NFL Week 13
Date/Time: Thursday, November 28, 2019 at 12:30PM EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Point Spread: CHI -1/DET +1 (BetNow)
Over/Under Total: 39.5
The Chicago Bears come to Ford Field on Thanksgiving to take on the Detroit Lions. The Bears won last week and can get to .500 this week with a win. On Sunday, they beat the Giants, 19-14. Detroit, meanwhile, continues a harrowing slide, losing their fourth in a row and seventh of eight games in a disheartening 19-16 loss to the 1-9 Redskins on Sunday. On November 10, these divisional rivals met at Soldier Field, with the Bears taking a 20-13 win that was as forgettable as it gets. Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky threw three TDs, and the Detroit offense once again couldn’t establish a foothold. Will it be any different in the Motor City on Thanksgiving?
Letting Down Bettors
If not for the fact that these teams have played each other recently, no one has cashed a ticket on either of these squads in recent memory. Detroit has gone six straight weeks without covering the spread. Chicago has covered one spread in seven weeks and it was against this Detroit team. So there might be some hesitation getting down on either side this week, as it’s been a long string of disappointment for bettors getting behind these suffering teams. A Detroit team that showed some spark in a 2-0-1 start has completely fizzled out, while a 12-4 team from last season in the Bears is dead in the water heading into week 13.
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Wasting a Good Defense
In this game, one would be inclined to single out the Chicago defense as the most compelling item of this matchup. With all other aspects of these teams suffering, the Bears can still play defense. But whereas it allowed them to shine last season, this year it’s just keeping the Bears from being embarrassed. Keeping opponents limited to modest point totals with an offense that is hanging them out to dry always says a lot. They still have Khalil Mack, a strong middle, and a secondary that is stout with a ton of playmaking ability.
It says a lot about a Chicago offense that this team can’t cover a spread to save their lives with that defense. It’s an ugly situation, and even a Detroit home-defense that isn’t particularly special can thrive in this spot. Mitchell Trubisky just doesn’t have the winning touch this season, and despite decent receivers in Taylor Gabriel, Allen Robinson, and Anthony Taylor, along with a good weapon in Tarik Cohen, the Chicago passing-attack is utterly flat. To his credit, Trubisky can spring plays with his legs, but the RB-duo of David Montgomery and Cohen has been pretty bad overall. A great defense is terrific to have, but with this offense, it’s not enough.
Is Detroit Through?
Some things make it hard to point fingers on a failed season for the Lions. They weren’t prepared for life without Matthew Stafford this season, and Jeff Driskel is simply not up-to-snuff, with 56 points scored in his three starts. But it’s not just Stafford, as injuries across all areas have rendered the Lions a spent force. They weren’t counting on a QB-RB battery of Driskel and Bo Scarborough, a guy who is on his fifth team in his second season. They still have some aerial pop, even with Driskel behind center, with Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola being solid aerial weapons. But suffice to say this offense has seen better days.
The Lions are also missing a lot of their heat on both lines of scrimmage. They’re missing a couple of corners, and a good half of their projected starters are either on IR or questionable. A few weeks ago, they ran off one of their better DBs in Quandre Diggs. Between the departures and injuries, the defense is not able to reproduce the playmaking or stoutness they were building on with good effect earlier in the season. And while it’s hard to find a silver lining in a loss to the lowly Redskins, they allowed very little, as the Redskins only TD was on a return. So while it has gotten ugly, I’d stop short of saying they’ve given up or that they’re not viable in this divisional home-setting against a Bears team that has a lot of their own problems.
A Potential Standoff?
Saying that Detroit will struggle against the Bears’ defense is a pretty defensible position. A resilient unit that has remained largely unaffected by the deterioration around them, the Chicago defense could very well be what tilts this game in the Bears’ favor, both straight-up and ATS. But does the Chicago offense only struggle against good defenses? After scoring seven against the Rams and 19 against the Giants, while only putting 20 up at home against this Detroit defense, it’s clear that you don’t need to be that special to keep the Chicago offense in check.
Take the Home Dog
When a team doesn’t cover for six weeks, an endorsement is hard to give, but it can’t go on like this forever. This game has a lot of the earmarks of a struggle where gaining separation is elusive. With the short week and this being at home and having shown they can hang in there with the Bears in their first game, this seems like a spot where maybe the Lions can hang. Granted, they might have a lame-duck coach with a backup QB and a ton of injuries, but laying points on this Chicago team with that offense on the road seems counterproductive on so many levels. I see a competitive Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit, with the Lions notching the cover. I’ll take Detroit.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Detroit Lions plus one point.
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