Chicago Bears (13-3 last season) at San Diego Chargers (14-2 last season) -6 , o/u 42.5, 4:15 p.m. Eastern Sunday, September 9 on Fox
by Jerald of Predictem.com
The Chicago Bears travel to Qualcomm Stadium to face the San Diego Chargers. These teams meet after very successful seasons in 2006 with the Bears playing in the Super Bowl and the Chargers just one game away from the Super Bowl. However, even with the success the Chargers had, they fired their HC Schottenheimer and brought in Norv Turner to replace him.
The Bears will be led by much maligned QB Rex Grossman. Grossman had an up and down season in 2006 as he seemed to alternate between being very good and turnover prone. Grossman completed 54.6% of his passes for 3,197 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions last season. The Bears rushing game will be manned by Cedric Benson. Benson split time with Thomas Jones (who was sent to the Jets) and rushed for 647 yards and 6 touchdowns last year.
The Chargers are led by 2nd year starter Phillip Rivers who completed 61.7% of his passes for 3,387 yards, 22 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. The rushing attack is led by 2006 MVP LaDanian Tomlinson who set a TD record last season with 28 rushing TDs and also had 3 receiving TDs. He rushed for 1,815 yards and had 508 yards receiving.
Chicago was 15th in total offense last season. They averaged 119.8 yards rushing per game (3.80 yards per carry) and 205.4 yards passing. San Diego ranked 4th in total offense rushing for 161.4 yards per game (4.95 yards per carry) and 203.6 yards passing.
The Bears defense ranked 6th in total defense allowing 99.7 yards rushing (3.96 yards per carry) and 195.4 yards passing. The Chargers defense ranked 10th in total defense allowing 100.9 yards rushing (4.16 yards per rush) and 200.7 yards passing.
In scoring offense the Bears ranked 2nd averaging 26.7 points per game, the Chargers ranked 1st scoring 30.8 points per game. In scoring defense Chicago was 2nd allowing 14.8 points per game, San Diego was 6th allowing 18.4 points per game.
Chicago was 11-8 against the spread last season, they were 7-2 straight up and 5-4 ATS on the road.
San Diego was 9-8 ATS last season, and 8-1 SU and 5-4 vs. the number at home.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com ranks Chicago #6 at 23.33, San Diego is 3rd at 25.77.
The O/U is 13-5 in Bears games last season, 10-7 in Chargers games.
San Diego opened up as a 5.5 point home favorite with a total of 43. The line has risen to -6 and the total has dropped to 42.5. At the time of this writing, the public consensus was backing the Chargers 73%-27%.
The Predictem Pick: These 2 teams were the highest scoring teams in 2006 and we expect that to continue in this game. We suggest a wager on over the total of 42.5.
San Diego 28 Chicago 24