Detroit vs. Chicago Week 13 Odds & Picks
Detroit Lions (4-7 SU, 4-7 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (5-6 SU, 5-6 ATS)
Week 13 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 1PM EST
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
Point Spread: DET +3/CHI -3 (WagerWeb - Check out their 20 point football teasers!)
Over/Under Total: 44.5
The Detroit Lions come to Soldier Field on Sunday for an NFC North battle with the Chicago Bears. This game presents an interesting betting conundrum between two times where success has been elusive in recent weeks. For Detroit, it got so unbearable for ownership after an embarrassing 41-25 loss to the Texans that they canned head coach Matt Patricia and their GM. But after watching the Bears get smacked around en route to their fifth straight loss on Sunday night, it’s not clear if they can do much about Detroit’s state. Let’s try to figure out who is in a better position to cover on Sunday.
Does Game One Mean Anything
This is the second game between these division rivals, with their first meeting being a week one faceoff in Ford Field, a 27-23 win for the Bears. This was a Bears team that started off the season 5-1. The team we have seen over the last five weeks bears no resemblance to that team. In addition, Detroit has played with so much variance this season that single-game windows have no bearing. In the end, the first game more or less attests to what we already know—it’s a tough game to call between these two.
Why Getting Behind Detroit is Really Hard
Even against a Chicago team that looks to have hit the skids, pulling the trigger on Detroit is not easy right now. First of all, it was easy to picture how a halfway-functional team would have destroyed Houston on Thanksgiving, but it was Detroit that was destroyed. And it started to get real tiresome seeing Patricia with his pencil on the sidelines looking confused. They have excuses upon excuses, some of them being valid. And their offense has been peppered with injuries, preventing them from establishing continuity. Without Kenny Golladay and D’Andre Swift, among others, it’s not easy. We might see guys circulating back into the rotation, which would really help an offense that is getting very little out of what they have, even helping the other team out in spots.
Again, the results of the Lions are really all over the place. Early in the season, they blew leads in games they were winning handily. Then they got to .500, even beating the Cardinals. But in ensuing weeks, they were letdowns across the board, and whenever they got to a crossroads moment, they came up short with gusto. And for it to culminate with what we saw last Thursday was understandably the last straw for ownership.
If looking for the cup-half-full perspective, it’s not that hard to find in this context, actually. First, look at what’s going on with the opposite sideline in this game—a total disaster. And even though a coach getting canned is the ultimate testament of where a team stands, we sometimes see a little surge with a new voice in everyone’s heads, the voice, in this case, being Darrell Bevell. They’re getting some valuable pieces back hopefully, still have a talented QB in Matthew Stafford, and enough pieces to make it so they should absolutely be better.
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Bears Back in Their Wheelhouse?
Looking back, perhaps their 5-1 start was a mirage. They did beat Tampa, but their other wins came against the problem-ridden Giants, Falcons, Panthers, and this Detroit team. And sure, they’ve really come crashing to earth, leading some to say they were the worse 5-1 team they’ve ever seen. And maybe that’s true, but I think context is important in the equation. While able to see their deliberate offense and stingy defense thrive against substandard opposition that often undermined themselves, it didn’t manifest when their opposition improved. This five-game skid includes losses to the Rams, Titans, and Packers, as well as losses to a surging Vikings team and the Saints. That’s a pretty rough stretch of games, and now that they’re back in the B-league of the NFL, maybe we can see some of the things they do well come up to the surface more.
We’ll see where the Bears go at QB after Foles sat out the last game with a bum hip. Mitchell Trubisky was productive in spots, and they got a big showing from David Montgomery, who had some great runs on Sunday night with 103 yards and a touchdown reception. But two picks and a coughed-up fumble from Trubisky made it hard on an offense that has found astoundingly-little success on the field as of late. Allen Robinson had two touchdown catches, and it was the best we’ve seen from this offense in recent weeks. Against Detroit, it could really pay off.
Again, it comes down to context. After watching Aaron Rodgers and the Packers pick apart a Chicago defense that is supposed to be their strong suit, it’s hard to speak laudatorily about this unit. But as we look at their results this season, even when they started falling apart from a W-L standpoint, their defense still held firm for the most part. And that was with an offense that was really making life hard for them. Against a mistake-prone road Detroit offense that has personnel issues, this is a spot where a Chicago defense can reclaim some of its form.
Take the Home Team
It’s not easy laying points on a team that has covered one spread in a month-and-a-half. But Chicago might be more in their lane in this one, at home against a team that has really bottomed-out in terms of their form. Chicago has real problems, and in certain spots, it is a major hindrance to not only them winning, but you covering. In this spot, however, I see what they still do well playing more of a factor and resonating where it hasn’t in recent weeks. I’ll take the Bears.
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