SNF Picks: Chiefs vs. Bears Pick
Kansas City Chiefs (10-4, 9-5 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (7-7 SU, 4-10 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday, December 22, 8:20 PM EST
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago
Point Spread: Chi +5 / KC -5 (Best Bonus)
Over/Under Total: 45
The Windy City and Chicago Bears will host the Kansas City Chiefs for the week 16 Sunday Night Football game. The Chiefs are tuning up for a playoff run, while the Bears are making tee times for the off season. 5Dimes has made KC 5 point road favorites and set the game total at 45. The play is to lay the points and ride with the Chiefs. Here are 3 reasons.
KC Is In High Gear
MVP Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has battled injuries for much of the year, missing weeks 8 and 9 with a dislocated knee cap. In the last 4 games with Mahomes getting closer to 100%, KC has outscored their opponents by 65 points, including a road win in New England. Tyreek Hill has also been stung by the injury bug, and he showed last week he is right at 100%, scoring 2 touchdowns, including a 41 yard bomb from Mahomes to open the scoring in the snow. Mahomes is averaging 8.5 yards per attempt and has thrown for 23 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. He won’t be the MVP for the season, but he can certainly be the MVP of the playoffs and lead the Chiefs to the Super Bowl. The running game isn’t helping Mahomes very much, with the running backs averaging less than 80 yards per game. This has hurt the Chiefs in the red zone where they are converting just over 50% of the red zone visits into touchdowns. Travis Kelce continues to do his part as Mahomes go to guy over the middle, catching 70% of his targets for over 80 yards per game. Kelce should have a big game against a Bear defense that has its own injury issues.
The Bear defense has taken a step back this year. They still rank 3rd in opponents points allowed, 6th in yards per play against, but the big regression is in sacks and takeaways. Chicago ranks in the bottom 10 of the league with only 16 takeaways, and 23rd in sacks. Khalil Mack has only 7.5 sacks and has been shut out the last 3 weeks. All Pro tackle Akiem Hicks returned last week and provides some reinforcement against the run, but that won’t help much against the Chiefs and Mahomes. Middle linebackers Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan are both out for the year, leaving a big weakness in the middle of the field. Andy Reid will get Kelce, his speedy receivers or his backs into the middle of the field and the Bears will have no answer. KC has allowed the 6th fewest sacks in the league, so Mahomes will have time to throw, and though the Bears secondary is respectable, they won’t be able to keep Mahomes from finding his receivers. I expect KC’s offense to have a relatively easy time moving the ball and scoring. Getting into the endzone will be the key for them, but I think that is the difference between scoring in the mid 20s or high 30s. I can’t see the Bear defense stopping this Chief offense.
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The Bears are Who We Thought They Were
Mitchell Trubisky has played a few good games this year, primarily when the Bears were lining up against a bad defense. When facing a strong defense or an opponent with a strong offense that would score and force Trubisky to keep up, he has proven he can’t do it. Trubisky’s numbers aren’t bad, 64% completion rate, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, but a lot of that has come in garbage time. The Bears are 26th in the league in 3rd down conversions, and 30th in first quarter points. Allen Robinson is playing at an all pro level and has proven he can be productive even with Trubisky delivering him the ball, while Anthony Miller has emerged as a solid number 2 option. Rookie David Montgomery is only averaging 3.5 yards per rushing attempt, but he has improved as the season has progressed. They will face a Chief defense that doesn’t get much respect, but has been playing better over the last month.
KC’s defense allows 20 points per game for the season, but has limited its last 4 opponents to a total of only 45 points. Tackle Chris Jones is back from missing a few games with injuries, and had fortified the middle of the defense. The Honey Badger Tyrann Mathieu has had his best campaign since his rookie season and is again playing as one of the league’s elite safeties. The Chiefs defense will be able to shut down the Bears offense. Trubisky knows he will have to keep up with Mahomes, and will undoubtably throw a couple of picks. The Bear offense has been overmatched on numerous occasions this year, and it will happen again on Sunday Night.
KC Has the Intangibles
Andy Reid brings his team to Chicago riding a 4 game winning streak, with a chance to get a bye in the playoffs. At the very least, they need to win to hold on to the number 3 seed and play the Steelers in the first round of the playoffs rather than the Bills, then face a Patriot team they have already beat in New England in the Divisional round. They are a team that has been here before and know how to take care of business in December. Chicago on the other hand came into the season thinking they could make a deep playoff run, but things haven’t worked out. They still had a chance before losing last week to their arch rival Packers, which ended their season. It will be hard for Chicago coach Matt Nagy to motivate the troops in this one. Chicago has the worst ATS record in the league coming into this one, so the Bears have been falling short of expectations all year, there is no reason it will end this week.
Play the Chiefs -5
The play in Soldiers Field is to lay the 5 points and take Mahomes and the Chiefs. This line will go up as we get closer to game time as the public will definitely be on KC, and it will take more than 5 points for the professionals to back Trubisky. I see a blow-out coming in Chicago.