Oakland Raiders (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS)
Pro Football Week 4
Date/Time: Sunday, October 4th, 1:00PM EST
Where: Soldier Field
By Mike M., Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Oakland-3 / Chicago+3
Over/Under Total: 45
The Oakland Raiders head to Chicago this week to take on the Bears in a matchup of two teams going in the opposite direction.
Chicago enters the game with a record of 0-3 and appears to be in complete disarray with indications that they may already been planning for next season. This week they traded Jared Allen to Carolina and Jonathan Bostic to New England for minimal late round picks and there have been multiple rumors out of The Midway that star running back Matt Forte may be on the trading block as well.
The Bears offense has clearly been affected by injuries to leading wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey and quarterback Jay Cutler, both of whom are questionable to play on Sunday with Jeffrey probably having the best chance of either to suit up against Oakland. With Cutler more than likely out on Sunday that means Jimmy Clausen will be starting again at quarterback and to make things even worse for the team, starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod is now not expected to play either after suffering a concussion in last weeks 26-0 shutout loss to the Seahawks. Clausen has a well documented 1-11 record as a starter, though to be fair a majority of the damage came as a rookie in 2010 when he played for a terrible Carolina Panthers team. The team is hoping he can improve on just 146 yards passing last week which could only help Matt Forte, who has been limited to just 135 yards rushing over the past two games as defenses are stacking the box against the running back since he is the only healthy playmaker left on the team since tight end Martellus Bennett doesnt have anyone to throw to him.
The Raiders offense has been the opposite of the Bears, hitting on all cylinders thanks in large part to three emerging young stars and a rejuvenated veteran. Second year quarterback Derek Carr has been on fire to start the year, throwing for 726 yards with five touchdowns and only one interception, and will look to continue his recent success with rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper and former 49er receiver and top ten pick Michael Crabtree. Rounding out the offense is third year running back Latavius Murray, who has cemented himself as the teams starter with 248 yards rushing and two touchdowns so far and now makes for an attractive option for daily fantasy play.
After winning their past two games, including their first road victory for the first time in twelve games last weekend, the Raiders opened as a two point favorite and the line has since gone up to three, which ends a streak of 27 straight games that Oakland was the underdog. If you are a fan of gambling trends, neither team has an impressive record for this weekends scenario. While the Raiders are 6-21 in their previous 27 games as a favorite and just 1-6 in their last seven as a road favorite, the Bears are an even worse 1-9 as a home underdog in their last ten games at Soldier Field and have covered at home only seven times in their last 28 games overall.
In a battle of head coaches in the first years at their respective teams, Jack Del Rio and the Raiders are my pick against the Bears and his former boss at Denver and Carolina, John Fox. Oakland has been playing with a purpose under Del Rio and should continue their recent success against a depleted Bears team and get their third victory of the year, which would match their win total for all of last season.
Mikes Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Oakland-3
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