(3-8 SU, 5-5-1 ATS)
NFL Week 13
Date/Time: Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
by Scott, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SF +3.5/CHI -3.5
Over/Under Total: 40.5
The San Francisco 49ers come into Soldier Field on Sunday to take on the Chicago Bears. Both teams came up short on Sunday, which has become a common theme for each squad. The Bears lost their fourth game in a row on Sunday in a 31-3 loss to the Eagles on the road. They look to get a needed win this week against an 0-11 Niners team that lost to the Seahawks on Sunday, 24-13. They were coming off the bye after their first win of the season, but after a close first half, the Seahawks pulled away for the win. The Niners only touchdown came as time ran out.
The Niners are dealing with a ton of injuries, which has de-accelerated the rebuilding process. It would be going better if they didnt receive a disproportional amount of injuries. They are also dealing with some issues at quarterback. Late in the game against the Seahawks, CJ Beathard suffered a knee injury, with newly-acquired Jimmy Garoppolo coming in late and throwing a TD as time ran out. While no decision has been made officially as of press time, it could be a good time to throw Garoppolo in there, with Beathard having taken a bit of a beating the last handful of weeks. Its just that its been hard for the 49ers to thrive with so many key pieces on both sides of the ball either on IR or banged-up.
The San Francisco offense is handicapped by youth, a lack of difference-makers, injuries, and a line that hasnt always been up-to-snuff. If they go with Garoppolo, maybe he can inject some energy into this offense. With 639 yards on the ground and 49 receptions, Carlos Hyde might not be an electric presence in this offense, but hes a useful weapon. WR Marquise Goodwin is averaging 21.4 points a catch. Young tight end George Kittle is coming around, while slot receiver Trent Taylor steps up with nice plays here and there. Still, at an average of 17 points a game, this offense has suffered more often than not.
At full power, the San Francisco defense is a unit on the rise. They still arent as bad as theyve been the last few seasons even with all the personnel setbacks. They have a growing pass-rushing force on one end with Solomon Thomas. Rookie Rueben Foster has fought through injury this season and is one of the best young linebackers in the business. Ray Ray Armstrong is also a force in the middle, while Eric Reid is still a difference-maker on this side of the ball. But the injuries have hit this side of the ball the hardest and they are struggling to keep their noses above water. In their last three games, they have allowed, in succession, 20, 21, and 24 points. So they might match up with well with the last-ranked offense in the NFC in the Chicago Bears.
Chicago is still trying to work things out on both sides of the ball. In the last two weeks against Detroit and Philadelphia, the D was exploited a bit, so maybe theyll find a road San Fran offense more to their liking. There isnt much point in carrying on about their 3-point performance against the 10-1 Eagles on Sunday. QB Mitchell Trubisky had his worst showing in his 7 starts, as the rookie is still getting his feet wet at this level. He threw two picks and wasnt able to make much happen against the rugged Eagles defense. Jordan Howard couldnt get anything going and should have a much better game this week. Prior to running into the Eagles top-ranked run defense, he had been on a nice roll. The problem is that everyone they were counting on aerially is out of action. Nothing against Dontrelle Inman and Tre McBride, III., but they are not ideal starting receivers. Rookie running back Tarik Cohen has been useful in spots this season and could make an impact this Sunday.
The Chicago defense has some nice things going for it. They can rush the passer pretty well, with DE Akiem Hicks and LB Pernell McPhee getting to the quarterback regularly this season. DT Eddie Goldman has been nice inside against the run. Corners Prince Amakamura and Kendall Fuller have been decent, with safeties Adrian Amos (questionable) and Eddie Jackson making plays. They only have four picks on the season as a defense, though they have scored three times. For as bad as San Francisco has been bitten by the injury bug, Chicago has almost had it just as bad, with a big chunk of the defense on IR. They hope to get LB Danny Trevathan back, as they can use all the help they can get on this side of the ball.
The records of both teams fails to inspire excitement, but its still an interesting matchup between two teams that are still trying hard. It isnt difficult to picture the Chicago defense playing well at home, with the ground-game getting on a roll, and Trubisky able to make some things happen. At the same time, the 49ers are not out of their realm in this spot. Even a 49ers offense that often stalls out during games could put together some nice drives in this spot. I just see more plausible scenarios favoring the more-dependable Bears, who should get a good game from Howard and enough big plays on D to tip things in their favor. Im taking Chicago.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the Chicago Bears minus 3.5 points. - Bet your pick for this game using your credit card at an online bookie where it WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive a generous 50% signup bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $250! (Example: Deposit $250 and they’ll give you an extra $250 FREE!) Find this great offer at Bovada Sportsbook.