Washington Redskins (5-7 SU, 5-7 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (5-7 SU, 7-5 ATS)
NFL Week 14
Date/Time: Sunday, December 13, 2015, 1:00 pm EST
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.
TV: FOX, DirecTV 706
by Badger, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WASH +3.5/CHI -3.5
Over/Under Total: 44
Two teams with 5-7 records but still trying desperately to stay alive in the NFC playoff hunt will meet up in an early game Sunday at Soldier Field, when the Washington Redskins face the Chicago Bears in week 14 NFL action on the Fox Network.
The Redskins are still alive in the NFC playoff picture due too the inability of any team in the NFC East to keep their heads above water. Despite a demoralizing and gut-wrenching loss on Monday Night Football to the rival Dallas Cowboys last week, 19-16, the Redskins still find themselves in a three-way tie atop the East division standing with other underachieving rivals Philly and the New York Giants. Sundays game is about as must-have as must-have gets in the NFL, as the Redskins just cannot afford to lose pace with the rest of the NFC East by giving away another game to a non-division opponent like the Bears.
Chicago found a new way to lose last weekend, this time it was when normally rock-solid and reliable kicker Robbie Gould shanked two field goals in the fourth quarter of what eventually turned into a, 26-20, overtime loss to the 49ers at Soldier Field. By no means is Gould the lone reason for another Bears loss, as the once proud Monsters of the Midway defense made the 49ers retread QB Blaine Gabbert look like an All-Pro, but as a whole it was a collective stink of an effort that has the Bears once again planning for tee times in January instead of planning for the playoffs.
With a another home game at Soldier Field, the Bears opened as 3.5-point favorites when the first point spread opened late on Monday. With a day to simmer, the number only has dropped to minus -3 at just a few sportsbooks after the early steam. The over/under total at 44 and has moved down the hook to 43.5 at a few sportbooks on the web and in Las Vegas.
On paper this is the classic matchup of two mediocre NFL teams. For the Bears, all-everything Matt Forte has been banged up after years of overuse, Alshon Jeffery hasnt been healthy enough to replace the loss of Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler is still so overpaid for the (lack of) production so the Bears offense is sort of stuck in no-mans land as they rebuild up front and out on the perimeter. The offense still has its moments, but the Bears have struggled with consistency so much they may not be able to take advantage of the fact the Redskins are 25th versus the run (124 ypg allowed) and will be playing on a short week following the loss on Monday night.
Of course, the Redskins offense has also been inconsistent and often struggles to move the ball with the 25th-ranked total offense at 333 yards per game. QB Kirk Cousins is playing well enough to have Washington on the cusp, but a lack of consistent line play up front has limited the Skins running game (94 ypg 26th) and brought the whole unit down. With the Bears front seven on defense giving up huge yardage in the run game (allowing 128 ypg 29th), rookie Matt Jones and the Skins should be able to move the chains a little better on Sunday.
Washington has enjoyed a solid run of good luck against the Bears over the years, winning in five straight games dating from 2004 to 2013. The Redskins are also 3-0 ATS in the last three meetings, 5-1 ATS in the last six and 8-2 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head meetings with the Bears going back to the 1996 season.
Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread:Chicago cant seem to play a full 60 minutes at peak performance, and they looked sloppy in their loss to the 49ers at home last weekend. I mean, Gould missed two chipshots last week on his birthday if thats not snakebit I dont know what is. For that reason alone, Ill take the Bears to bounce back this week. Im taking Chicago minus -3.
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