Bears-49ers Betting Preview: Will San Fran Deliver Again as Home Underdogs?

Bears-49ers Betting Preview: Will San Fran Deliver Again as Home Underdogs? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: San Fransisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (89), Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10).

Betting odds: Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers

  • Spread: Bears -4
  • Over/Under: 43
  • Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

>> All odds as of Friday afternoon. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: This game is eerily similar to last week’s Seahawks-Niners game. The 49ers are getting just 23% of the bets despite their upset of Seattle, but have dropped from -5 to -4 since opening.

They did reach -3.5 at one point, but there was a bit of buyback on Chicago. There have been two sharp money indicators on each side, with both of San Fran’s coming in at +4.5 and both of Chicago’s coming in on -3.5. — Mark Gallant

Trends to know: The 49ers enter Week 16 at 4-10 on the season, marking their fourth-consecutive year with double-digit losses. They have only finished with double-digit losses 11 times in franchise history prior to this streak.

San Francisco has won two consecutive games, though, beating both the Seahawks and Broncos at home. The 49ers have won three straight games just once since November of 2014, the end of last season with Jimmy Garoppolo. — Evan Abrams

The Bears are 10-4 straight up and against the spread this season and have been one of the best all-around teams in the league.

Since 2003, teams that have won and covered at least two-thirds of their games in December or later have struggled on the road, going 42-60-3 ATS (41.2%), losing bettors 20 units.

When the road team is favored in this spot, they fall to 23-41-2 ATS (35.9%), according to our Bet Labs data. — Abrams

Playoff picture: The Bears have a slim chance (12.8% odds, per our simulations) to get a first-round bye. So unless the Rams slip up against the Cardinals as 14-point favorites, Chicago is locked into the 3-seed, with a wild-card date against the Seahawks, Vikings or Eagles looming. Scott T. Miller

Did you know? In the past five seasons, the 49ers are just the second team to have a win percentage of .333 or less in December or later, and play on at least a two-game winning streak.

The other team? Last year’s 49ers under Jimmy G, who won five straight games to end the season bringing San Francisco from 1-10 to 6-10. — Abrams

Biggest mismatch: Bears secondary vs. 49ers receivers

Marquise Goodwin played just 7-of-62 snaps last week, as the 49ers utilized plenty of two-TE sets with Garrett Celek (17 snaps), and also got slot receiver Trent Taylor (15) more involved.

This paved the way for Kendrick Bourne and Pettis to start in two-receiver sets, although Bourne remains a thin play considering he’s surpassed 75 yards just once in 25 career games.

That leaves us with a banged-up Pettis against the league’s premiere defense. Pettis has more or less worked as a true No. 1 receiver since the team’s Week 11 bye in everything except workload-related metrics.

Targets: 26 (T41st among all WRs)
Receptions: 17 (T35th)
Receiving yards: 338 (15th)
Yards per target: 13 (7th)
Receiving TDs: 4 (T2nd)
PPR: 74.6 (13th)

Pettis is capable of having a decent afternoon this Sunday, but don’t expect a massive performance against a secondary featuring three of PFF’s top-15 cornerbacks in Kyle Fuller (No. 3), Bryce Callahan (No. 9) and Prince Amukamara (No. 14).

The Bears rank among the league’s top-five defenses in pass DVOA against WR1s, WR2s, other WRs, and TEs this season. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: Richard Sherman has struggled over his last month of football, but the Bears’ low-volume passing attack has resulted in zero games with more than eight targets for any of the team’s wide receivers since Mitchell Trubisky returned in Week 14.

The Bears’ evenly distributed passing game is clearly great for business, although it’s a volatile fantasy situation to target even in a good matchup against the league’s 25th-ranked defense in pass DVOA. None of the Bears receivers have a Projected Plus/Minus of even +1.0 on DraftKings in our FantasyLabs Pro Models despite all being $5,400 or less. — Hartitz

Which team is healthier? Bears

The only Bears at risk of missing Sunday’s game are stud safety Eddie Jackson (ankle) and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (elbow).

Meanwhile, the 49ers were cautious with safeties Antone Exum (hip) and Jacquiski Tartt (shoulder), along with linebackers Malcolm Smith (Achilles) and Mark Nzeocha (groin), to open up the week.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

Bet to watch: 49ers +4

After cashing with the Panthers Monday night (somehow), I am hoping to provide a pick that won’t need a crazy fumble-touchback rule to succeed.

Let’s go with a fade of the team that dramatically won its division last week — Chicago — that now travels across the country to play the 49ers in a game that seemingly won’t mean as much.

Yes, it’s the typical “letdown spot,” only there’s also really a lot to like about the Niners’ recent play.

They’ve won two in a row, and this is their third straight home game. It’s just a mix of a bad team playing well to close the season facing a good team in a horrible situation because of the big win last week.

And you’re getting 4! Merry Christmas. — Ken Barkley

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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