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Bears vs Lions Week 17 Odds, Pick: Bet This Road Underdog

Bears vs Lions Week 17 Odds, Pick: Bet This Road Underdog article feature image
Credit:

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured Justin Fields (right).

  • The Lions are home favorites against the Bears with their playoff lives at stake.
  • At 53.5, this game has by far the highest over/under of the week in the NFL.
  • Below, John LanFranca delivers his Bears vs Lions pick.

Bears vs Lions Odds

Sunday, Jan. 1
1 p.m. ET
FOX
Bears Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+5.5
-110
52.5
-110o / -110u
+200
Lions Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-5.5
-110
52.5
-110o / -110u
-250
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

The Bears have lost seven straight games heading into their matchup with the Lions on Sunday. So, how does that affect our Bears vs Lions pick?

The previous meeting between these two NFC North teams resulted in a 31-30 shootout back in Week 10. The Bears were favored by three points heading into that game, and with less than five minutes remaining, they had a greater than 80% win expectancy.

However, the Lions came back to steal a victory in that contest, and since that point, they had garnered the hype of a future playoff team – until last week that is, when the Panthers‘ offense gashed this Lions’ defense to the tune of 570 total yards.

Looking at Bears vs Lions odds, are we now to believe this version of the Lions has swung the pendulum from previously being three-point underdogs against the Bears to six-point favorites over the same team?

I am not quite buying it, and I believe there are many reasons to attack this spread.

Bears vs. Lions Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Bears and Lions match up statistically:

Bears vs. Lions DVOA Breakdown
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 23 28
Pass DVOA 27 28
Rush DVOA 12 26
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 6 32
Pass DVOA 7 29
Rush DVOA 15 29

Back in Week 10, Justin Fields rushed for an astounding 147 yards against the Lions defense. In total, the Bears rushed for 258 yards on the way to outgaining the Lions by 85 yards in their first matchup.

No team in the NFL has given up more rushing yards and rushing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Lions. This is just one of the many reasons the Lions defense struggles to get off the field on third down.

Detroit has forced its opponents to punt on only 30.1% of drives this season, the lowest rate in the league (per Sharp Football). And while the Lions became the darlings of the public since they began their winning streak back in Week 9, the defense hasn’t exactly been the catalyst and has ranked 24th in total defensive DVOA over that span.


Bet Detroit vs. Chicago at FanDuel


For all of the chatter about Fields’ development as a passer, it’s worth noting he bests Jared Goff in percentage of throws deemed as “big-time” by Pro Football Focus, 2.9% to 2.5%. Fields has a passer rating of 98.0 this season when he is kept clean inside the pocket. The Lions adjusted sack rate of 6.1% ranks 25th in the NFL, and only five teams have generated fewer sacks this season.

Another reason to feel positive about Fields’ comfortability in the pocket on Sunday is rookie left tackle Braxton Jones. Jones was not beaten by a Lions’ defender in their first meeting, as he didn’t allow a single pressure. He now ranks as Pro Football Focus’ 16th-ranked offensive tackle this season and is just another reason to believe the Chicago offense is in store for a good performance in this specific matchup.

The Bears and Lions defensive units represent two of the worst three defenses on the season, according to yards per play allowed. It may be surprising to some which of these units is actually the one showing improvement in recent weeks. Since the Bears’ bye week, they have taken on the Eagles and Bills, both of whom rank as top-three offensive teams, according to DVOA.

Over those two weeks specifically, the Bears rank 18th in DVOA on defense. While that may not seem all too impressive, the improvements have been evident despite their recent string of losses against stiff competition. For context, over these last two weeks, the Lions defense ranks 32nd in DVOA.

Betting Picks

Since 2019, road underdogs of 3.5 to 7 points facing a team .500 or worse are 59-31-1 (65.6%) against the spread. When those games are inside the division, underdogs in that same spot are 22-11-1 (66.6%).

Over the past three seasons, teams coming off a 20+ point loss that are underdogs in their next game are 58-32-1 (64.4%) against the spread.

Furthermore, road underdogs of exactly six points inside the division are 17-6 (73.9%) against the number over the past eight years.

Chicago was penalized nine times in its first meeting with the Lions, who were flagged only twice. The Bears dominated the Lions defense on the ground, even without Fields’ gaudy rushing total. David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert averaged more than five yards per carry combined.

Nothing in the lead-up to this game tells me the story will be any different this time around. The matchup for the Lions’ front seven against this Bears rushing attack is extremely poor for the home team. Detroit is struggling badly in gap responsibility and lacks the physicality to withstand a push at the line of scrimmage.

Just on principle alone in the world of handicapping, when you can catch six points against possibly the worst defense in the NFL, it’s an auto-play. The Lions were lucky to win back in Week 10, and they’ll be lucky to still be in the playoff race after Sunday.

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