Lions-Bears Betting Preview: Weather Will Play a Factor in Chicago
Timothy T. Ludwig, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Mitch Trubisky
Betting odds: Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
- Spread: Bears -7
- Over/Under: 44
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV channel: FOX
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: The line is not uniform whatsoever across the market, which is a bit strange considering the big difference between 6.5 and 7. At the time of writing 66% of bettors like the Bears, who have moved from -6.5 to -7 at some books, but -7 to -6.5 at others.
Weather report: This is expected to be the windiest game of the week, with wind speeds average about 13 mph. As is the case across the rest of middle America, temperatures will be chilly and should sit in the high 30s for most of the game. —Mark Gallant
Trends to know: According to our Bet Labs data, Stafford is 24-39-2 against (38.1%, -16.2 units) in his career against teams with a record above .500. Unsurprisingly that is the worst mark of any quarterback since 2009. — Evan Abrams
The Bears have allowed 19 total points in their last two games — granted they played the Bills and Jets — and are allowing 19.1 points per game this season. That looks good but it’s actually been profitably to fade teams that have allowed 10 points or fewer in consecutive games.
Since 2003, those teams are 97-114-6 ATS (46%) in that spot, losing bettors 21.7 units. — Evan Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Detroit’s defensive line vs. Chicago’s offensive line
I think the Lions have a good edge in the trenches against the Bears. Many might think the opposite after the Lions offensive line gave up 10 sacks last week, but I think that was more of an anomaly for a unit that ranked in the top three going into Week 10 in QB pressure percentage and still ranks 15th in adjusted sack rate after last week. I’d actually expect an inspired effort from Detroit’s front after that abomination against the Vikings.
I actually want to focus on the other side of the ball, though. Detroit’s D-line has the No. 1 Adjusted Sack Rate in the NFL — the Bears rank 10th for comparison — and now that it added Damon “Snacks” Harrison and have Ziggy Ansah back, the Lions are finally fully healthy up front and will now be capable against the run.
I think Detroit will have an advantage at almost every position against a subpar Chicago offensive line that doesn’t get much of a push in the run game (24th in Adjusted Line Yards) and has been average in pass protection.
I think the Lions’ defensive line will control the line of scrimmage, holding its own against Chicago’s run and pressuring Mitch Trubisky into mistakes. — Stuckey
Which team is healthier? Bears
This is perhaps the week’s healthiest matchup. The Bears are expected to welcome back wide receiver Allen Robinson (groin) and pass-rusher Khalil Mack (ankle), while wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (leg) isn’t thought to be dealing with a serious injury.
The Lions risk playing without stud cornerback Darius Slay (knee), but running backs Kerryon Johnson (ankle) and LeGarrette Blount (knee) are each tentatively expected to suit up on Sunday after practicing in a limited fashion all week.
DFS edge: Jordan Howard is an intriguing tournament play this week as the Bears are presently 7-point home favorites against the Lions. Howard has played well this season when the game script works in his favor, and that could be the case this week.
Overall, Howard leads the Bears with 31% of their red-zone opportunities, and a robust 62.5% of their red-zone carries. He presently owns a 77% Leverage Rating on FanDuel in our FantasyLabs Models. —Justin Bailey
Bet to watch: Under 44
We already know how dynamic Chicago’s defense is, and Stuckey made a great point above regarding how the return of Ansah and addition of Harrison will help a Lions defense that struggled to start the season.
On the other side of the ball, both teams are in no hurry to run plays, with Detroit ranking 21st and Chicago 27th in Football Outsiders’ seconds per play statistic.
And finally, the forecast is calling for steady 13 mph winds, which certainly won’t help the passing game for either team. According to Bet Labs, unders are 448-355-10 (55.8%) in NFL games played in double-digit winds since 2003.
Grab under 44 before this total approaches the key number of 43. — PJ Walsh
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.