Lions vs. Bears Odds & Picks: Which Team Can You Trust to Cover?
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones
Editor’s note: Picks were made prior to the news of Matthew Stafford’s injury and the subsequent line move.
Lions at Bears Odds & Picks
- Odds: Bears -2.5
- Over/Under: 41.5
- Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS
Odds as of Thursday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
The Chicago Bears will host the Detroit Lions as small favorites in an NFC North showdown on Sunday, though a slight majority is backing Matthew Stafford and Co. to cover on the road. But is that the best betting edge?
Our staff breaks down every angle of this game, featuring comprehensive matchup analysis and picks.
Lions-Bears Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Bears
The Bears continue their healthy streak with only defensive lineman Eddie Goldman (thigh) listed on their injury report. And he practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday, so he’s trending in the right direction.
Matthew Stafford (hip/back) has been limited in practice all week, but he’s not expected to be in jeopardy of missing this game. They also have one key defensive injury with safety Tracy Walker missing practice all week with a knee injury. Walker owns the eighth-best Pro Football Focus grade in pass coverage among safeties this season. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Matthew Stafford vs. Mitch Trubisky
This isn’t rocket science — the biggest mismatch is at quarterback.
I don’t think either team will have much success on the ground on a cold and slightly windy day at Soldier Field. Points may come at a premium, which means this game could be decided by which quarterback makes more plays down the field through the air. And the clear advantage goes to the Lions, who have the much better quarterback and the more dangerous weapons on the outside.
Both offenses rank outside the top 25 in Football Outsiders’ rush DVOA. And while the Bears’ passing offense has performed poorly all season, the Lions have a top-five passing offense. Pro Football Focus also has both rated in the bottom-five of rush offenses (with Chicago dead last), as well as the Bears rated in the bottom-five of pass offenses and the Lions inside the top 10.
Now, due to some injuries and personnel moves, Detroit’s defense has been slipping in recent weeks and Chicago has the much better overall defense, so the Bears aren’t completely helpless in this game — especially once you add in some weather, home-field advantage and a healthier team. But from a pure mismatch perspective, the biggest one is at QB.
Per PFF, among quarterbacks with a minimum of 100 drop backs this season, Stafford has a passing grade ranked seventh out of 35 qualified quarterbacks. Trubisky ranks 33rd, ahead of only Sam Darnold and Luke Falk. Stafford also ranks third in QB Rating in a clean pocket while Trubisky ranks 25th, which is important for Sunday because the Lions don’t generate much pressure (they’re 28th in adjusted sack rate). — Stuckey
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Bears -2.5
- Projected Total: 43
Trubisky could be playing for his job as the pressure for the Bears to turn to Chase Daniel is building. The offense has been dysfunctional all season and they’re built to win now. If Trubisky doesn’t show some promise on Sunday, I think there’s a real possibility we see Daniel start in Week 11.
The total dropping from 43 to 41.5 has opened some value on the over.
As of writing, 60% of the tickets and 93% of the money has poured in on the under (see live public betting data here), making me think there’s a real chance this can dip to 41 or even 40.5. Forty and 41 are such key numbers for over/unders that it’s worth waiting to see if that happens. If it does, I’ll likely bite the over as this matchup sets up nicely for a higher-scoring environment than people realize.
The Lions have become a pass-heavy team ever since Kerryon Johnson was placed on Injured Reserve. They’ve made no real effort to address the position and currently have a committee pass-catching backs, resulting in back-to-back overs.
The Bears will likely attack the Lions on the ground, where they’ve given up 120 or more scrimmage yards to a running back in all but one game this season, so rookie RB David Montgomery could have a huge game and help the Bears move the ball despite their poor QB play.
Give me the over if it dips to the 40.5-41 range. — Sean Koerner
Matthew Freedman: Lions +2.5
Put simply, I don’t think the Bears will be able to keep up with the Lions offensively.
In six of their eight games, the Lions have scored at least 24 points, and the Bears defense — though still good — is not the fearsome unit it was last season. Meanwhile, the Bears have scored as many as 24 points just twice.
The Lions are No. 27 with a 61.0 PFF run defense grade, and I expect that the Bears will want to lean heavily on Montgomery in order to hide their regressing third-year quarterback.
But the running game can only carry an offense so far, and the Bears don’t have a strong running game anyway: They’re No. 26 in rushing success rate (per Sharp Football Stats). On defense, the Lions are No. 28 in rushing success rate. So as bad as the Lions are against the run, the Bears aren’t that much better at running the ball.
And on offense, the Lions should be able to move down the field. Since their Week 5 bye, the Lions have dramatically shifted toward the passing game, moving from a 54.6% pass play rate in Weeks 1-4 to a 65.5% mark in Weeks 6-9. That’s significant because I think the Bears are overrated in pass defense. They rank No. 21 in pass success rate allowed, while the Lions are No. 10 in the metric on offense.
I specifically think that wide receiver Kenny Golladay will have his way against the Bears corners. For the season, he’s No. 2 with 145.8 air yards and yards after the catch combined and No. 4 with 1.38 end-zone targets per game (per AirYards.com and PFF).
Golladay is getting high-value usage, and he’s making the most of it: Since the bye, he has a 16-397-3 receiving line in four games. And last year, he was 11-168-1 in two games against the Bears.
The connection between Stafford and Golladay is the real difference in this game. That the Lions also have wide receivers Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola and tight end T.J. Hockenson is just a bonus.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson … but there’s definitely something wrong with the guy throwing to him.
I would bet this to a pick’em. [In New Jersey? Bet now at PointsBet]