Lions vs. Bears Odds, NFL Picks, Week 4 Predictions: How To Exploit This Over/Under That Fell Too Far
Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Goff.
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
Justin Fields’ first start for the Chicago Bears did not go as planned. The rookie took nine sacks and completed only six passes against the Cleveland Browns last week, although this matchup against the Lions is much more friendly for him — if he’s able to start.
Who starts under center for Chicago is still in question as we head into the weekend, and the game-time decision will be the key story line of this NFC North game.
Let’s break down to see where there’s betting value
Lions Show Signs of Progress
The winless Lions lost a heartbreaker to the Ravens in Week 3. It took a blown delay-of-game penalty and a record-shattering 66-yard field goal to keep the Lions out of the win column.
Detroit will be looking to build off its strong showing against a playoff contender against an inferior team to Baltimore: The Chicago Bears.
The Lions offense flows through its running backs. D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams combined for touches on 35-of-58 offensive plays last week, and beat writers are reporting that Swift will be even more involved moving forward. With a lack of NFL-caliber wide receivers, running the offense through the running backs is the Lions’ best chance at success.
This game presents a tough matchup in the trenches for the Lions, who are still without starting tackle Taylor Decker. He hasn’t played all season, and the Lions are solidly average in adjusted sack rate (16th) so far. This unit should eventually be a strength for Detroit, but not this week against Chicago.
The Lions defense, meanwhile, is more worrisome. Detroit ranks 31st in Football Outsiders’ overall DVOA after allowing 76 points in its first two games, but as mentioned before, there were bright spots last week against Baltimore.
Detroit sacked Lamar Jackson four times and had him facing pressure throughout the game, but my read is that this was more a result of a bad performance by the Ravens than improvement from the Lions.
The Bears’ QB Situation
Bears head coach Matt Nagy said Fields, Andy Dalton and Nick Foles all could potentially start this game. None of them have performed exceptionally well for Chicago to date, unfortunately for Nagy.
Due to the aforementioned poor quarterback play, the Bears rank second-last in scoring per game at just 13.3 points. This number is misleading, though, since each of the defenses that Chicago has faced rank in the top 13 of DVOA. In fact, the Rams are actually the worst defense so far on the Bears’ schedule.
If Chicago can get anything out of its quarterback, whichever one starts, David Montgomery and Allen Robinson provide a lot more upside than they showed last week against Cleveland.
Defensively, the Bears are solid as always. This defense isn’t the fearsome unit it was after first acquiring Khalil Mack, but it has been decent through three weeks.
Chicago is far easier to attack on the ground than through the air. The Bears defense ranks third in the NFL in adjusted sack rate but only 22nd in line yards. This could be a problem against a Lions offense that prefers to run the ball.
This game has a minuscule 41-point total at DraftKings. There are a lot of factors that go into that number, first among them being the Bears quarterback struggles. I don’t see the Lions defense as posing much of a threat to whomever is under center for the Bears, though.
Detroit’s offense also matches up nicely against Chicago’s defense and should be able to move the ball on the ground consistently.
This number has been bet down from its 44.5 open, but it’s fallen too far. I’ll take over 41 (-110) and continue to take it at 41.5 points.
Pick: Over 41 | Bet to 41.5