The NFL odds for this match-up between the Chicago Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles are out. Who should we backing with our free picks here?
The Chicago Bears just got a much needed victory Sunday at
Cleveland, and now suddenly find themselves with the lead in the NFC North,
with just two games to go.
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the NFC East, but just gave up
48 points to a Minnesota team playing without its regular starting quarterback
and top two running backs.
Both the Bears and Eagles are 8-6 heading into their key NFC
bout Sunday night in Philly (8:30 pm ET, NBC), and both teams will have to win
their division to make the playoffs, because neither will sneak in as a
In the early betting Philly is favored by the standard
home-field field goal for Sunday night; does that sound about right? Or should
this game be lined at something other than the key number?
Several online sportsbooks opened this game with Philly
favored by 3.5 or four points, the total proffered at right around 55. But as
of Tuesday morning most books had dropped the Eagles to -3, but bumped the total to 56.
Philly had won five games in a row, but Sunday in
Minneapolis the Eagles got thoroughly outplayed by a team that had nothing to
play for. The then-3-9-1 Vikings built a 27-9 lead and rolled to a 48-30
Philly QB Nick Foles threw for 428 yards and three scores,
but most of that was done in garbage time.
Fortunately for the Eagles, about three hours after their
loss went in the books Sunday Dallas blew a huge lead and lost to Green Bay
So Philly leads the NFC East by a game over the Cowboys.
Dallas owns the tiebreaker, having beaten the Eagles 17-3 back in October at
Lincoln Financial Field. The two teams finish the season with a headbanger in
On the other side of this match-up da Bears have taken
warmly to new head coach Marc Trestman's offensive scheme. Regardless of who's
been at quarterback, be it Jay Cutler or Josh McCown, Chicago has had good
success moving the ball this season, ranking seventh in total offense and
second in scoring, averaging 29 points per game.
The Bears just won at Cleveland 38-31, racking up 440 yards
of offense, scoring 21 straight points to come from behind for the victory.
The Bears were actually getting one point from the Browns
One More Stat
A note here about Philly head coach Chip Kelly's offensive
approach, and covering pointspreads in the NFL.
Much more than in college, time-of-possession means a lot
when it comes to winning games and covering spreads in the NFL.
Philly ranks dead last in the league in average TOP, holding
the ball for just 25:37 per game. Sure, the Eagles have done damage when
they've had the ball, but they've also gassed their defense on occasion, too.
Chicago ranks 10th in TOP at 30:52.
So far this NFL season teams that have won the TOP battle
have covered the spread in 61 percent of games.
Then again, Philly is 7-7 ATS this season, while the Bears
are just 4-9-1 vs. the numbers.
Chicago just found out CB Charles Tillman will miss the rest
of the season because of a torn triceps
Also, Bears LB Lance Briggs has missed the last several
games with a bad shoulder, and while there's been talk of his return, he's
still questionable for Sunday night. Undoubtedly, his absence has been felt;
the Bears ranks 27th in total defense and dead last vs. the run,
giving up 152 YPG on the ground.
Our Take on the Line
When McCown first replaced Cutler several weeks ago the
oddsmakers seemed to make that about a two-point difference. But McCown played
well during Cutler's absence, and as of right now it probably doesn't matter
who Chicago plays at QB; the line will be about the same.
As for Philly it's also gone through a change at quarterback
this season, and after some initial apprehension the books have chalked the
Eagles five games in a row. The books also probably had the right idea pegging
Philly at -4 or so on the opening NFL lines for this game, but enough early money
came in on the Bears to drop that spread to the field goal.
If this game were being played at Soldier Field Chicago
would probably be favored by a field goal. Which means that if this game were
being played on a neutral field somewhere it would be lined at about a pick
These two teams are very similar, and we won't be surprised
if this game is decided by a field goal.
We'll come back to this game later this week, and offer up free NFL picks on both the side and the total.