Back Bears ATS vs. 49ers for Sunday's NFL Picks

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 2:42 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 10, 2014 2:42 PM UTC

After some very early support for the San Francisco 49ers, it’s the Chicago Bears who are moving the NFL lines for Sunday night’s matchup. Don’t expect that to last once the weekend warriors invade the market.

Jason’s Record After Week 1: 1-4 ATS, 0-1 Totals

Profit: minus-6.6 units

Beating the Dallas Cowboys just doesn’t mean what it used to. The San Francisco 49ers won their 2014 debut in Arlington, beating the Cowboys 28-17 as 3.5-point favorites, but not everyone is impressed. Nor should they be. Dallas gift-wrapped this game for San Fran with three Tony Romo interceptions and a DeMarco Murray fumble that CB Chris Culliver took back to the house.

The Niners did get a whiff of early action on the Week 2 NFL lines, as we noted in our opening odds report for Sunday night’s mactchup (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC) with the Chicago Bears. It didn’t last; within minutes of the open, it was Chicago getting the majority of the betting action. Our consensus reports at press time show the Bears with 54 percent support, enough to nudge their NFL odds from +7 (–120) to +7.5 (–140). This is despite losing their opener 23-20 in overtime to the Buffalo Bills (+7) at Soldier Field.


Fluid Waffle
Spoiler Alert: We’re going to pick the Bears for our NFL picks, too. But this is a fluid situation that you’re going to want to follow as the week progresses. We’ve got San Francisco holding the advantage in coaching and on defense and special teams, with Chicago cancelling out those advantages as a tasty road dog against the publicly adored 49ers. Don’t be surprised if you find more value on the Bears during the weekend when you look at the NFL lines.

In the interim, we need to pay very close attention to the injury/suspension news for both teams. We’ve got Chicago ahead in this department as we go to press, but you might feel quite differently about this by the time kick-off approaches. The outcome of this game could be riding on the health of the Bears offensive line; LG Matt Slauson and center Roberto Garza both suffered ankle injuries in Week 1, and we’re still waiting word on their status for Week 2. Same for WR Alshon Jeffery (hamstring).


I’m Not Lovin’ It
The situation in San Francisco is even more uncertain. The aforementioned Culliver had to leave the Cowboys game with a concussion and is listed as week-to-week. In addition, CB Tramaine Brock (toe) is questionable to face the Bears. That’s both of San Francisco’s starting corners. Depth is already an issue there after sixth-round pick Kenneth Acker was stashed on injured reserve at the end of the preseason.

Then you have the strange case of DE Ray McDonald. For now, he’s being allowed to play despite his recent arrest on felony domestic violence charges. This is very strange considering the escalating furore around the league’s handling of the Ray Rice Incident – in case you somehow haven’t heard, Rice has been released by the Baltimore Ravens and banned indefinitely by the league. The Niners say they want “due process” for McDonald, but public pressure is on the team and the NFL to take action now.

Mix in the nine-game suspension handed down to LB Aldon Smith, and the other assorted injuries San Francisco is dealing with, and you can see how the Cowboys were able to rack up 382 yards of offense on the Niners despite all those turnovers. No doubt the Bears will want to take advantage. Of course, with QB Jay Cutler (two picks last week) you’ve always got the chance of a Romo-like meltdown, but we’ll take that chance.


The Five Stars
Injuries/Suspensions/Travel/Rest: CHI

Defense/Special Teams: SF

Coaching: SF

Market Bias: CHI

Betting Line Value: CHI

Verdict: 1-star pick on CHI

Free NFL Pick: Put 1.4 units on the Bears +7 at Bookmaker

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