Home Cookin' Is the Recipe for Success in Saturday's NFL Picks

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:14 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 6:14 PM UTC

An NFL Network doubleheader Saturday features Chicago at Detroit in the early game, and San Diego at Kansas City in the late contest. Let's check out both matchups and cash those tickets!

Chicago Bears (4-9 SU, 6-6 ATS) at Detroit Lions (7-6 SU, 6-6-1 ATS)

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Free NFL Pick: Lions -5½ (-105)Best Line Offered: Bookmaker
  • Detroit is 3-0-1 ATS this season vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Detroit is 5-2 ATS in its last seven home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
  • Detroit is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in its previous game.
  • Chicago is 4-9 ATS in its last 13 games as a road underdog of 3.5-10.0.
  • Chicago is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 road games.
  • Chicago is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 games after allowing less than 15 points in its previous game.

The Lions beat the Bears 27-24 earlier this season at Soldier Field, but the venue shifts on Saturday as Matthew Stafford and company welcome Chicago to Ford Field. Stafford's hand has obviously gotten a whole lot better as evidenced by his 381 yards passing in Detroit's 24-21 road win over the Buccaneers.

The Bears finally had a decent game last week and beat up the Bengals 33-7, a welcome reprieve for both their fans and those who backed Chicago in their NFL picks as six-point road dogs. Prior to that, Chicago failed to cover the number on five consecutive occasions. The NFL odds on this one are counting on bettors' short-term memories after the Bears looked impressive last week while the Lions eked by the Bucs in a solid but unspectacular win.

But let's not forget that Chicago is ranked dead last in passing yards and 29th in scoring, averaging just 17.2 points per game. And the Bears' defense is a middling 14th in the league, which is simply not good enough to slow Stafford and his new-found health. Chicago will have to switch from their impressive ground attack to the air once they fall behind early, and that will spell the end for the visitors. Lay the lumber on the home chalk in this one.

L.A. Chargers (7-6 SU, 7-5-1 ATS) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-6 SU, 7-6 ATS)

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Free NFL Pick: Chiefs +1½ (-115)Best Line Offered: Bovada
  • Kansas City is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games following a straight-up win.
  • Kansas City is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in its previous game.
  • Kansas City is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games vs. AFC West opponents.
  • Los Angeles is 2-6 ATS in its last eight Saturday games.
  • Los Angeles is 1-5 ATS in its last six games in December.
  • Los Angeles is 0-4 ATS in its last four games after allowing less than 150 yards passing in its previous game.

According to the oddsmakers, this matchup is a flip of the coin. But we see it a bit differently, with the Chiefs' defense kicking in last week and holding Derek Carr and the Raiders in check in a 26-15 victory. This will be a story of two defenses that are clicking at the right time. Kansas City's defense is back while San Diego's never really left, ranked second in the league and holding opponents to just 17.3 points per game.

The difference between these offenses is that K.C. has a far more balanced attack. The Chiefs rank eighth in passing, 12th in rushing and sixth in points scored. Los Angeles relies almost exclusively on the arm of Phillip Rivers, which will allow the K.C. defense to key on the pass. That could cause Rivers problems, and pressure in the Bolts' backfield could lead to mistakes and turnovers. Back the Chiefs with the small head start at Bovada.

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