NFL Picks: Bears vs. Eagles Betting Odds Report

Darin Zank

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:45 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 4:45 PM UTC

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 wild-card.

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?   

Bears-Eagles Betting Odds

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.

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Bears-Eagles Game Set-Up

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 victory.

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 37-36.

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 Arlington.

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 Sunday.

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.

Injury Update

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 'em.

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.

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