NFL Picks: Bears vs. Lions Week 4

David Lawrence

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3:23 PM GMT

Free NFL picks for the Week 4 contest between the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions. Have our NFL hanicappers found any holes in the NFL odds worth exploiting?

The Chicago Bears are 3-0, but the Detroit Lions are 2-1 and are doing better than a lot of football analysts initially expected from them this season. This is a big NFC North Division game, even though the Green Bay Packers are not a part of it. This is one of the mild but real surprises of this early section of the 2013 NFL season. How will the Bears and Lions respond to a moment that is filled with a lot of pressure but which also contains a profound opportunity?

Check out our NFL Picks: Week 4 Betting Odds Report for up-to-date info on line movements.

The Bears can win because…

They are the better team, and that’s more a reflection of the Lions’ weaknesses than the Bears’ strengths. The Lions are 2-1 because they’ve played and beaten bad teams. Minnesota was not expected to go 0-3 this season, but the Vikings have come crashing down to earth after overachieving last season and doing a lot better than everyone thought they would. This season, Minnesota’s quarterback problems have come home to roost, with Christian Ponder performing like the unsure rookie many football people anticipated he’d become last year. Ponder is just not a next-level quarterback, and Detroit – playing at home against the Vikings in week one – took full advantage of that reality.

In week three, the Lions won in Washington against the Redskins for the first time in the history of the franchise. Is that a result of Detroit’s excellence? A sane perspective would suggest that the Lions won because Robert Griffin III and the rest of Washington’s offense is a mess, all while the Redskins’ defense has been much worse than a lot of pigskin gurus were ready to admit. Handicappers that make regular NFL picks know that the Lions are not that special a team at 2-1. The Bears won on the road in Pittsburgh last Sunday night. If they can do that, they can certainly win in Detroit in an early-afternoon game.

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The Lions can win because… 

Their mindset should be really good in this game. Detroit fell off the map last season, but the Lions’ ability to win a road game in Washington this past weekend should certainly improve their overall attitude. Young teams – even those teams that have made the playoffs in the recent past as Detroit did in 2011 – need to find early-season moments that lift their spirits and give them reason to be optimistic. Last season, Detroit didn’t encounter any such moment in the first half of the season, and that’s why the Lions unraveled. Winning in Washington this past weekend was so important because it showed this team that if it continues to buy what coach Jim Schwartz and his staff are selling, it will continue to get better. Had Detroit lost at Washington, the Lions would have been a much less sensible pick. Because Detroit beat Washington, this game feels more winnable for the Lions.

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Outlook & NFL Football Betting Prediction:

Experts who make sports picks know that the Lions are undeniably talented but have they turned a corner this season? Probably not – they need to win this game first. Chicago was strong last week against Pittsburgh, covering the NFL odds and winning outright, and should be able to handle the pressure of this road trip as well. 

NFL Football Picks: Chicago +2.5 at 5Dimes