NFL Picks: Injury Plagued Teams Validate Under in Bears vs. Chargers

Jason Lake

Thursday, November 5, 2015 1:31 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 1:31 PM UTC

One of the biggest totals on the Week 9 NFL odds board is for Monday night's matchup between the Chicago Bears and the San Diego Chargers. It must be the defense.

Jason's 2015 record as of Nov. 4: 26-21-2 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 18-27 Total

When you think about the great offenses in the NFL, of course you think about the Chicago Bears. Wait, what? No you don't. The Bears have scored 20 points per game this year. They're ranked No. 20 in offensive DVOA (No. 17 pass, No. 17 rush) at Football Outsiders. But Chicago is also looking at one of the highest totals on the NFL odds board for Week 9. It's a funny old world.

Okay, it helps that the Bears are playing the San Diego Chargers, who have the No. 10-ranked offense (No. 6 pass, No. 30 rush) through Week 8. But do either of these teams really have what it takes to get the final score past that 49-point total? Apparently 55 percent of bettors think they do, according to our consensus reports at press time.


Putting the “Game” in “Ligament Damage”
Before we get too far, let's remove the curtain and show you the two defenses in question. They're not very good; Chicago checks in at No. 28 (No. 24 pass, No. 31 rush) on the DVOA charts, one spot ahead of San Diego at No. 29 (No. 25 pass, No. 32 rush). Also, these two teams will be playing at Qualcomm Stadium Monday night (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), where there's a mere 15-percent chance of rain to spoil what should be a lovely early evening on the West Coast. So the conditions are there for a high-scoring game.

That's assuming the two offenses can get it together. The efficiency stats might not be doing justice to the Bears (UNDER 4-3), who had QB Jimmy Clausen start for the injured Jay Cutler in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks – in Seattle, no less. Final score: Seattle 20, Chicago 0 (UNDER 43.5). Unfortunately for Bears fans, RB Matt Forte is expected to miss at least a couple of weeks with the hottest injury for 2015: a sprained MCL. All the kids are doing it.


King of Sprain
When it comes to our NFL picks against the spread, we've done a very good job fading the Chargers based on the injuries to their offensive line. Sadly, we haven't made that pay when it comes to the totals, which San Diego has split down the middle at 4-4. Maybe this will finally be the week. LT King Dunlap played in last Sunday's 29-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens (OVER 50), but suffered a high-ankle sprain and isn't likely to play against the Bears.

Definitely out for Monday night: WR Kenan Allen, who's gone for the rest of the season with a lacerated kidney. Allen leads the Bolts with an amazing 67 catches for 725 yards after just eight games. TE Antonio Gates (knee) is expected to play, so he'll be able to absorb some of that workload, but it's yet another setback in what's quickly turning into a lost season for the 2-6 Chargers. Maybe things will look better down the road in Los Angeles.

Free NFL Pick: Take UNDER 49.5 (-110) at Bookmaker

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