NFL Picks: Saints vs. Bears

Joe Freda

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 6:23 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 6:23 PM GMT

The New Orleans Saints stayed unbeaten with Monday’s 38-17 triumph over the Miami Dolphins, collecting as seven-point home ‘chalk.’ Sean Payton’s squad now heads north to meet the Chicago Bears in Sunday’s NFL Week 5 action, with NFL odds makers expecting a close contest.

Saints, Brees light up Dolphins

Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw four touchdowns in Monday’s win, while finishing with 413 passing yards. The 34-year-old found tight end Jimmy Graham for a pair of scores, connecting 30-of-39 attempts.

New Orleans’ Darren Sproles racked up a combined 142 yards of rushing and receiving, including a team-high seven catches out of the backfield. The Saints reached paydirt in 3-of-4 red zone trips, while controlling the ball for 34 minutes of possession.

Saints cornerback Jabari Greer grabbed one of his side’s three interceptions, finishing with three tackles. New Orleans’ defense recorded four sacks, while the lopsided affair’s 55 points jumped OVER the ‘total’ of 48 ½.

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Bears fall short in Detroit 

Chicago saw a three-game winning streak end with Sunday’s 40-32 defeat as a three-point home favorite to the Detroit Lions. The Bears were unable to rally from a 30-13 halftime deficit, despite notching two touchdowns in the contest’s final four minutes. 

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler tossed three interceptions, while finishing with 317 passing yards in a 27-for-47 day under center. Chicago’s Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery logged season-highs of eight catches and 107 receiving yards, respectively. 

The Bears’ defense allowed 387 total yards, with safety Major Wright snagging an interception for a second straight game. Both sides united for seven penalties, while the combined 72 points flew OVER the ‘total’ of 48.

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Back Chicago at home 

Chicago opened as a one-point home favorite on The Greek’s NFL odds board, with the ‘total’ first set at 47 ½. The early weather forecast at Soldier Field calls for 55 degrees, with partly cloudy skies and 13 mph winds. 

I am adding Chicago to this week’s NFL picks, looking for Cutler and Co. to bounce back and end the Saints’ winning streak in this spot.

Chicago has quietly ranked third in the league’s scoring, notching 31.8 PPG, while returning home after two straight road duels makes this a favorable spot. The Bears defense gets to face New Orleans’ high octane on grass and with at least some winds factoring in, while Chicago is 5-1 ATS in its last six spots that came after allowing 30 points in the team’s prior game.

New Orleans has its share of hot trends, but has gone 0-4-2 ATS in its last six trips to the “Windy City.” The Saints put up a season-low 16 points in their sole road spot against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, failing to cash as a three-point road favorite. 

Look for this to be a matchup of home-road disparity, with Bears backers cashing as teams approach their mid-season strides.

NFL Pick: Chicago Bears -1 at The Greek

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