The Bears finally got back on track with a win last weekend, and they'll remain at home for Week 12 against Tampa Bay. Which team should get our backing with our sports picks?
There's quite a bit of variance when it comes to the NFL betting odds for this Week 12 battle between the Bears and Buccaneers.
Some sportsbooks have Chicago favored by only 5.5 points, but others have a line of seven available. As a result, there's clearly value in utilizing multiple books in order to find the best possible number out there. As for the game's total, it can be found at 46.5 points, which is about in line with what we expected to see.
Weeks 7 through 10 certainly didn't go too well for the Bears. They lost three straight and it seemed like tensions were rising in the locker room.
The best cure for whining and malcontent? Winning. And, that's exactly what Chicago was able to do in Week 11 against Minnesota. The Bears held on for a 21-13 victory to move their record to 4-6 for the season.
Though they were only able to score 21 points, a low number considering the amount of offensive talent they possess, the Bears did have a lot of success moving the ball. They racked up 468 total yards of offense, which was almost double (243) was able to finish with.
Jay Cutler bounced back in style, throwing for 330 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He linked up incredibly well with his two top wide receiver targets, with Alshon Jeffery catching 11 balls for 135 yards and a touchdown and Brandon Marshall grabbing seven catches for 90 yards and two scores. Matt Forte had another effective day at the office despite not finding the end zone - he had 26 carries for 117 yards and six catches for 58 yards in the win.
Considering Chicago has been a total sieve defensively lately, the fact they only allowed 13 points this past weekend is perhaps the most encouraging development. We'll have to see if they can keep that up against the visiting Bucs in Week 12.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Having lost five straight, the Buccaneers were in desperate need of a pick-me-up, and they got that and more in a dominant road win over Washington in Week 11.
In spite of Tampa Bay being the heavy underdog in the NFL odds, it was clear which team came ready to play and which team didn't.
The Buccaneers were dominant in all phases. Josh McCown had a lot of success in leading the offense, throwing for 288 yards and two touchdowns, both of which were caught by suddenly dominant rookie Mike Evans. He had seven catches for 209 yards in the winning effort.
It didn't matter that the run game, led by Charles Sims, could only sputter for 48 total yards. McCown avoided mistakes and had no troubles carving up the Redskins secondary on their way to the win.
We may not want to get too carried away by Tampa Bay's win, however. The Buccaneers have still been really bad in practically every major statistical category this season. That being said, maybe the switch to McCown at QB again, along with the continued development of Evans, will keep the Buccaneers on an upward track.
We were very impressed with Tampa Bay last weekend, but we're not going to get too carried away. This is a team that's still showcased a lot more bad than good throughout the season.
The Bears also picked up a win last week, and they'll have the benefit of staying at home. A win can do wonders for confidence and team morale, and as we've mentioned, we think this team has way too much talent (Forte, Marshall, Jeffery) to stay down in the dumps for too long.
We wouldn't be surprised to see Chicago go on a little run here to close out the season. As a result, we feel confident in recommending the Bears as the NFL pick for Week 12.
Free NFL Pick: Bears at BookMaker