Chicago is coming off of a huge win at home against the Ravens this past week, and now they head into St. Louis, once again with Josh McCown as their starter. McCown has played well backing up Jay Cutler so far this season, and even on the road, he has the ability to lead this Bears’ offense against a bad defense.
Speaking of bad defenses, McCown is going to have to do his best franchise quarterback impression if the Bears want to stay in the playoff race. Cutler is still a couple of weeks from returning to the field, and the Bears have a chance at taking over the division this week with a win and a Lions loss. I think they can do it, and at +1 underdogs in the NFL Odds, it seems like they have betting value here. However their defense is going to be an issue in this game, and for the rest of the season. Chicago has to stop the Rams’ running game if they want to win.
The Bears are 3-1 ATS in their last four games against the Rams, and 5-2 ATS in their last seven against the guys from St. Louis. I think playing in the dome will help the Bears’ offense, even with the likely crowd noise. If this one comes down to a shootout, I have to like the Bears in this one. The defense in this game should be shaky, but Chicago trumps St. Louis offensively, (even with McCown) and I see that being enough to get the win.
NFL Pick: Bears +1
At only -4 road favorites in the NFL Odds, the Panthers are seemingly a good bet this week as they head into Miami to play the Dolphins. The Panthers pulled out a huge and controversial win over the Patriots this past Monday night, and I doubt being on a short week is going to kill them. Their defense is still giving up an NFL-low 13.5 points per game, and they are up in the top half of the league in sacks, while the Dolphins have given up 41 sacks this season, which by far leads the NFL.
Ryan Tannehill is going to get plastered in this game by the Panthers’ defense, and with their offensive and defensive issues heading in, I can’t help but lay the -4 with the Panthers. Cam Newton is finally looking like the #1 pick in the draft, leading his team both verbally and physically, and I don’t think the Dolphins can stop him.
Miami is only 2-5 SU and ATS in their last seven games overall, and I think they could be slightly overvalued here at home against one of the better teams in the NFL. I am laying the -4 with Newton and company for my NFL picks. It smells somewhat like a trap, however I don’t trust the Dolphins as far as I can throw them. The Panthers are the play.
NFL Pick: Panthers -4