Taking Stock: Rested Bears To Avoid Trap And Take Another Giant Step

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Dusty Streets

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 3:03 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 3:03 PM UTC

Taking Stock finds the key bullish (positive) and bearish (negative) factors for your sports picks. Let's check out Sunday's Bears-Giants matchup, and bet confidently with tips from SBRpicks.com.

Dusty's 2018 NFL picks record: 5-2

Chicago (8-3 SU, 8-3 ATS) at New York Giants (3-8 SU, 5-5 ATS)Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)Free NFL Pick: Bears ATSBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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The Chicago Bears haven't played in an eternity. Not really, but it feels like it. After the shortest turnaround for a team in NFL history -- playing on a Sunday night, then again on Thursday afternoon -- the Bears will have had 10 days to rest and prepare for this encounter against the Giants in New York.

Clear the cobwebs and shake off the rust, fellas. Hibernation has ended and a potential trap awaits.

The NFL odds board opened with the NFC North-leading Bears -4.5 road favorites pending the status of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who sat out the 23-16 Thanksgiving Day victory at Detroit because of a shoulder injury; Chicago kicked off as -3 chalk behind backup QB Chase Daniel. The Giants, in last place in the NFC East, are coming off a 25-22 loss to Philadelphia; New York was a +4.5 road dog and blew a 16-point lead against the defending Super Bowl champions.

This series dates to 1925, with the Bears leading 33-23-2. More significant is the fact the Giants have taken three of the last four, most recently 22-16 in 2016 as Eli Manning threw two third-quarter touchdown passes and New York's defense pitched a second-half shutout. Truth is, what happened between these teams in 2016 carries the same weight as what happened between these teams in 1925 -- none! -- so let's get to Sunday's matchup.


Bull Market

Chicago is on a five-game winning streak, thanks in part to Eddie Jackson's defensive heroics. The second-year safety returned an interception for a touchdown in each of the last two games.

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Eddie Jackson was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week today, meaning the Bears have now had in the last three weeks an offensive player of the week (Trubisky, Week 10), special teams played of the week (Parkey, Week 11) and defensive player of the week (Jackson, Week 12).

— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) November 28, 2018
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Chicago ranks No. 4 in total defense (316.1 yards per game) and No. 2 in scoring defense (19.2 points per game). Led by Kyle Fuller's five interceptions and Jackson's four, the Bears lead the NFL with 29 takeaways. Khalil Mack has eight sacks and five forced fumbles despite missing two games.

The Giants have stars of their own, mostly on offense. Saquon Barkley leads NFL rookies with 829 yards rushing (4.8 average, 8 touchdowns), and Odell Beckham Jr. has caught 74 passes for 1,017 yards and five TDs. Barkley had 142 yards from scrimmage against the Eagles (101 rushing, 41 receiving on 7 catches), one week after scoring three touchdowns against Tampa Bay.

More bullish factors to ponder:

  • Bears are 4-0 ATS in their last four games following a straight-up win.
  • Bears are 4-0 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Giants are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
  • Giants are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.

Bear Market

Manning has been sacked 38 times this season, tied for the league high, and now faces a defense whose 34 sacks are the sixth-most.

As good as Chicago's defense is at making game-changing plays, New York's unit is the polar opposite. The Giants have recorded 14 sacks (second-fewest in the league), 10 interceptions (half as many as the Bears), and three fumble recoveries (Chicago has 9). New York ranks in the bottom third of the league in total defense and scoring defense.

New York ranks 20th in total offense and Chicago ranks 21st, but the difference is the Giants also lag in scoring offense at No. 22 (21.5 ppg) compared to the Bears at No. 5 (28.8 ppg). That's the difference between having a defense struggling to get takeaways and having one that thrives on it and sets up its offense in good field position.

More bearish factors to ponder:

  • Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
  • Bears are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games in Week 13.
  • Giants are 2-13-1 ATS in their last 16 games following an ATS win.
  • Giants are 0-4-1 ATS in their last five home games.

Investment Strategy

The Bears have played three consecutive games against division rivals, and next week they host the 10-1 Rams on national TV, so having a letdown or looking past the Giants is a trap they must avoid. Daniel entered the Thanksgiving game with no starts and three pass attempts since the start of the 2015 season, yet he was superb in Detroit (27-of-37, 230 yards, 2 TDs, 0 interceptions). The intrigue Sunday isn't who starts at quarterback for Chicago; it's whether Manning finishes with all body parts intact. Chicago's defense is primed to lay the lumber in a devastating manner. With your NFL picks, lay the points and back the Bears.

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