Week 9 NFL Picks: Wounded Bears Weigh Down On Defenseless Chargers

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, November 9, 2015 7:06 PM GMT

Monday Night Football presents us with a clash of two struggling teams who continue to fight to keep their head above water. Join in for an NFL odds analysis and get a free NFL pick for tonight.

Chicago Bears vs. San Diego Chargers (-4-) 8:30 ET ESPN
The Chicago Bears visit the San Diego Chargers for this 8:30 ET kickoff in a non-conference game as televised by ESPN. Headlining the matchup is a long injury list for both teams. It is a contributing reason why each of these teams has only 2 wins. Key missing performers for a Chicago Bear team, who has been struck by numerous injuries, include the absence of RB Forte and WR Royal. For the Chargers, there are multiple OL injuries along with recent injuries to key cogs WR Allen (kidney), RB Oliver and LB T. Williams. 

Multiple injuries is not the only thing these teams have in common, as they struggle to keep their heads above water. For the 2-5 SU Chicago Bears, each of their last 4 games has been decided by 3 or less points. That includes a pair of divisional losses to Minnesota by 3 and Detroit by 3 in their recent 2 games. San Diego enters on a 4-game losing streak with 3 of those 4 losses coming by 4 or less points. In fact, 5 of 8 San Diego results have been decided by 5 or fewer points. 

 

The Game
The 2-6 ATS of the Lighting Bolts is a microcosm of their recent slide. They enter tonight on negative runs of 5-14 ATS overall and 1-8 ATS on this field. Though the Chargers lead the NFL in yardage at 423 YPG, that is mostly a result of QB Rivers and his 70% completion rate. They actually have one of the weakest ground games in the league at 86/3.6. The defensive side of the ball has been a disaster for San Diego, who allows 125/5.0 on the ground and an NFL worst 6.6 YP play. Very hard to lay 4- points with a team that has that type of statistical profile! 

Under 1st year HC Fox, I still believe the Bears will finish this season as a far better team than they were at the conclusion of the 5-11 SU season of last. The continuous emphasis by Fox on the running game and defense will pay dividends in the 2nd half of the season. For now, the long-term record is 10-19 ATS as underdog, but 3-1 ATS in that role the last 5 weeks. They are actually sporting the No. 4 pass defense in the league, allowing 214 PYPG. It is the ideal defensive strength to offset the only offensive strength of San Diego. Last week, the Bears led Minnesota by 7 points with little over a minute remaining. But, the more veteran Vikings scored 10 points down the stretch for a 3 point win. It is another lesson in the learning curve of Chicago. That could well pay off in a victory tonight. 

I invite you to put the NFL odds in your favor and join me tonight with with my NFL pick on the Chicago Bears as your Monday Night Football winner!  

Free NFL Pick: Chicago Bears to win

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