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In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Saints vs. Bears Prediction

Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 4:25pm EDT
Soldier Field, Chicago

This article covers a past game!

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In-depth Coverage

This is an in-depth analysis of this game, covering every possible detail and angle. Use the table of contents to navigate between each section, or just jump on in!

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Table of Contents

Last Updated: Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 4:32pm EDT

Introduction

The Chicago Bears will host the New Orleans Saints in an NFC battle Sunday afternoon from Soldier Field. The Saints registered a solid 13-6 road win against the Jaguars last week, and the Bears dropped a 24-21 decision to Oakland in their latest decision before heading into their bye last week. This marks the first meeting between these two sides since 2017 in a game the Saints won by a 20-12 score.

New Orleans Saints Review

The New Orleans Saints will be seeking their fourth consecutive win. The Saints deserve a ton of credit as they have won all four games since star QB Drew Brees went down with a thumb injury that has landed him out of action out until next month. Teddy Bridgewater has been outstanding in place of Brees, collecting 1089 passing yards with a 7:2 TD to INT ratio.

The Saints’ rushing offense hasn't exactly dominated, but they are still producing. Alvin Kamara has rushed for less than 70 yards in five straight games. The 24-year old RB now has 373 rushing yards on an average of 4.3 yards per attempt, plus he contributed with 273 rushing yards.

Saints’ top receiver Michael Thomas has developed chemistry with Bridgewater. The 26-year old WR tallied a remarkable 182 receiving yards against the Bucs a few weeks ago, and he has accrued 632 receiving yards on the year. The Saints offense has fared better than anyone expected after Brees went down with his injury.

The New Orleans defense has been tremendous in two out of their last three games. They limited the Jaguars to only six points on 226 total yards last week. The Saints rush defense has been particularly effective. New Orleans is scoring an average of 21.3 points, ranking them 18th in the NFL. The Saints are conceding an average of 20.3 points, placing them 11th in the NFL. They own a 2-1 road record.

Chicago Bears Review

The Chicago Bears were glad to see their bye in week six. The bye allowed time for QB Mitchell Trubisky to recover from his shoulder injury after they lost 24-21 to Oakland in week five in a game that took place in London, England.  The third-year QB is expected to return after missing two games in which the Bears went 1-1. Chase Daniel has played well in Trubisky's place and there is no guarantee Trubisky will play even if healthy. Trubisky has been average so far this season, recording 588 passing yards with a 3:2 TD to INT ratio, while Daniel has tallied 426 passing yards with 46 fewer pass attempts than Trubisky.

The Bears rushing offense hasn’t fared much better this season. David Montgomery hasn’t been able to find a groove, recording only 225 rushing yards on an average of only 3.3 yards per attempt. The rookie RB is up against a solid Saints’ rush defense in this one.

Chicago features a deep receiving core led by Allen Robinson II. The former Jacksonville Jaguar has accumulated 377 receiving yards on the season which included 102 yards against Green Bay in week one.

The Bears defense has been a strength led by the dominant Khalil Mack with 5.5 sacks, while Nick Williams has collected 4.5 sacks. Chicago is scoring an average of 17.4 points, ranking them 27th in the NFL. They are limiting opponents to an average of 13.8 points, good for third overall. Chicago is 1-1 on their home field which included a win over the Vikings.

The Running Game

New Orleans Saints Running Offense
vs. Chicago Bears Running Defense

New Orleans Saints Running Offense

The Saints rushing offense features two big names in Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. Their production on the ground has been lacking and they are 19th in the NFL in rushing yards per game as a result. The 24-year old RB has failed to rush for more than 70 yards in a game this season, and he has 373 rushing yards on the year.

Kamara is dealing with an ankle and knee injury and he says he “has a shot to play”. The Saints signed former Lions RB Zach Zenner this week, so it appears the chances of Kamara suiting up are slim. Zenner rushed for 265 yards on an average of 4.8 yards per attempt with Detroit last season.

Latavius Murray will seen most of the carries assuming Kamara does not play. Murray has fared well as the #2 back, averaging a decent 4.3 yards per rush. The seven-year veteran tallied 44 rushing yards on eight carries against the Jaguars last week, and he has collected 138 rushing yards on the year. The duo of Kamara and Murray have only combined for three rushes of more than 20 yards. The Saints feature a solid offensive line led by right tackle Ryan Ramczyk along with Terron Armstead.

Chicago Bears Run Defense

The Bears rush defense struggled in the loss to Oakland in their latest game, surrendering 169 yards which included 123 yards from Josh Jacobs which came as a surprise considering they are fifth in rushing yards allowed per game. Chicago is full of big threats on the defensive line and at linebacker. Unfortunately for the Bears, Akiem Hicks, who is probably the Bears’ most effective run stuffer is out long term with an elbow injury. Eddie Goldman is outstanding against the run on the defensive line. 

Danny Trevathan is a solid run stuffer. The 29-year old linebacker leads the Bears with 45 total tackles, while teammate Roquan Smith has 33 tackles in one fewer game played.  Khalil Mack is known for his pass rush, but he is also stellar against the run. The Bears have stuffed their opponent at a rate of 14%, placing them below the league average of 19%, although they are well above the NFL average in most categories.

Stats

NO:

Rushing Attempts per Game: 24.7 (19th)

Rushing Yards: 626 (18th)

Average Rushing Yards Per Game: 104.3 (19th)

Average Rushing Yards Per Carry: 4.2 (16th)

Chicago:

Opponent Carries Per Game 24.4 (14th)

Opponent Rushing Yards: 415 (2nd)

Opponent Rushing Yards Per Game: 83 (5th)

Opponent Rushing Yards Per Carry: 3.4 (3rd)

Who has the Edge?

The Bears have the edge against the Saints running game. The Saints rank in the bottom half in rushing stats. Both Kamara and Murray are only averaging 4.3 yards per attempt on the season. Kamara will likely suit out in this one, meaning Murray, who has 138 rushing yards on the season, will see a major of the carries. Chicago ranks near the top of the NFL in most rush defense categories, and in week four they were able to hold a Vikings team that ranks third in the NFL in rushing to only 40 rushing yards.

Advantage: Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears Running Offense
vs. New Orleans Saints Running Defense

Chicago Bears Running Offense

The Bears offense has been stagnant this season. Their rushing offense has yet to find a groove, ranking 26th in the NFL with an average of just over 80 rushing yards per game. The offseason departure of Jordan Howard has created a void at running back. The Bears drafted David Montgomery in the third round of the draft in the offseason, and the rookie RB is struggling in his first taste of the NFL. He has only registered 225 rushing yards on an average of 3.3 yards per attempt. Montgomery only has one rush over 20 yards this season

‘‘The production right now in the run game isn’t there,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘I’m gonna go back and I’m gonna figure out the ‘why’ part. And I told you [Sunday], I think I know.

‘‘But I will have a lot more, and I am not saying that. Obviously, I’m not going to go back and tell everybody what I think it is at the end. But we’ll talk as a staff and figure [it] out.’’

-Bears HC Matt Nagy on the Bears running game.

The Bears also feature Tarik Cohen who was on the field for almost the same amount as snaps on Montgomery against Oakland, so he could see more action this week. Cohen only has 37 rushing yards on 17 carries, but he has racked up 128 receiving yards.

The Bears offensive line has been a weakness this season. The run blocking has been locking which has made an impact on Chicago’s rushing production. Right guard Kyle Long has been placed on IR.

New Orleans Saints Run Defense

The Saints rush defense hasn’t been quite as effective as their pass defense, but they are still performing slightly above league average, ranking 14th in rush yards allowed per game. The Saints were able to limit Leonard Fournette and the Jaguars to only 75 rushing yards last week. The Saints have several defenders that are effective run stuffers which includes defensive tackle Malcolm Brown. The 25-year old has made four tackles for a loss this season.

Demario Davis is also quick to the ball carrier. The 30-year old linebacker leads the Saints with 41 combined tackles and he has tallied three tackles for a loss. Defensive end Cameron Jordan is both a great pass rusher and run stuffer. The Saints have stuffed their opponent at or behind the line of scrimmage 15% of the time, placing them below the league average of 19%.

Stats

Chicago:

Rushing Attempts per Game: 23.6 (21st)

Rushing Yards: 403 (29th)

Average Rushing Yards Per Game: 80.6 (26th)

Average Rushing Yards Per Carry: 3.4 (29th)

NO:

Opponent Carries Per Game 24.2 (14th)

Opponent Rushing Yards: 617 (15th)

Opponent Rushing Yards Per Game: 102.8 (14th)

Opponent Rushing Yards Per Carry: 4.3 (16th)

Who has the Edge?

The Saints have the edge in this regard. The Bears only managed 72 yards against the Vikings, followed 42 rushing yards the Raiders in their last two games. They are tasked with solving a Saint rush defense that is above NFL average. Unfortunately, the Bears just don’t have the firepower to exploit the Saints on the ground. Their rushing backs are only averaging 3.4 yards per attempt, and #1 RB David Montgomery has failed to rush for more than 67 yards in any game this season.

Advantage: New Orleans Saints

The Passing Game

New Orleans Saints Passing Offense
vs. Chicago Bears Passing Defense

New Orleans Saints Passing Offense

Many wrote the Saints off after the thumb injury to Brees that has put him out of action until the middle of November. Teddy Bridgewater has entered the picture in a big way, performing better than most expected. The 26-year old QB has racked up 1089 passing yards with a 7:2 TD to INT ratio in five games. Moreover, Bridgewater has connected on at least 70% of his passes in three out of his last four games.

“We’re all out there competing for one thing, and that’s to win football games, and we’ve been able to win a couple of football games these past couple of weeks, and hopefully we can keep this thing going.”

-Teddy Bridgewater

Saints’ top receiver Michael Thomas has not seen his production drop with Bridgewater as the signal-caller. The 26-year old WR made eight grabs for 89 yards against the Jaguars last week, and the star receiver is up to 632 receiving yards on the season.

The Saints also have Ted Ginn Jr. who has cooled off since his 100-yard performance in week one. Ginn Jr. currently has 206 receiving yards. Tight end Jared Cook is questionable for this one with an ankle injury.

Chicago Bears Passing Defense

The Bears pass defense is among the best in the NFL. Their pass rush is outstanding led by the dominant Khalil Mack. The 28-year old linebacker has tallied 4.5 sacks on the year to go along with 15 tackles. Fellow linebacker Leonard Floyd made two sacks in the season opener but hasn’t made one since. Defensive end Akiem Hicks has landed on the IR with an elbow injury which is a big loss.

Defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris can also get to the QB in a hurry, posting 2.5 sacks and 13 tackles. Chicago has made 17 sacks in their five games, good for ninth in the NFL and they have an adjusted sack rate of 8.6%. 

The Bears feature a strong secondary highlighted by #1 corner Kyle Fuller. The 27-year old has made two interceptions along with five deflected passes. Cornerback Prince Amukamara is also effective, deflecting four passes. Amukamara has allowed 12 receptions on 18 targets from opposing QB’s. The addition of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has paid dividends already this season, making two sacks along with 27 total tackles. Chicago has picked off four passes, pegging them 19th in the NFL.

Stats

NO:

Passes Completed: 146 (9th)

Average Yards Per Completion: 7.4 (16th)

Passing Yards Per Game: 240.3 (15th)

Passing Touchdowns: 12 (9th)

Chicago:

Opponent Passing Yards Per Game: 229.2 (10th)

Opponent Passes Completed: 135 (18th)

Opponent Completion Percentage: 70.7%: (28th)

Opponent TD Passes: 4: (3rd)

Who has the Edge?

I am going to classify this matchup a draw. On paper the Bears have the edge, but the play of Teddy Bridgewater cannot be ignored. Bridgewater has defeated very good teams in the Seahawks and Cowboys, and it also helps to have one of the best receivers in the game in Michael Thomas in his arsenal. The Bears will at least contain Bridgewater due to their pass rush and strong secondary.

Advantage: Push

Chicago Bears Passing Offense
vs. New Orleans Saints Passing Defense

Chicago Bears Passing Offense

The potential return of Mitchell Trubisky could help a struggling passing game that ranks 30th in the NFL. Trubisky hasn’t been able to duplicate last season’s success yet this season. The 25-year old QB has only recorded a touchdown pass in one of his three games which was a three TD performance against the Redskins. Trubisky only has 588 passing yards with a 3:2 TD to INT ratio, and he has only connected on 65% of his passes. Chase Daniel has actually looked better than Trubisky, completing 73% of his passes for 426 yards and three touchdowns against two picks.

"He was in here working out, every day he's trying to get that (shoulder) stronger and stronger, so that'll be the big question for us," Nagy said of Trubisky's status for Sunday. "We'll see how it goes here, really this whole week, but we're excited for him. We know every day helps us out to get him back, so we'll see where it ends up going."

Chicago features a very talented receiving group led by Allen Robinson II. The 26-year old WR is consistently producing, securing at least seven catches in each game. Robinson II has 377 receiving yards on the year.

Taylor Gabriel has missed the last two games with a concussion and he is expected to make his return for this game. The 28-year old WR is a big part of this offense and his absence was notable. Gabriel has 110 receiving yards in his three games played. Second-year receiver Anthony Miller has been relatively quiet, securing only eight grabs for 80 yards on the season.

New Orleans Saints Passing Defense

The Saints are outstanding against the pass and Trubisky will have to be very sharp. The Saints are 11th in passing yards allowed per game. The Saints’ success starts with their dangerous pass rush led by Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport who can both get to the opposing QB in a hurry. The defensive end duo has combined for nine sacks and 43 tackles on the season. New Orleans ranks sixth in the NFL with 18 sacks.

The Saints have two effective cornerbacks in Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple. Lattimore has been especially effective recently as he has helped shut down Amari Cooper, Mike Evans, and DJ Chark in his last three games. The 23-year old leads New Orleans with eight pass deflections along with one interception. Eli Apple has deflected one pass. Cornerback PJ Williams is suspended and is not eligible until week 10.  Safety Marcus Williams is also having a terrific season, making two interceptions along with five pass deflections. The Saints have only made three interceptions on the year, placing them 22nd overall.

Stats

Chicago:

Passes Completed: 113 (23rd)

Average Yards Per Completion: 6.1 (30th)

Passing Yards Per Game: 185.4 (30th)

Passing Touchdowns: 6 (26th)

NO:

Opponent Passing Yards Per Game: 237.7 (11th)

Opponent Passes Completed: 122 (11th)

Opponent Completion Percentage: 61.9%: (9th)

Opponent TD Passes: 8 (16th)

Who has the Edge?

The Saints have a decisive advantage in this category. The Bears production in the air has been among the worst in the NFL, while the Saints continue to get the job done. New Orleans has only conceded 204 and 163 passing yards respectively in their last two games against the Bucs and Jaguars. Trubisky is not having a good season, completing only 65% of his passes and I do not see him solving the Saints’ terrific pass defense. If he can't play, Chase Daniel is not a reliable option either.

Advantage: New Orleans Saints

Intangibles

New Orleans Saints

Saints’ kicker Wil Lutz has been almost perfect this season, converting on 13 of 14 field-goal attempts with his only miss an attempt over 50 yards. He has connected on a 58 yarder this season. Lutz has missed one extra point. Saints WR Deonte Harris will return the kicks. He has accumulated 146 kick return yards on the season along with 150 punt return yards on 15 attempts.

Saints’ head coach Sean Payton is a great coach who led the Saints to a Super Bowl in 2009. New Orleans has reached the playoffs in two straight seasons.

Chicago Bears

Bears' kicker Eddy Pineiro has also been effective, going 13 for 14 on field goals with a 53-yard field goal marking his longest conversion. Pineiro has yet to miss an extra point. Bears’ WR Cordarrelle Patterson has accrued 145 kick return yards with his longest return going for 49 yards.

Matt Nagy is in his second season as the head coach in Chicago. Nagy led the Bears to a 12-4 first-place finish in the NFC North last season which resulted in a tough loss in the Wildcard. Nagy has a 15-6 record as Bears head coach.

Who has the Edge?

I will call this one a draw as well. Both special teams have been similar including both kickers who have only missed one field goal. The coaching edge going to Sean Payton and the Saints, especially considering his team is winning games without Drew Brees, and he has more coaching experience. Nagy is clearly an organized coach as it is no easy feat leading a team to a 12-4 record in his first season as head coach.

Advantage: Push

Final Outlook

The Saints are a team playing inspiring football, and I think they have a good chance of winning this game outright, so I will gladly take the points with the Saints as my top pick in this contest. They have won two straight road games without Brees, winning in Seattle, and Jacksonville. Teddy Bridgewater has connected on 70% of his pass attempts in three out of his last four games. The Bears will give up passing yards as seen in their last two games. They allowed Vikings' QB Kirk Cousins to connect on 75% of his passes and Derek Carr posted a 78% completion efficiency. I am not concerned with the absence of Alvin Kamara considering the Bears rush defense is able to shut down any opposing running back. 

Furthermore, the Bears offense is holding this team back despite their stellar defense. Their running game is almost non-existent, and the Bears QB’s Mitch Trubisky and Chase Daniel have led the Bears to the 30th ranked passing offense with an average of only 185 passing yards per game. The Saints pass defense is outstanding, limiting opponents to 237.7 passing yards, good for 11th in the NFL.

The Saints are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall, and they are also a convincing 4-0-1 in their last five games against the Bears. Chicago has failed to cover in four out of their last five October games, and they are also 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games after allowing more than 150 rushing yards in their previous game.

Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements

The Saints have several notable injuries. RB Alvin Kamara is officially out with a knee and ankle injury. TE Jared Cook along with WR Tre-Quan Smith will also not play. DE Trey Hendrickson is also out.

Mitch Trubisky was a full participant in practice on Friday and he was officially listed as questionable. Trubisky is expected to start considering he took first-team reps in practice all week. The same applies to WR Taylor Gabriel who should suit up despite his questionable status. Offensive lineman Ted Larsen is listed as questionable. Defensive lineman Bilal Nichols is also expected to return to action.

The line in this one has moved slightly. Chicago opened -3, and they currently stand at -4 as of Saturday afternoon.

The weather won’t play a factor in this one at Soldier Field. The forecast calls for 50 degree temperatures and mainly sunny.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints

Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com

Additional Insiders' Best Bets

Full-game Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

This is a very low total and the first instinct is to go towards the over but I expect a low-scoring battle considering the defensive talent on both teams. The Bears have been limited to 16 or fewer points three times already this season, and the Saints defense is proving to be amongst the best in the NFL. They were able to hold Dallas to 10 points and the Jaguars to six points. Also, the under is 5-1 in the Saints’ last six road games.

In addition, the Bears vaunted defense has lived up to expectations this season. They have limited their opponent to 15 or fewer points in four of their five games, and they are effective against both the pass and run. Chicago should definitely limit the Saints' production on the ground considering Alvin Kamara is not playing. Also, the under is 8-2 in Chicago’s last 10 games overall, and 4-0 in their last four meetings against the Saints

Prediction: Under

Full-game Prop Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

The under on the Bears team total offered on PointsBet is a solid prop play. The Bears offense has only scored more than 20 points in two out of their five games, so the under on their 20.5 point team total is more than reasonable. Chicago scored over 20 points against an awful Redskins defense and a subpar Raiders defense. They have struggled against strong defensive teams, scoring 16 or fewer points against the Packers, Broncos, and Vikings. The Saints’ defense is holding opponents to an average of 340 total yards, good for 10th in the NFL, and they should neutralize the Bears in this one.

Prediction: Bears Team Total: Under

Half-time Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I am siding with the Bears on the halftime line. The Bears are back home and they are well rested after enjoying their bye last week. The Bears defense in the first half has been stellar, holding opponents to an average of six points, good for third in the entire NFL. The Saints are more of a second-half team considering they are averaging 12.2 points in the second half compared to 9.2 in the first half.

Prediction: Chicago Bears -3

Half-time Total Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I am sticking with the under on the halftime line. The Bears are only averaging 9.4 points in the first half this season, and worse, they have only posted an average of 6.5 points in the opening half in their two home games. The Saints' first-half defense has been terrific as well where they are holding opponents to an average of 7.2 points.

Prediction: Under 19

Half-time Prop Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

I am selecting the under on Bears’ RB David Montgomery’s rushing total. David Montgomery only rushed for 53 and 25 yards respectively in his last two games for an average of only 2.5 yards per rush. Chances are slim he will have a breakout game against a solid rush defense. This Saints team held Ezekiel Elliot to only 35 yards on 18 carries in week four, and they limited the Bucs’ two RB’s in Ronald Jones II and Peyton Barber to only a combined 67 yards.

Prediction: David Montgomery Rushing Total: Under 50.5 Yards
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.