In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds
Lions vs. Bears Prediction
Soldier Field, Chicago
Table of Contents
- Introduction & Team Review
- The Running Game
- The Passing Game
- Final Outlook & Prediction
- Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com
- Latest Updates, Injury Reports, & Line Movements
- Insiders' Best Bets
Last Updated: Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 3:37am EST
A pair of NFC North rivals that have struggled of late take the field in the Windy City. The Detroit Lions are on the road as they make the trip to face the Chicago Bears Sunday afternoon. Detroit comes in off a 31-24 road loss to Oakland in their previous game last Sunday. Chicago was dropped 22-14 on the road by Philadelphia in their previous contest last Sunday. The Bears lead the all-time regular season series 99-74-5 and took both meetings last season. Chicago prevailed 34-22 at home on November 11, 2018 and followed that up with a 23-16 win on the road on November 22, 2018.
Detroit Lions Review
Detroit had their struggles defensively on the road against the Raiders and it ended up costing them another contest, continuing a season-long trend. Fourth-quarter meltdowns have been an issue for the Lions this season as they’ve let a lead slip through their fingers in three different games this season. Detroit opened the season with a 27-27 tie with the Cardinals in a game they led 24-6 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter. The Lions rebounded with a home win over the Chargers (13-10) and a road victory over the Eagles (27-24) before the meltdown reared its ugly head again. Detroit had Kansas City on the ropes before falling 34-30 at home in week 4, giving up the winning touchdown with 20 seconds to play. The Lions then let one slip away on the final play of the game to Green Bay (23-22) on the road before getting outgunned by the Vikings (42-30) at home. They hung on to beat the Giants 31-26 on the road, leading into last week’s game against Oakland.
The Lions were in a back and forth game where the teams traded scores so neither team led by more than seven. Detroit tied the game for the last time with 5:16 to go on a touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to J.D. McKissic but the defense couldn’t come up with a stop. Trailing by seven with 2:04 to play, the Lions drove 76 yards in nine plays to have a fourth and goal at the one-yard line with eight seconds to play. Rather than look for Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr. or T.J. Hockenson, among others, Stafford targeted…third-string tight end Logan Thomas? The pass was knocked away and the Lions fell short. Detroit held a 473-450 advantage in total offense, a 26-25 edge in first downs but came up on the short end of time of possession by a 32:50 to 27:10 margin. The Lions also committed two turnovers, both inside the Raiders’ 30, while failing to record a takeaway.
Chicago Bears Review
Chicago has regressed this season as things simply haven’t gone their way as the offense has seemingly taken several steps backward. The Bears opened the season with a 10-3 home loss to the Packers in the first game of the NFL campaign on a Thursday night and things haven’t gotten a whole lot better since. Chicago bounced back with a last-second win on the road over Denver (16-14) before rolling over Washington (31-15) on Monday Night Football and shutting down Minnesota (16-6) at home to reach the quarter pole 3-1. Since then, it’s been all downhill: the Bears lost to Oakland (24-21) in London before the bye: coming out of the bye, they were drubbed 36-25 at home by the Saints in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. The Bears followed that up with a 17-16 home loss to the Chargers when Eddy Piniero missed a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Last week against the Eagles, the Bears struggled to move the fall for the first half of the game. By the time they got back into it, they had dug too deep of a hole to climb out of and suffered their fourth straight defeat. Chicago had only nine net yards in the first half and by the time they got on the board with 6:29 to play in the third quarter, they trailed 19-0. The Bears climbed to within 19-14 but gave up a 16 play, 69-yard drive that chewed up 8:14 and ended in a field goal to leave Chicago down eight with 25 seconds to play. Chicago was trounced 373-164 in total offense, gave up 26 first downs while picking up 10 and was dominated 40:18 to 19:52 in time of possession. The Bears committed the lone turnover in the contest.
The Running Game
Detroit Lions Running Offense
Chicago Bears Running Defense
Detroit Lions Running Offense
The run game is still trying to get back to some form of relevance for the first time since Barry Sanders retired. While it hasn't paid a ton of dividends in the early going, Detroit is at least staying dedicated to the run as opposed to selling out on it and going solely to the air. The Lions have two games where they have run for more than 100 yards in a game this season. Detroit ran 32 times for 116 yards against the Cardinals before sputtering against the Chargers (28 carries, 94 yards) and the Eagles (28 carries, 86 yards) in weeks two and three. In week four against the Chiefs, the Lions had their best game, running the ball 35 times for 186 yards but were held in check against Green Bay, running the ball 20 times for a measly 56 yards. Detroit has struggled lately, running 20 times for 81 yards against Minnesota and 25 times for 59 yards against the Giants two weeks ago. Last week against the Raiders, the Lions ran 20 times for 90 yards.
Kerryon Johnson leads the team with 92 carries though he has picked up only 308 yards and two scores. He was placed on injured reserve last month and may miss the rest of the season. J.D. McKissic is next in line with 20 carries for 140 yards while the now-departed C.J. Anderson had 16 carries for 43 yards before being released. Ty Johnson (39 carries, 137 yards) and Stafford (20 carries, 66 yards) and Tra Carson (12 carries, 34 yards) have had their chances on the ground. The Lions have just two runs that have covered at least 20 yards, though they have moved the chains 37 times on the ground this season.
Chicago Bears Run Defense
Chicago has been extremely effective at limiting opposing teams from doing damage on the ground this season. The Bears opened the season by containing the Packers to just 47 yards on 22 carries. In their week two win over the Broncos, Chicago allowed 24 carries for 90 yards: they limited Washington to 21 carries for 69 yards on Monday Night Football in Week 3. Chicago held the Vikings to 16 carries for 40 yards before getting gashed by the Raiders (39 carries, 169 yards) and Saints (35 carries, 151 yards) in weeks five and seven. Two weeks ago, the Bears held the Chargers in check, allowing 12 carries for 36 yards. Last week, Chicago struggled to stop Philadelphia’s ground attack as they allowed 35 carries for 146 yards. The Bears have held five of their eight opponents to 3.8 yards per carry or less this season.
Danny Trevathan leads the Bears with 67 tackles (49 solo) and a forced fumble on the season. Roquan Smith (57 tackles), Kyle Fuller (43 tackles), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (38 tackles, fumble recovery) and Prince Amukamura (31 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery) are other guys that are among the team leaders in stops this season. Khalil Mack (31 tackles, four forced fumbles) leads the team with nine tackles for loss while Nick Williams (21 tackles, fumble recovery) and Leonard Floyd (24 tackles) each have 4.5: Roy Robertson-Harris (18 tackles) has recorded 3.5 on the year. As a team, the Bears have recorded 38 tackles for loss: they have forced eight fumbles while recovering six on the year.
- 17th in run play percentage (40.23 percent)
- 16th in rushing attempts per game (26)
- 21st in rushing yards per game (96)
- 26th in yards per carry (3.7)
- Tied for 29th in rushing TD (two)
- 18th in longest rush (44 yards)
- 11th in percentage of run plays against (38.93 percent)
- 14th in run plays per game against (25.5)
- 8th in rushing yards allowed per game (93.5)
- 4th in opposing yards per carry (3.7)
- Tied for 17th in rushing TD allowed (eight)
- 1st in longest rush allowed (23 yards)
Who has the Edge?
Detroit's inability to move the ball on the ground is a concern as it's made their offense return to form of previous seasons. The loss of Kerryon Johnson to a knee injury has made things tougher for the Lions as McKissic and Ty Johnson aren't guys that you entrust as feature backs. Chicago has had problems at times against the run but they still have an aggressive front seven capable of putting teams behind the sticks. Until the Lions find a way to successfully move the ball via the ground, you have to give Chicago the edge here.
Advantage: Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears Running Offense
Detroit Lions Running Defense
Chicago Bears Running Offense
The run game hasn't been all that great for the Bears in the first three weeks of the season. Of course, it's been a changing of the guard in the Windy City as Jordan Howard is gone, taking the workhorse back from the last couple years out of the mix. Chicago was held to only 46 yards on 15 carries against the Packers in the opener. The Bears rebounded to rush for 153 yards and a score on 29 carries against Denver before running the ball 24 times for 90 yards against Washington in week 3. Chicago saw their numbers drop against the Vikings (33 carries, 72 yards), Raiders (17 carries, 42 yards) and Saints (seven carries, 17 yards) before bouncing back two weeks ago against the Chargers. Chicago ran the ball 38 times for a season-high 162 yards in the loss. Last week against Philadelphia, the Bears were limited to 18 carries for 62 yards though they did find the end zone twice.
Rookie David Montgomery leads the team with 112 carries for 406 yards and five scores on the year. Cordarrelle Patterson has 12 carries for 78 yards while Mike Davis (11 carries, 25 yards) and Tarik Cohen (26 carries, 63 yards) have to be better when given an opportunity. Chicago has just three plays on the ground that have gone at least 20 yards this season: Montgomery has two of them while Patterson has the other. The Bears have picked up only 35 first downs via the ground game so far this season.
Detroit Lions Run Defense
Detroit has had their ups and downs stopping the ground game of the opposition in the first half weeks of the season and that is fitting of a .500 team. The Lions have given up better than four yards a carry in seven of their eight games and have given up more than 100 yards in seven contests. Against the Cardinals in the season opener, they allowed 112 yards and a 4.9 yard per carry average. Those numbers spiked to 137 yards and a 5.5 yard per carry average against the Chargers before coming down to 127 yards and 4.2 yards per carry against the Eagles in week three. The Lions continued to struggle against the Chiefs (123 yards, 4.9 yards per carry) before the bye and the Packers (170 yards, 5.9 yards per carry) coming out of it. Detroit saw Minnesota run the ball 37 times for 166 yards before they turned in their best game of the year against the Giants (24 carries, 80 yards) two weeks ago. The Lions struggled again last week as the Raiders gashed them for 171 yards on 36 carries.
Safety Tracy Walker leads the team with 56 tackles (49 solo) on the season. Fellow safety Tavon Wilson (40 tackles, fumble recovery), cornerback Rashaan Melvin (34 tackles) along with linebackers Christian Jones (40 tackles, fumble recovery) and Devon Kennard (33 tackles, two fumble recoveries, TD) round out the top five in that department. Trey Flowers (29 tackles, two forced fumbles) has six tackles for loss to lead the team this season. Kennard and Walker each have five tackles for loss to tie for second on the team. The Lions have recorded 36 tackles for loss this season, forced 13 fumbles and recovered nine so far this season.
- 25th in run play percentage (37.79 percent)
- 24th in rushing attempts per game (22.6)
- 27th in rushing yards per game (80.5)
- 28th in yards per carry (3.6)
- Tied for 22nd in rushing TD (five)
- 15th in longest rush (55 yards)
- 18th in percentage of run plays against (41.19 percent)
- 25th in run plays per game against (28.6)
- 27th in rushing yards allowed per game (135.8)
- 26th in opposing yards per carry (4.7)
- Tied for 21st in rushing TD allowed (nine)
- 13th in longest rush allowed (45 yards)
Who has the Edge?
Detroit has been awful at stopping the run this season. The Lions have held all of one opponent under 100 yards on the ground this season and that's music to the ears of the Bears. Chicago has been able to break the 100-yard mark just twice this season. The Bears did run for a season-high 162 yards against the Chargers two weeks ago while getting 62 yards and two scores last week against the Eagles. Montgomery has started to step up and take over the feature back role and he should have a soft landing in this one against a weak Detroit front seven.
Advantage: Chicago Bears
The Passing Game
Detroit Lions Passing Offense
vs. Chicago Bears Passing Defense
Detroit Lions Passing Offense
Detroit still has Matthew Stafford under center and with him slinging the ball, you know that the Lions are going to be decent in this category. The Lions haven't had to rely on the pass all that much as their pass/run ratio isn't as skewed as we've seen in seasons past. With that said, the passing numbers have dropped each week, much like the rushing numbers on the offensive side of the ball. Detroit had 385 yards against the Cardinals in the opener but saw their numbers drop to 245 yards against the Chargers and 201 against the Eagles. The Lions did bounce back a bit, throwing for 293 yards against Kansas City and 265 against the Packers in week 6. Detroit has gone over the 300-yard mark in each of the last three games as they went for 364 yards against the Vikings and 342 yards against the Giants before going for a season-high 406 yards against the Raiders last week.
Stafford has completed 187 of 291 passes for 2,499 yards with 19 touchdowns and five interceptions on the year. He's been sacked 16 times for 114 yards on the year. When the Lions go to the air, Marvin Jones Jr. leads the team with 34 catches for 409 yards plus five scores. Kenny Golladay (31 grabs, 508 yards, six TD) and Danny Amendola (28 catches, 347 yards, TD) are solid secondary targets. The Lions need more from tight end T.J. Hockenson (19 receptions, 240 yards, two TD), who had a big debut but has just 12 catches in the last six games combined. Detroit has 33 pass plays of at least 20 yards this season: Jones Jr. and Golladay each have eight, Hockenson has five while Amendola and Marvin Hall (five grabs, 201 yards, TD) each have four.
Chicago Bears Passing Defense
Chicago has made life tough for opposing quarterbacks and receivers this season. The Bears are going to test Stafford and company in this contest. Chicago allowed 203 yards to Green Bay in the opening week of the season before giving up 292 yards to the Broncos and 332 yards to Washington. The Bears held Minnesota to 233 yards, limited the Raiders to 229 yards and then gave up 281 yards to the Saints. In the last couple of weeks, we saw Chicago hold the Chargers to 201 yards and the Eagles to 239 yards through the air. Of course, the Bears' pass rush has been effective, recording at least one sack in seven of their eight games this season.
Mack leads the team with 5.5 sacks on the season while Williams has five, Floyd adds three and Robertson-Harris contributes 2.5 on the year. All told, 10 different players have at least one sack for the Bears this season. Fuller leads the team with seven pass defenses. Amukamura has six pass defenses to rank second on the team while Mack has four and Buster Skrine (22 tackles) adds three. Fuller has three picks to lead the team while Clinton-Dix (TD) contributes a pair of picks. As a team, the Bears have 19 sacks to go with 30 pass defenses and five interceptions on the year this season.
- 16th in pass play percentage (58.77 percent)
- 20th in completion percentage (64.3)
- 3rd in passing yards per game (295.2)
- Tied for 2nd in TD passes (19)
- Tied for 9th in INT thrown (five)
- 4th in net yards per pass attempt (8.1)
- Tied for 14th in longest pass play (66 yards)
- 5th in passer rating (106)
- 22nd in pass play percentage against (61.07 percent)
- 14th in passing yards per game allowed (230.1)
- 26th in completion percentage allowed (68.4)
- Tied for 6th in TD passes allowed (eight)
- Tied for 18th in INT (five)
- Tied for 12th in sacks (23)
- Tied for 11th in passer rating allowed (89.2)
- 8th in net yards per pass attempt (6.2)
Who has the Edge?
Detroit has racked up a ton of yards through the air thanks to games like last week's showing against the Raiders. The Lions have some terrific options in the passing game to work with and it's going to be a test for the Bears' corners to hold up against the duo of Golladay and Jones Jr. in the passing game. Detroit is going to move the ball through the air and it's going to be a battle of the Lions' offensive line against the Bears' pass rush, led by Mack. In the end, the Lions have too many options and the Bears have a tough time shutting them down. Give Detroit a slight advantage in this category.
Advantage: Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears Passing Offense
Detroit Lions Passing Defense
Chicago Bears Passing Offense
Chicago sputtered through the air in most of the first two games of the season before coming to life in the final seconds against Denver. The Bears carried that momentum into the Monday night game against Washington and it paid dividends. Chicago threw for 228 yards in the opener against the Packers though they struggled hitting open receivers. Against the Broncos, the Bears had only 120 yards through the air but threw for 231 yards against the Redskins, including their first three touchdown passes of the season. That was followed by 201 yards against Minnesota, 231 yards against the Raiders, 251 yards against the Saints and a season-high 253 yards against the Chargers two weeks ago. The Bears struggled through the air last week, throwing for just 125 yards against the Eagles.
Mitch Trubisky has completed 136 of 217 passes for 1,217 yards with five touchdown passes and three interceptions on the year. He's been sacked 17 times for 109 yards in losses this season. He missed time with a separated shoulder earlier this season. Chase Daniel is 44 of 60 for 426 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions this season. Allen Robinson leads the team with 47 receptions for 532 yards and three scores on the year. Cohen has 34 catches for 193 yards and a score while Taylor Gabriel has reeled in 17 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns. Anthony Miller (16 receptions, 211 yards) is a solid secondary option. Chicago has 19 pass plays of at least 20 yards this season: Robinson leads the team with seven while Miller is next in line with four and Gabriel adds three.
Detroit Lions Passing Defense
Detroit has tried to keep teams in check via the air but the results have been mixed. The Lions have given up four 300-yard games through the air this season and haven’t held an opponent under 250 yards as of yet. Detroit gave up 308 yards through the air in their tie with Arizona in the opener this season. Against Philip Rivers and the Chargers, the Lions allowed 293 yards through the air before limiting Carson Wentz to 259 yards in their week 3 road win. Detroit gave up 315 yards through the air in their loss to Kansas City and then allowed 283 to Green Bay on Monday night in week 6. The Lions were carved up for 337 yards by the Vikings and 322 two weeks ago by the Giants. Last week, Detroit was singed for 289 yards through the air by the Raiders.
Flowers is the team leader for the Lions in sacks this season with four. Kennard adds three while Damon Harrison Sr. (24 tackles, three tackles for loss) and Christian Jones are the only other player with multiple sacks as they each have recorded two this season. Justin Coleman (32 tackles, two forced fumbles, fumble recovery) leads the team with 10 pass defenses while Melvin has eight and Walker five this season. Coleman, Walker and Darius Slay (19 tackles, three pass defenses, fumble recovery) each have one interception to tie for the team lead. The Lions have recorded 14 sacks, 41 pass defenses and three interceptions as a team this season.
- 8th in pass play percentage (62.21 percent)
- 12th in completion percentage (65.2)
- 30th in passing yards per game (186.2)
- Tied for 29th in TD passes (eight)
- Tied for 9th in INT thrown (five)
- 31st in net yards per pass attempt (5.4)
- Tied for 25th in longest pass play (53 yards)
- 24th in passer rating (83.3)
- 15th in pass play percentage against (58.81 percent)
- 30th in passing yards per game allowed (288.4)
- 4th in completion percentage allowed (60.4)
- Tied for 23rd in TD passes allowed (16)
- Tied for 27th in INT (three)
- Tied for 27th in sacks (14)
- 20th in passer rating allowed (97.5)
- 25th in net yards per pass attempt (7.4)
Who has the Edge?
The passing game has been dismal for the Bears and it's led to speculation that the team may look to replace Trubisky in the offseason. Chicago's pass attack has definitely regressed this season and they have to be more efficient in the second half of the year if they hope to get back in the playoff picture. Detroit has been awful against the pass, which the numbers bear out. The Lions don't make a ton of big plays, they don't get after the quarterback and they give up a slew of touchdowns through the air. Given that both teams have issues, this one is a wash.
The Lions have been middle of the pack offensively this season as they are 12th in the league with 25.5 points per contest. Detroit stands 5th in the league in total offense as they average 391.2 yards per contest while ranking 7th in yards per play as they pick up 6.1 yards per snap. The Lions are currently 27th in the league in scoring defense by allowing 27.1 points per contest. Detroit is 31st in the league in total defense by allowing 424.1 yards per game and is 27th in yards per play by allowing 6.1 yards per snap. In giveaway/takeaway, the Lions are tied for 15th with a +1 ratio this season.
The Lions are average when it comes to punching the ball into the end zone once they drive into the red zone as they are ranked 17th in the league by converting 58.33 percent of their chances. Defensively, Detroit has been below average this season, ranking 23rd in red zone defense by allowing 60.61 percent of drives to reach the red zone to end in touchdowns. The Lions are near the middle of the pack in third-down conversions, ranking 13th by converting 41.35 percent of their third-down situations so far this season. Detroit’s defense is just 30th in those situations as they hold the opposition to a 48.08 percent success on their third downs. The Lions are 17th in the league in time of possession by holding the ball 49.24 percent of the time this season.
Matt Prater is 21 of 22 on extra points and 15 of 18 on field goal tries with a long of 55: he had a kick blocked in week 3 against the Eagles. Sam Martin has averaged 43.8 yards on his 31 boots with a 40.5-yard net average. He has placed 12 punts inside the opposing 20-yard line against three touchbacks. Jamal Agnew has averaged 28.2 yards per kick return on 11 runbacks with a 100-yard score against the Eagles. He has averaged only 2.7 yards on 10 punt returns while Amendola has averaged five yards on three returns.
Chicago is only 27th in the league in scoring offense as they put up 17.8 points per game on the season. The Bears are 29th in the league in total offense with 266.8 yards per game and stand 30th in yards per play with 4.5 yards per snap. Chicago is fifth in the league in scoring defense as they give up an average of 18 points per contest. The Bears are a solid 9th in total defense as they allow 323.6 yards per game and stand fourth as they give up only 4.9 yards per play. Chicago is tied for 12th in the takeaway/giveaway department as they are a +2 on the season.
The Bears are 18th in red zone success as they have cashed in 57.14 percent of their drives that got inside the opposition’s 20-yard line into touchdowns. Chicago is 13th in red zone defense as they held opposing teams to a 53.33 percent success rate as far as scoring touchdowns goes. Chicago is currently 28th in the league in third down conversions as they have converted 31.37 percent of their situations while going five of nine on fourth down this season. The Bears are solid in getting off the field as opposing teams have converted 34.95 percent of their third downs, which is ninth in the league. Chicago is 26th in the league in time of possession as they hold the ball 47.62 percent of the time.
Eddy Piniero, who took over the kicking job after Cody Parkey's infamous double-doink miss in the playoffs last season, is 14 of 14 on extra points and 12 of 15 on field goals with a long of 53 this year. Pat O'Donnell has averaged 46 yards per kick on 35 punts this season: he has a net average of 41.3 yards with 13 punts inside the opposition's 20-yard line. He has two touchbacks in addition to having a punt blocked but has a 75-yard boot to his credit. Patterson has averaged 30.1 yards on his 15 kick returns, including a 102-yard return for a score, while Cohen has averaged 11.3 yards on 20 punt returns with a long of 71.
Who has the Edge?
Detroit has the upper hand when you look at the majority of the offensive numbers this season. The Lions do have problems when it comes to making stops on the defensive side of the ball. As a result, the pendulum shifts to Chicago on that side of the ball. Both coaches are younger guys in the head coaching game: Patricia has Super Bowl rings from his time in New England while Nagy was the offensive coordinator with Kansas City in 2017 before taking the job with the Bears. Detroit has the upper hand in the kicking game as the Bears continue to sputter in that department. In the end, you have to give the Lions a slight edge in this department.
Advantage: Detroit Lions
Detroit started the season fairly strong but their inability to hold fourth-quarter leads has cost them. The Lions have to be better in that department in order to have success in the second half of the year. Detroit is 1-2-1 on the road this season and the weather could be an impact in this one. That's something the Lions don't have to deal with at home since they play in a dome at Ford Field. Chicago has gone just 1-3 at home on the year with that one-point loss to the Chargers in their last game. With that said, the weather and cold could be a factor, which would impact the Lions. Stafford is just 29-47-1 on the road in his career and that is concerning. Give the Bears a slight advantage here to get back in the win column.
According to Covers.com, the Bears are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after accumulating less than 150 yards passing in their previous game, 8-1 ATS in their last nine against NFC North teams and 4-1 ATS in their last five in November. Detroit has gone 7-21 ATS in their last 28 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game and 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games in November.
Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements
Detroit has a series of injuries to deal with on both sides of the ball but the ones defensively are going to be an issue. The Lions have problems at free safety as both Tracy Walker and Miles Killebrew (concussion) are out for this one. That leaves C.J. Moore as the lone remaining free safety on the roster as it stands. Defensive tackle Da'Shawn Hand remains out with an ankle injury while Damon Harrison Sr. is questionable with a groin issue, A'Shawn Robinson is questionable with an ankle issue and Mike Daniels is questionable with a foot injury. Defensive end Romeo Okwara is also questionable with an ankle injury. That puts their defensive line and their secondary in flux.
Offensively, the Lions have a couple nagging injuries that landed on the injury report. Stafford is questionable with hip and back injuries but is expected to play. Meanwhile, Graham Glasgow and Joe Dahl, the team's starting guards, are both questionable for this one. Punter Sam Martin is questionable as well but, seeing how Detroit hasn't signed a new punter, one has to think he'll be able to go.
Chicago is pretty healthy all things considered as, outside their guys that are on injured reserve, there are only two players on the injury report. Backup outside linebacker Isaiah Irving is out with a quad injury while defensive tackle Eddie Goldman is questionable with a thigh issue. Other than that, the Bears are pretty much at full strength for this divisional matchup.
The weather could be an impact in this game, especially for Stafford and the Lions' passing game. Game time temperature is expected to be in the low-40s with less than a 10 percent chance of precipitation in the forecast. Winds are expected to blow from the west at 10 to 15 miles per hour. During the game, the temperature is supposed to drop down to right around 40 degrees with the winds kicking up closer to a sustained 15 miles an hour.
When the initial lines opened for this contest, the line had Chicago as a 3.5-point favorite with the over/under set at 44.5 points. As of Saturday afternoon, the line has shifted slightly as the Bears are now sitting as a 2.5-point favorite in the contest. The over/under has trended down to 41.5 points in this contest. Currently, the moneyline shows Chicago as a solid -145 to -155 favorite while the Lions can be found as a +120 to +130 underdog depending on the sportsbook. As of this writing, a solid 57 percent of the bets are backing the Lions +2.5 points. When it comes to the moneyline, a solid majority, 65 percent of the wagers, are backing the Lions as the visiting team. Meanwhile, 62 percent of bets are projecting this one to stay under the total.
Detroit is dealing with a series of injuries and that is going to be something to watch out for in this case. The Lions have a ton of holes in their defense and they've have issues stopping the run when they were healthy. This could be a prime chance for the Chicago offense to get right as the Lions are the 31st ranked defense in the league. The Bears are a solid defense and the weather could impact Stafford's passing game. Look for Chicago to prevail at home in this contest.
Prediction: Chicago Bears -2.5Second Opinion on this pick from StatSalt.com
Additional Insiders' Best Bets
Full-game Total Bet
Both teams have had their struggles this season, which is why they are under the .500 mark and on the fringes of the playoff picture at this point in time. Detroit has been outscored 105-100 in their four road games this season as they tend to be involved in high-scoring affairs thanks to their weak defense. Chicago has been outscored 69-60 in their four home games this season: nearly half (61) of the points that have been scored at Soldier Field (129) came in a loss to the Saints in week seven. Will the Bears' offense move the ball against the Lions' soft defense?
The under is 5-1 in the Lions' last 6 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game, 4-1 in their last five against the NFC North and 8-3 in their last 11 after allowing at least 30 points in their last game. Chicago has seen the under go 5-0 in their last five against NFC North teams, 8-1 in their last 9 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game and 6-1 in their last seven at home. This one ends up falling short of the number as the Bears' defense slows things down here.
Half-time Side Bet
Detroit has been a solid first half team this season as they have held the lead in four of their eight games and has been tied in two others. Chicago has held the lead at the half in four of their eight games but they were unable to put any points on the board in the opening half against the Eagles last week. With that said, the Bears are at home and facing a Lions defense that is full of injury woes. Factor in the cold and wind in the Windy City and it's going to be a tough battle for the Lions. Give the Bears a slight advantage in this one at the half.
Half-time Total Bet
Detroit has been solid at putting points on the board in the opening half of games this season. The Lions are sixth in the league as they put up 15.1 points per game in the first half this year. Chicago is just 27th in the department, averaging 8.2 points per contest in the opening 30 minutes. On the flip side of things, Detroit is 19th in scoring defense by allowing 12.1 points per game in the first half. Chicago stands fifth in scoring defense in the opening half as they allow 7.6 points per game in the first half. This one likely is a defensive battle with the score something like 10-7 at the half: look for it to fall under the total.