#473 Chicago
#474 Los Angeles


In-Depth Prediction, Preview, and Odds

Bears vs. Rams Prediction

Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 8:20pm EST
Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles

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In-depth Coverage

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Table of Contents

Last Updated: Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 9:06am EST


What was billed as a potential NFC championship game showdown in the preseason has become a fight for playoff survival on Sunday Night Football as the Los Angeles Rams host the Chicago Bears.

The defending conference champion Rams (5-4) have been installed as an early touchdown favorite despite coming off one of their worst offensive performances of the season in a 17-12 loss at Pittsburgh last Sunday.

Chicago (4-5), the reigning NFC North champ, snapped a four-game losing streak but still have plenty of offensive issues to address following its 20-13 home victory over Detroit last Sunday. The Bears scored all three of their touchdowns in a 6:03 span bridging halftime but still finished with only 226 yards of total offense.

The sputtering offenses of both teams have contributed to the over/under being only 41 points. It should be noted, though, the teams came nowhere close to this number in Chicago last year when the Bears won a 15-6 slugfest in which they held the Rams without a touchdown and to 214 total yards.

Chicago Bears Review

For one week at least, the critics of Chicago's offense are somewhat less vocal. Embattled quarterback Mitch Trubisky's three touchdown passes went to three different receivers -- tight end Ben Braunecker, slot receiver Tarik Cohen and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel -- finally showing the accuracy that has been missing for most of the season.

The win does not fix all of Chicago's woes on that side of the ball -- the Bears gained just 45 yards and three first downs on their other nine possessions -- but there is something to build on for coach Matt Nagy.

The defense survived two potential game-tying touchdown drives in the fourth quarter and recorded five sacks. There will be some skepticism considering Lions backup quarterback Jeff Driskel threw for 269 yards and a touchdown in his first action of the season, but it was also the sixth time in nine games Chicago held a team to 17 or fewer points.

Los Angeles Rams Review

The Rams still look like a team spooked from its shortcomings in the Super Bowl last February. Los Angeles has had flashes of its offense firing on all cylinders, but it continues to struggle to find traction without running back Todd Gurley being a dominant performer.

That was not exactly the case Sunday in Pittsburgh -- Gurley had 73 yards on 12 carries -- but none of those yards or carries came in the fourth quarter. He did play 11 of Los Angeles' 17 offensive snaps, but his number was not called -- a curious decision given the Rams offense failed to score a touchdown.

Jared Goff finished 22 of 41 for 243 yards and a pair of interceptions as the Rams committed four turnovers overall and went 1 for 14 on third down. After averaging 32.9 points last season, that figure has dropped off dramatically to 25.1 points.

The Running Game

Chicago Bears Running Offense
vs. Los Angeles Rams Running Defense

Chicago Bears Running Offense

The Bears running game is, to use the Winston Churchill phrase, "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery inside in an enigma." There are times it looks effective. There are times it gets completely bottled up. And there are times it gets completely ignored by Nagy.

As a result, no one is ever really sure what the Bears will do with that part of the offense on a week-to-week basis. Rookie David Montgomery had 60 anonymous yards versus Detroit, getting just two first downs on his 17 carries. He did not break off a run longer than nine yards but was also not tackled for a loss.

“We talk a lot in our room about, ‘Eliminate negative runs. Don’t make a bad play worse,’” running backs coach Charles London told The Athletic. “If you can get us back to the line of scrimmage, get us back to the line of scrimmage. Don’t make it second-and-12; make it second-and-9 for us. At least, help us keep us in manageable situations.

“I think David does a great job of that. He may shed a tackle or two and only pick up a yard or two but that’s huge instead of taking a 2-yard loss. He does a great job of doing that.”

He was a limited participant in practice Wednesday, which obviously bears monitoring given his like for like backup is Tarik Cohen, which takes Cohen out of the slot receiver position. Additionally, the team waived Mike Davis -- who had just 25 yards on 11 carries -- and promoted Ryan Nall from the practice squad.

Los Angeles Rams Run Defense

By and large, the Rams run defense has been solid this season. The only times it truly struggled this season were against teams with elite running backs -- Christian McCaffrey against Carolina and Chris Carson versus Seattle. Los Angeles' defense did its job at Pittsburgh last weekend, yielding just 42 yards while allowing a season-low 1.56 yards per carry.

Given the stout personnel on the defensive line, it will be on Aaron Donald, Dante Fowler Jr., Michael Brockers, and Sebastian Joseph-Day to string the plays wide when the Bears run the ball since the dimunitive Montgomery has run just 12.4 percent of his carries up the middle. The quartet has recorded 27 of Los Angeles' 48 tackles for loss, and after a solid performance in which they accounted for nine of the team's 12 points with a touchdown and safety, they are in a good place for this contest.

“We put up nine points as a defense, can’t ask for much more from that standpoint,” Fowler told the Rams' official website. “I just loved the way that we kept going.”


Team Rushing Statistics

Carries — 205 (27th)

Carries Per game — 22.8 (25th)

Rushing Yards — 725 (28th)

Rushing Yards Per Game — 80.6 (28th)

Average Yards Per Carry — 3.54 (27th)

Rushing Touchdowns — 5 (T-22nd)

Individual Rushing Statistics

David Montgomery -- 129 carries/466 yards/3.61 yards per carry/5 TDs

Cordarrelle Patterson -- 12/78/6.50/0

Tarik Cohen -- 29/77/2.66/0

Mitchell Trubisky -- 14/54/3.86/0

Mike Davis -- 11/25/2.27/0

Taylor Gabriel -- 3/20/6.67/0

Chase Daniel -- 6/6/1.00/0

Anthony Miller -- 1/-1/-1.00/0

Team Rushing Defense (Opponent Offensive Rank)

Opponent Carries — 245 (T-14th)

Opponent Carries per game — 27.2 (T-11th)

Opponent Rushing Yards — 817 (T-27th)

Average Opponent Rushing Yards Per Game — 90.8 (T-27th)

Average Opponent Rushing Yards Per Carry — 3.33 (31st)

Opponent Rushing TDs — 7 (T-19th)

Individual Defensive Statistics

Cory Littleton -- 47 solo tackles/33 assists/80 tackles/2 stuff/3 TFL

Eric Weddle -- 39/27/66/0.5/0

Taylor Rapp -- 31/21/52/2/2

John Johnson III -- 24/27/51/1/2

Michael Brockers -- 20/17/37/1.5/1

Dante Fowler Jr. -- 21/13/34/4/10

Troy Reeder -- 19/13/32/0/0

Aaron Donald -- 20/10/30/7.5/13

Nickell Robey-Coleman -- 22/2/24/0/2

Clay Matthews -- 18/4/22/2.0/8

Samson Ebukam -- 10/12/22/3/0

Marqui Christian -- 15/6/21/0/1

Troy Hill -- 18/3/21/0/0

Sebastian Joseph-Day -- 13/7/20/1.5/3

Who has the Edge?

The Rams run defense has been consistent all season, and that should continue in this game given the wild variance the Bears have had in the run game. Montgomery is going to have problems finding holes to squeeze through between the tackles, and the quality of Donald and Fowler in the interior allows the Rams linebackers -- most notably Clay Matthews and Cory Littleton -- to shoot the gaps and prevent cutback lanes while stringing out the plays as Chicago tries to run wide.

Advantage: Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Rams Running Offense
vs. Chicago Bears Running Defense

Los Angeles Rams Running Offense

The managing of Gurley's workload, whether or not McVay is actively doing it, has been maddening and debilitating to the Rams offense this season. His 428 yards are his lowest eight-game total in his career, with only the 451 in his second season in 2016 coming close to that total.

While McVay fell on the sword regarding the rotation, another problem for the Rams is their offensive line. Injury-plagued and at times ineffective, Los Angeles has failed to break 100 yards in six of its last seven games, averaging 83.6 yards and 3.66 per carry in that span.

“It's a little bit of a roller coaster with everybody going down and getting banged up,” said Austin Blythe, the Rams’ new starting center, to The Associated Press. “Juggling positions is part of the league, part of being a professional, and especially on the offensive line. We'll try to handle it to the best of our ability.”

That juggling also includes plugging in a new right tackle Rob Havenstein ruled out for this game with a knee injury. Blythe is replacing center Brian Allen, who was lost for the season with a torn ACL suffered in the loss at Pittsburgh.

Chicago Bears Run Defense

The Bears defense looks to have turned a corner with two solid performances around a shaky effort in Philadelphia, but it will be challenged without starting linebacker Danny Trevathan. Chicago's leading tackler suffered a nasty-looking elbow injury in the first quarter versus Detroit and did not return.

Trevathan is scheduled to undergo an MRI, but it is also possible he will be the second defensive starter to go on IR along with defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. Trevathan's likely absence puts pressure on both Roquan Smith and Khalil Mack to plug holes in the run lanes, though Nick Kwiatkowski stepped up filling Trevathan's spot and recorded his first career interception.

“I’ve said it before, as a linebacker room, we prepare like we’re going to play,” Kwiatkowski told NBCSports Chicago. “Every one of us – as a defense, really. Things happen throughout the course of a game, through the course of a season, and you have to be ready for it.”


Team Rushing Statistics

Carries — 222 (22nd)

Carries Per game — 24.7 (19th)

Rushing Yards — 866 (T-22nd)

Rushing Yards Per Game — 96.2 (T-20th)

Average Yards Per Carry — 3.90 (22nd)

Rushing Touchdowns — 11 (T-7th)

Individual Rushing Statistics

Todd Gurley -- 104 carries/428 yards/4.12 yards per carry/6 TDs

Malcolm Brown -- 42/164/3.90/2

Darrell Henderson Jr. -- 33/123/3.73/0

Robert Woods -- 12/71/5.92/1

Brandin Cooks -- 5/51/10.20/0

Jared Goff -- 18/16/0.89/2

John Kelly -- 3/9/3.00/0

Cooper Kupp -- 2/4/2.00/0

Blake Bortles -- 1/1/1.00/0

Gerald Everett -- 1/0/0.00/0

Josh Reynolds -- 1/-1/-1.00/0

Team Rushing Defense (Opponent Offensive Rank)

Opponent Carries — 231 (18th)

Opponent Carries per game — 25.7 (18th)

Opponent Rushing Yards — 846 (25th)

Average Opponent Rushing Yards Per Game — 94.0 (24th)

Average Opponent Rushing Yards Per Carry — 3.66 (29th)

Opponent Rushing TDs — 8 (T-13th)

Individual Defensive Statistics

Danny Trevathan -- 50 solo tackles/20 assists/70 tackles/2 stuff/2 TFL

Roquan Smith -- 46/21/67/1/1

Kyle Fuller -- 44/5/49/0/0

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix -- 37/7/44/0.5/0

Prince Amukamara -- 29/7/36/0/1

Eddie Jackson -- 31/5/36/1/1

Khalil Mack -- 30/4/34/2.5/5

Buster Skrine -- 22/5/27/0/0

Leonard Floyd -- 19/7/26/0.5/3

Nick Williams -- 15/9/24/0/5

Nick Kwiatkoski -- 16/3/19/0/3

Roy Robertson-Harris -- 16/2/18/1/3

Eddie Goldman -- 14/4/18/0/1

Bilal Nichols -- 5/6/11/1/1

Who has the Edge?

Trevathan's absence is a huge blow in Chicago's run defense, but with the Rams offensive line a mishmash of players -- some of them out of position -- that could wind up being negated if the Bears defensive line wins the battle at the line of scrimmage.

Still, Gurley may be turning a corner in terms of his personal effectiveness, and that could be enough to give the Rams a slight edge in this matchup.

Advantage: Los Angeles Rams

The Passing Game

Chicago Bears Passing Offense
vs. Los Angeles Rams Passing Defense

Chicago Bears Passing Offense

While it was highly unlikely Nagy would have benched Trubisky had the third-year quarterback had another subpar performance, there is little arguing his performance against the Lions was sorely needed for both his confidence and the offense in general.

“It just confirms to me that as long as we stick together and work hard, we can overcome anything,” Trubisky said Wednesday during his media availabilty. “You’ve just got to take it one week, one game at a time. Just continue to work hard, do our jobs, come together as a family, try to go out there and have fun, and don’t worry about results.”

One game, though, is merely a turnaround. The challenge for Trubisky is to have more than flashes and string such six-minute spurts into sustained drives and then into game-to-game efforts. That will be tough against a Rams defense that is tied for 10th in 26 sacks and has one of the league's best pass rushers in Donald.

“When everybody does what they’re supposed to do, it’s good,” Nagy told The Athletic about the passing game and how it revolves around Trubisky. “When 11 guys do their job, then he’s able to be better at his job, and I think that’s what you take away from it. Because if one guy just messes up a little bit, then sometimes it goes back to the quarterback.”

Los Angeles Rams Passing Defense

Fowler and Donald are known quantities when it comes to the pass rush and getting to the quarterback. The surprise of Los Angeles' defense has been the renaissance of veteran linebacker Clay Matthews. The 11-year veteran made his return in Pittsburgh after missing three games with a jaw injury and extended his run of having a sack in every game since joining the Rams.

Matthews' team-high 7.5 sacks are his most since recording 11 in 2014 with Green Bay, and he has long tormented Bears quarterbacks with 9.5 sacks and three interceptions in 18 career games versus Chicago.

“He’s made a big difference. .. .” McVay said according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “A really versatile player — very similar to [safety Eric] Weddle, what he provides on the front end in terms of the experience, playing all over the front. He’s been an all-pro inside linebacker as well. He’s seen so many different things.

“I think he’s still got great suddenness, great twitch, really productive getting to the quarterback. And then getting him back off the jaw injury … you could feel he brought a big boost to our defense. It’s great having him back.”

Los Angeles does not have great numbers when it comes to passing yards, but it is still proving effective -- the Rams have yielded just 37 points in their last three games despite allowing an average of 265 passing yards in that span.


Team Passing Statistics

Passes Attempted — 299 (T-23rd)

Passes Completed — 196 (18th)

Completion Percentage — 65.6 (13th)

Gross Passing Yards — 1,816 (30th)

Net Passing Yards – 2,100 (19th)

Net Passing Yards Per Game — 233.3 (18th)

Average Gain Per Pass Play — 5.71 (28th)

Yards Per Attempt — 6.07 (32nd)

Yards Per Completion — 9.27 (32nd)

Passing TDs — 11 (T-23rd)

Interceptions — 5 (T-22nd most)

Times Sacked — 27 (T-10th most)

Passer Rating — 87.3 (21st)

Individual Passing

Mitchell Trubisky — 152 completions/239 attempts/63.6 completion percentage/1,390 yards/8 TDs/3 INT/85.2 passer rating

Chase Daniel -- 44/60/73.3/426/3/2/95.6

Individual Receiving

Allen Robinson II -- 53 receptions/618 yards/11.7 yards per catch/3 TDs

Tarik Cohen -- 38/216/5.7/2

Taylor Gabriel -- 21/277/13.2/4

David Montgomery -- 18/133/7.4/0

Anthony Miller -- 17/218/12.8/0

Trey Burton -- 14/84/6.0/0

Adam Shaheen -- 9/74/8.2/0

Cordarrelle Patterson -- 8/39/4.9/0

Mike Davis -- 7/22/3.1/0

Javon Wims -- 6/70/11.7/1

Ben Braunecker -- 3/42/14.0/1

J.P. Holtz -- 2/23/11.5/0

Team Passing Defense Statistics (Opponent Offensive Rank)

Opponents’ Passes Attempted — 329 (T-12th)

Opponents’ Passes Completed — 208 (T-13th)

Opponents’ Completing Percentage — 63.2 (T-22nd)

Opponents’ Gross Passing Yards —2,328 (16th)

Opponents’ Net Passing Yards — 2,162 (17th)

Opponents’ Net Passing Yards Per Game — 240.2 (16th)

Opponents’ Yards Per Attempt — 7.08 (22nd)

Opponents’ Yards Per Completion — 11.19 (20th)

Opponents’ Average Gain Per Pass Play — 6.09 (21st)

Opponents’ TD passes — 12 (T–20th)

Interceptions — 6 (T-16th)

Sacks — 26 (T-10th)

Opponents’ Passer Rating — 88.8 (21st)

Individual Defense Sacks and Quarterback Hurries

Clay Matthews -- 7.5 sacks/43.5 yards/9 QBH

Dante Fowler Jr. -- 6.5/52.5/9

Aaron Donald -- 5.5/31.5/13

Cory Littleton -- 1.5/11.0/2

Ogbonnia Okoronwko -- 1.5/8.0/4

Sebastian Joseph-Day -- 1.0/3/3

Morgan Fox -- 1.0/1/2

Interceptions and Passes Broken Up

Cory Littleton -- 2 INTs/8 PBU

Marcus Peters -- 2/4

John Johnson III -- 2/2

Nickell Robey-Coleman -- 0/4

Eric Weddle -- 0/3

Taylor Rapp -- 0/3

Troy Hill -- 0/3

Who has the Edge?

The Bears revamped their offensive line last week, moving Cody Whitehair to center at his request. The result brought some balance to a line still adjusting without injured guard Kyle Long, but with James Daniels and Rashaad Coward both lacking extensive experience in the middle of the line flanking Whitehair, this is a matchup the Rams can exploit through Donald and Fowler engaging blockers for Matthews to run into the pocket.

The receivers versus secondary is a more even match, but it also depends on Trubisky making the throws and the receivers making the catches, which has at times proved challenging on both ends of the pass.

Advantage: Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Rams Passing Offense
vs. Chicago Bears Passing Defense

Los Angeles Rams Passing Offense

Gurley is not the only one affected by the makeshift offensive line as Goff has struggled from game-to-game getting the Rams offense in gear. He is already three interceptions shy of matching his 2018 total of 12, and his 11 TD passes are well off last season's pace of a career-high 32.

“No, we’re in a place where we’re still good,” Goff defiantly told The Orange County Register. “We’ve got some time to make up some ground, and off course that’s the ultimate goal, but we’ve got to win games one at a time. I don’t think we’re looking at the standings or how many we’ve got to win. We can’t.”

The pieces are clearly still there. Cooper Kupp has a chance to better his career-best numbers of 62 catches and 869 yards set in his 2017 rookie season, needing five receptions and 78 yards to do so in both categories. Goff will be looking his way and to Robert Woods more with Brandin Cooks out for this game and still in the concussion protocol.

Chicago Bears Passing Defense

With Kupp expected to be a focal point in the Rams' passing game, Bears slot corner Buster Skrine becomes the player to watch on the other side.

Covering slot receivers is arguably the most challenging job of a cornerback in the NFL, and Skrine has held his own. Opposing quarterbacks are 28 of 46 for 259 yards and a touchdown throwing in Skrine's direction, and he has broken up four passes.

The 60.9 completion percentage is below the overall league mark of 64.5. Chicago's defense is not the lights-out unit it was last season -- opponents are completing passes at 67.1 percent -- but another difference is takeaways. The Bears have just six interceptions thus far after recording an NFL-best 27 in 2018.


Team Passing Statistics

Passes Attempted — 357 (8th)

Passes Completed — 215 (12th)

Completion Percentage — 60.2 (26th)

Gross Passing Yards — 2,633 (9th)

Net Passing Yards – 2,516 (9th)

Net Passing Yards Per Game — 279.6 (6th)

Average Gain Per Pass Play — 6.75 (13th)

Yards Per Attempt — 7.38 (17th)

Yards Per Completion — 12.25 (6th)

Passing TDs — 11 (T-23rd)

Interceptions — 10 (T-5th most)

Times Sacked — 16 (T-28th most)

Passer Rating — 81.6 (27th)

Individual Passing

Jared Goff — 214 completions/355 attempts/60.3 completion percentage/2,610 yards/11 TDs/9 INT/82.7 passer rating

Johnny Hekker -- 1/2/50.0/23/0/1/52.1

Individual Receiving

Cooper Kupp -- 58 receptions/792 yards/13.7 yards per catch/5 TDs

Robert Woods -- 45/566/12.6/0

Gerald Everett -- 34/365/10.7/2

Brandin Cooks -- 27/402/14.9/1

Tyler Higbee -- 21/192/9.1/1

Todd Gurley II -- 15/81/5.4/1

Josh Reynolds -- 8/156/19.5/1

Darrell Henderson Jr. -- 4/37/9.3/0

Nick Scott -- 1/23/23.0/0

Malcolm Brown -- 1/10/10.0/0

Johnny Mundt -- 1/9/9.0/0

Team Passing Defense Statistics (Opponent Offensive Rank)

Opponents’ Passes Attempted — 343 (T-8th)

Opponents’ Passes Completed — 230 (7th)

Opponents’ Completing Percentage — 67.1 (8th)

Opponents’ Gross Passing Yards — 2,279 (19th)

Opponents’ Net Passing Yards — 2,100 (19th)

Opponents’ Net Passing Yards Per Game — 233.3 (18th)

Opponents’ Yards Per Attempt — 6.64 (28th)

Opponents’ Yards Per Completion — 9.91 (31st)

Opponents’ Average Gain Per Pass Play — 5.71 (28th)

Opponents’ TD passes — 9 (T–26th)

Interceptions — 6 (T-16th)

Sacks — 25 (T-12th)

Opponents’ Passer Rating — 87.1 (24th)

Individual Defense Sacks and Quarterback Hurries

Nick Williams -- 6.0 sacks/34.0 yards/9 QBH

Khalil Mack -- 5.5/50.5/8

Leonard Floyd -- 3.0/18.0/6

Roy Robertson-Harris -- 2.5/23.5/8

Nick Kwiatkowski -- 2.0/13.0/2

Aaron Lynch -- 2.0/6.0/7

Danny Trevathan -- 1.0/11.0/4

Eddie Goldman -- 1.0/7.0/4

Akiem Hicks -- 1.0/8.0/3

Abdullah Anderson -- 1.0/8.0/1

Interceptions and Passes Broken Up

Kyle Fuller -- 3 INTs/8 PBU

Ha-Ha Clinton Dix -- 2/3

Nick Kwiatkowski -- 1/1

Prince Amukamara -- 0/6

Khalil Mack -- 0/4

Buster Skrine -- 0/4

Eddie Jackson -- 0/3

Who has the Edge?

The Rams have the talent at the skill positions, but that can all be canceled out if Mack wreaks havoc on the makeshift offensive line. That puts it on McVay to put Goff in positions that play to his strengths. It would not be surprising to see a series of quick-drop rhythm passes to prevent the Bears from settling into a pass rush and trying to keep the defense off balance with passes to Goff and Woods.

Advantage: Los Angeles Rams


Chicago Bears

Any week in which kicker Eddy Pineiro is not part of the Bears storyline is a good week for the Bears. While he did miss his first PAT in 17 tries this season last week versus Detroit, he still has done the job at a solid level with 12 field goals in 15 tries.

Pat O'Donnell has put 16 of his 52 punts inside the opponents' 20 after doing so three times in nine boots versus Detroit, and he has just two touchbacks on the season. Cohen has yet to break a punt return -- his long is nine yards -- and Cordarrelle Patterson is one of only four players to return a kickoff for a touchdown.

Every week is seemingly a referendum on Nagy and his play-calling, and this week will be no different. He made proper midweek adjustments to his roster -- which may have been a subtle message to Trubisky that no one is safe as a starter -- the challenge is now to get in a play-calling rhythm for sustained drives to ignite the offense.

Los Angeles Rams

In some ways, McVay is in the same place as Nagy. He seems to be fighting himself as much as his team's lack of execution on the offensive end. The issues on the offensive line are an obvious contributing factor, but at some point, he has to stop trying to be the smartest guy in the room and let his players do their thing.

With regards to special teams, the love affair with Johnny Hekker proved fatal for one game as the punter threw a costly fourth down interception -- the first of his career on 21 attempts. Hekker is having his usual solid season otherwise, putting 10 of his 34 punts inside the opponents' 20 against one touchback while netting 41.3 yards.

Greg Zuerlein missed a 56-yarder at the end of the first half last weekend, but he has also otherwise been OK since his early season struggles. "Greg the Leg" has made all 23 of his extra points and is 17 of 22 on field goals, but 7 of 12 on attempts of 40 or more yards.

Who has the Edge?

In some ways, Nagy and McVay are fighting for themselves in this game. Both have been pilloried this season after successful 2018 campaigns and both have struggled to find the right combinations of things -- whether that be personnel, play-calling, or just rhythm.

Whoever finds it first in this game could wind up making the difference in winning and losing, and perhaps kick-starting their season for the stretch run.

Update: (11/15): The Rams' offense is now fighting a stomach bug. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp and offensive lineman Austin Blyther were both held out of practice on Friday.

“With Austin and Cooper, they just both got the little stomach bug,” McVay said Friday. “It is contagious, so kept those guys at home. But we’re hopeful that it’ll just be a 24-hour thing and we’ll get them up to speed tomorrow.”

Advantage: Push

Final Outlook

The feeling is the Bears and the points are still the best option given their defense can stuff the Rams at the line of scrimmage and contain Gurley while also getting a decent pass rush. The fact the line has fallen below the flat touchdown and is now a low-side hook for the Rams at 6.5 points makes it a tricky play, but it is too difficult to have confidence in Los Angeles as it seemingly lurches from game to game.

Latest Updates, Injury Reports, and Line Movements

Prediction: Bears +6.5 (-105)

Second Opinion on this pick from

Additional Insiders' Best Bets

Full-game Total Bet

Insiders Status:


It is incredibly tempting to flip this pick from the early lean, but there is just too much confidence to believe both teams' defenses will win the battle at the line of scrimmage, especially in the case of the Rams with all their talent up front.

Combine that with a pair of coaches who are prone to overthinking their offenses, and you have a recipe where a race to 20 should only be won by one team -- if either of them do -- and a taffy pull of a contest.

Prediction: UNDER 40 points (-105)

Full-game Prop Bet

Insiders Status:


This space went back and forth debating which direction to push the number, and the eventual conclusion was to push it out further because there is less confidence in both teams scoring 20 points than there is the teams being held below five combined touchdowns. There is also confidence in the Rams winning straight up at home -- getting the half-point is a bonus.

Player Yardage Props We Like:

Gurley OVER 53.5 rushing yards (-114)

Everett OVER 33.5 receiving yards (-114)

Of the two, Gurley is the better play because McVay will probably be eager to establish the run as an overcompensation for last week coupled with Trevathan's absence in the middle of Chicago's defense. That absence also plays into taking Everett, who was targeted 12 times against Pittsburgh. The Rams tight end also has recorded nearly 50 percent of his yards after the catch, which offers potential for him clearing his mark with four receptions.

The other prop pick would be the Bears 11-20 points band at +112. With Montgomery a game-time decision, this is worth a flyer considering Trubisky may struggle moving the ball consistently if Donald and Fowler pin their ears back for the pass rush.

Prediction: Rams +0.5 and UNDER 46.5 points (-110)

Half-time Side Bet

Insiders Status:


The high-side hook on the field goal total offers a compelling reason to take the pick, but the Bears offense mitigates an aggressive play. Los Angeles should produce something offensively as well, which makes this close to a toss-up.

Prediction: Bears +3.5 (-120)

Half-time Total Bet

Insiders Status:


Both teams rank in the top seven for fewest first-half for fewest points allowed, though there is worry a 14-7 halftime score in either direction can ruin this pick. If one takes away the outburst at Washington, Chicago has totaled just two field goals in its other three road games. The Rams have been slightly better but also inconsistent at home, averaging 11.8 first-half points in four games.

Prediction: UNDER 20 points (-115)

Half-time Prop Bet

Insiders Status:


Given the sputtering nature of both offenses, coupled with Zeuerlein and Pineiro both having solid seasons, the yes option is worth a flyer compared to "No" at -118. Additionally, McVay is not afraid to trot Zeuerlein out there from 50 to 55 yards, which could result in a quick win.

Prediction: YES to first-quarter FG (-112)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is based in Chicago. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiner, he worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Follow Chris daily right here at W&W and on Twitter at @AlTruda73. You won’t be disappointed.