Chicago Bears (3-9; 5-6-1 ATS; 4-8 O/U) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (5-7; 7-5 ATS; 5-6-1 O/U)
The Cincinnati Bengals will look to get back in the win column when they host the Chicago Bears in an inter-conference clash Sunday afternoon from Paul Brown Stadium. The Bears were edged 15-14 by the 49ers last week, and the Bengals dropped a 23-20 decision to the Steelers on Sunday night. These teams last faced off in the 2013 season in a game the Bears won by a 24-21 score.
Bears Offense Sluggish in Loss to 49ers
The Chicago Bears offensive woes continued in their 15-14 home loss to the 49ers last week. Mitchell Trubisky was efficient, completing 12 of his 15 passes for 102 yards with one touchdown, however, the Bears only had possession for 21 minutes. Trubisky is not having a productive rookie season, posting 1237 passing yards with a 5:4 TD to INT ratio. Bears’ leading rusher Jordan Howard only rushed for 38 yards on his 13 carries in the loss to the 49ers, equating to only 2.9 yards per carry. The 23-year old running back is having a solid season, accumulating 885 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Kendall Wright only made two grabs for 25 yards last week. The 28-year old wide receiver has been very quiet in three straight games and has now recorded 370 receiving yards on the season. The Bears offense ranks near the bottom of the NFL in several categories with the exception of their solid running game that is averaging 115.5 yards per game.
The Bears defense only conceded 15 points last week, however, the 49ers were able to tally 388 total yards. Chicago’s defense has been a bright spot this season and are now allowing an average of 22 points per game. The Bears have now lost five consecutive games and are in last place in the NFC North.
Bengals Fall Apart in Fourth Quarter in Loss to Steelers
The Cincinnati Bengals allowed a 20-10 fourth-quarter lead to slip away in their 23-20 home loss to the Steelers on Sunday night. Andy Dalton came through with a strong performance, throwing for 234 yards with two touchdowns against zero interceptions. The 30-year old quarterback has been much better as of late and has amassed 2606 passing yards with a 20:8 TD to INT ratio on the season. A.J. Green made his presence felt on Sunday night, making seven grabs for 77 yards with two touchdowns. The 29-year old wide receiver is going to surpass the 1000 yard receiving mark for the fifth time of his career, and has notched 886 receiving yards on the season. Bengals’ leading rusher Joe Mixon was injured on Sunday night and did not play in the second half. He is questionable for this contest. The Bengals offense has displayed signs of life in their last two games, however overall it has been a disappointing season from an offensive standpoint.
The Cincinnati defense did play well until the fourth quarter in the loss to Pittsburgh last week and conceded a total of 374 total yards. The Bengals defense has actually been solid for the most part, and they have been very effective against the pass. Cincinnati had their two-game winning streak snapped last week, and are well out of a playoff spot in what has been a rough season.
The Chicago Bears are:
- 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the Bengals.
The Cincinnati Bengals are:
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games in December.
- 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games against a team with a losing record.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS win.
I am going with the Bengals in this matchup. The Bears offense is struggling in a big way, scoring 17 or fewer points in five out of their last six games, and they are up against a Bengals team playing strong defense. The Bengals feature a solid pass defense, and they were able to hold the Steelers to only 92 rushing yards last week, so they should be able to contain Jordan Howard. Furthermore, Andy Dalton is in a groove, posting a 9:0 TD to INT ratio in his last four games. The Bears have lost by eight or more points in four of their five road games this season, and I am confident the Bengals are the play in this contest.
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are playing strong defense and the Bears are also a solid defensive squad. Cincinnati owns the 11th-ranked defense in the NFL and they should be able to limit the Bears struggling offense, plus the under is 6-1 in the Bears last seven games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. The Bears defense is only allowing an average of 22 points per game, and the under is 12-4 in the Bengals last 16 games against a team with a losing record.