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A pair of two first-place teams collide when the Chicago Bears host the Los Angeles Rams in an NFC showdown Sunday night from Soldier Field. The Rams recorded a 30-16 road win over the Lions last week, and the Bears were defeated 30-27 in overtime by the Giants in their latest contest. These combatants last met in 2015 in a contest the Bears won 37-13.
Rams Defeat Lions to Clinch NFC West
The Los Angeles Rams will be seeking their fourth consecutive victory in this contest. They improved their road record to 5-1 with a 30-16 win in Detroit last week to clinch the NFC West. Jared Goff wasn’t sharp in the victory, collecting 207 passing yards with one TD against one INT. The 24-year old QB has accrued over 300 passing yards in three out of his last four games, and he has 3754 passing yards with a 27:7 TD to INT ratio on the season.
Rams’ #1 RB Todd Gurley continues to excel. He amassed 132 yards in Detroit last week, and he has eclipsed 100 rushing yards six times this season for a season total of 1175 rushing yards. Rams’ receiving leader Brandin Cooks should be targeted heavily in this one. The five-year veteran WR has brought in at least 100 receiving yards in three out of his last four games, and he has 1026 receiving yards on the season.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 7, 2018
The Rams offense has now scored at least 30 points in all but one game this season, and they rank in the top five in the NFL in several major offensive categories. L.A. is currently averaging 34.9 points, good for second in the NFL. The L.A. defense had one of their best games of the season last week, holding Detroit to only 310 yards. The Rams will give up points, and their pass and rush defense rank slightly below average. The Rams are conceding an average of 24.8 points, placing them 19th overall. L.A. can clinch a first-round bye with a win in this contest.
Bears Fall to Giants, Trubisky Expected to Return
The Chicago Bears head into this home matchup sporting a 5-1 home record on the season. They had a five-game winning streak snapped in a tough 30-27 overtime road loss to the Giants last week. Chase Daniel got the start in place of the injured Mitchell Trubisky and he tossed two interceptions in the defeat. Trubisky was dealing with a shoulder injury, however he will start in this one. The 24-year old QB is having a breakout season, collecting 2469 passing yards with a 20:9 TD to INT ratio.
Bears’ rushing leader Jordan Howard tallied 76 rushing yards last week, and he now has 612 rushing yards on the season. Chicago features a deep receiving core that should be able to challenge the Rams secondary. They have three players with at least 500 receiving yards. While Tarik Cohen is technically a running back, he was targeted 14 times last week for 156 receiving yards, and he leads Chicago with 659 receiving yards.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 7, 2018
The Chicago offense will get a boost with the return of Mitch Trubisky this week. They have scored at least 25 points in four out of their last five games. They are scoring an average of 28.7 points, pegging them fifth in the NFL. The Bears rush defense still ranks second in the NFL, and they are holding opponents to 317 total yards per game. Chicago is allowing an average of 20.1 points, placing them fifth overall. Chicago holds a 1.5 game lead ahead of the Vikings for first place in the NFC North.
The Chicago Bears are:
- 7-15 ATS in their last 22 games in week 14.
- over is 4-1 in their last 5 home games.
- over is 4-0 in their last 4 games against a team with a winning record.
The L.A. Rams are:
- over is 5-1 in their last 6 road games against a team with a winning home record.
- over is 5-2 in their last 7 games following an ATS win.
Updated on Dec 9 at 3:15pm EST
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The Rams have gone from -4.5 to -3 despite getting 65% of the bets. The Sharps are liking the Bears defense in this one.
Injury / Weather Report
No Weather Issues Are Expected
Los Angeles’ Impact Injury Report
RB Malcolm Brown (212 Yards) is out.
Chicago’s Impact Injury Report
DB Eddie Jackson (44 Tackles, Four INTs), DT Bilal Nichols (25 Tackles) are both questionable
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am confident taking the Rams in this contest. The Rams continue to pour on the points, and their lone loss occurred against a 10-2 Saints squad. The Rams are averaging a sizzling 38.8 points in their last four games, and I expect another productive performance.
Furthermore, the Bears just surrendered 30 points to the Giants in their previous action. While the Bears do own a solid defense, the Rams have proven they can exploit any defense which included 36 points against the Seahawks, and 38 points against the Vikings. In addition, 8 of the Rams’ 11 wins on the season have occurred by at least five points, and I expect another decisive win in this one.
Prediction: L.A. Rams
Full-Game Total Pick
The over is a strong play in this matchup. The Rams have scored at least 33 points in 9 of their 12 games on the season, and both their passing and rushing offense stand at fourth in the NFL. The over is 5-1 in their last six games against a team with a winning record, and 6-1 in their last seven December games.
In addition, the Bears were able to collect 27 points without Mitchell Trubisky last week, and I expect a strong Bears running game to do damage against a Rams rush defense that ranks 18th in the NFL. The over is 4-1 in the Bears’ last five games overall, and it should hit again in this one.
Full-Game Prop Bet
I expect another productive performance from the Rams offense. The Rams have scored at least 30 points in four consecutive games, and I am confident they can eclipse this total of 27.5 points. Chicago has allowed at least 30 points three times since week six, and the Rams offense has been unstoppable.
Prediction: Rams Team Total: Over 27.5
Half-Time Side Pick
I am siding with the Bears on the halftime line. The Bears first half defense has been especially sharp. They are holding opponents to an NFL best 6.2 points in the first half. Also, the Rams are conceding an average of 13.2 points in the opening half, placing them 25th in the NFL. L.A. is averaging 22.3 points in the second half in their last three games, and I expect a big second half from L.A. in this one.
Prediction: Chicago Bears +1.5
Half-Time Total Bet
I anticipate plenty of offense throughout this contest. Chicago is averaging a remarkable 18.7 points in the first half on their home field this season. Also, while I expect the Bears to contain the Rams in the opening half, L.A. is still averaging a solid 17.3 points in the first half.
Prediction: Over 25.5
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I am opting with the over on the first quarter total. The Bears are a strong first quarter team, and they are averaging a solid 9 points in the opening quarter at home this season. Also, the Rams rank third in the NFL with an average of 6.2 points in the first quarter.
Prediction: First Quarter Total: Over