Chicago Bears (0-1; 0-1 ATS; 1-0 O/U) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-1; 1-1 ATS; 1-1 O/U)
NFL Preseason: Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 10:00pm EST
Line: Arizona -3.5
The Arizona Cardinals will clash with the Chicago Bears in week two preseason action Saturday night from the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Bears fell by a 24-17 score to the Broncos in their preseason opener, and the Cardinals came away with a 20-10 home win in their week one contest. The Cardinals notched a 48-23 win over the Bears in the latest meeting back in the 2015 season.
Trubisky a Bright Spot in Bears Loss
The Chicago Bears could not hold onto a 17-7 fourth quarter lead in their week one preseason loss to the Broncos in week one. Mike Glennon, who is already pegged as the Bears starting quarterback, did not look good in his brief action last week, converting on two of eight passes for 20 yards and one interception. Glennon will likely some playing time again in this contest. Mitchell Trubisky stole the show for the Bears by connecting on 18 of 24 passes for 166 yards and one touchdown, and he also added 38 rushing yards. Trubisky was taken second overall in this year’s NFL draft, and is being hailed as the Bears quarterback of the future. The former Tar Heel star is starting the season as the club’s number three quarterback, however, that will likely change if Glennon falters. Bears starting running back Jeremy Howard only tallied four yards on three carries last week, and Benny Cunningham had a solid night in his Bears debut, rushing for 41 yards off seven carries.
Last season the Bears only averaged 17.4 points per game, ranking them down at 28th in the NFL. The Chicago defense also had a tough time last season, allowing an average of 24.9 points per game, placing them 24th overall.
Stanton Shines in Cardinals Preseason Opener
The Arizona Cardinals played strong defense in their 20-10 preseason win over the Raiders last week. The Cardinals gave all three quarterbacks playing time in the win, with Carson Palmer completing 4 of 8 passes for 39 yards and one touchdown. Drew Stanton was terrific, going 11 for 15 for 112 yards and one touchdown and no picks. Blaine Gabbert saw limited action, connecting on five of his passes for 53 yards. It is not yet confirmed who the official backup quarterback will be this season, however, Stanton does have the edge of Blaine Gabbert. Expect Gabbert to see more playing time in this contest. David Johnson saw limited action last week, recording 16 rushing yards off three carries. The star running back will likely see minimal action again in this one. Larry Fitzgerald did suit up however he was not targeted in his brief action. The 33-year old wide receiver is in the final year of his contract and it is unclear if he will retire at the end of the season. Receiver John Brown did not suit up last week and he is questionable for this contest. Brown took a step back last season, bringing in 39 receptions for 517 yards and collecting over 1000 receiving yards in 2015.
The Cardinals had a strong 2016 season offensively, as they averaged 26.1 points per game, good for sixth in the NFL. The Arizona conceded an average of 22.6 points per game last year, placing them 14th overall.
The Chicago Bears are:
- No Key Trends
The Arizona Cardinals are:
- 4-11 ATS in their last 15 home games.
- 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
I am siding with the Bears in this contest. Mitchell Trubisky looked outstanding in his first taste of the NFL last week, and I expect Mike Glennon to rebound with a much stronger effort after a poor performance last week. Glennon will be facing some pressure after last week and I am confident he can make the necessary adjustments to silence the critics for now. Also, the Bears running game looked good last week, rushing for 173 yards as a team. I also expect David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald to see very little action again in this contest for Arizona.
Pick: Chicago Bears +3.5
Both the Bears and Cardinals were able to have success on the ground last week. The Bears showed good depth on the ground last week and that was with their top two backs seeing limited action, so I am confident they can have a solid night offensively, and the over is 4-0 in the last four meetings between these two clubs. The Cardinals feature solid depth offensively, and the Bears do not feature much defensive depth, and the over is 7-0 in the Cardinals last seven games.