NFL Betting Preview: Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers
Sunday, 10/10/10, 1:00 PM EDT, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread: Chicago -3
Current Betting Line: Carolina -3
Opening Total: 36
Current Total: 33
Current Moneyline: Carolina -150/Chicago +130
Football Odds from above taken from Bookmaker Sportsbook & Casino.

With Cutler ruled out for this game odds have seen the Bears go from -3 to +3 on the latest lines

Chicago gave up a franchise-record 10 sacks in a 17-3 road loss to the Giants last week and the ninth knocked out quarterback Jay Cutler with a concussion.  He is expected to miss at least a week of action and the team will be led by backup quarterback Todd Collins.  The Bears totaled just 110 yards of offense and offensive coordinator Mike Martz took the blame.  “I just tried to do way too much in a short week with these guys,” he said.  “Whatever went wrong in that game was my responsibility.”  Collins last start was almost three years ago, when he led the Redskins to a 3-0 record in the final three games of the 2007 regular season.  The team is 15-20 ATS over the last three years and the total is 14-22 O/U in those contests.

The Bears will need a major performance from its defense to pull off a road victory and defensive end Julius Peppers should be motivated to deliver in facing his old team for the first time.  He recorded 81 sacks in his first eight seasons with Carolina and then signed a six-year, $91.5 million deal in the offseason.  Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher will also play an important role in this contest due to the dual running back threat that the Panthers employ with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.  Chicago allowed 147 second-half rushing yards to the Giants last week, but Urlacher has seven tackles for loss, forced a fumble and recovered two.

You can view odds on this game and all games on our NFL betting lines page of the website.

Carolina dropped a heartbreaking 16-14 road game to the defending Super Bowl Champion Saints last week and will start rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen for the third time.  “I thought he made some decent throws,” said head coach John Fox.  “I’m sure there are some we’d like to have back and he’d like to have back.”  The team has had very little opportunity of picking up a victory due to scoring just five touchdowns offensively and committing 13 turnovers.  It will be even more difficult in finding the end zone this week with start wide receiver Steve Smith being sidelined for a few weeks with a high ankle sprain.

The Panthers must pressure the Bears offense in this contest, but that may be difficult to accomplish with the defense tallying just four sacks on the season.  Carolina and Chicago have split four regular-season meetings with each team winning twice at home.  It’s also important to note that the team has the youngest roster in the NFL and has dealt with the 0-4 start with an exuberance of youth.  “We need to get this win,” cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said.  “We’re a young team, and nobody is really down right now.”  The four wide receivers on the practice field this week have a combined 27 receptions and 390 yards in their careers.  The squad is 0-2 ATS in home games this season and 9-9 ATS over the last three years.

Bettors will definitely be interested in knowing that the Bears are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following a loss, which strengthens the Panthers 8-1 ATS record against winning teams.  We have no opinion on this game, gun to the head would lean with Chicago as the line is starting to get out of control, +3.5 would be worth a bet for sure but doubt we see that number on Sunday.  We do have 5 strong picks for Sunday including our 20 unit AFC Game of the Year.  Get these plays via our NFL football picks page of the site.

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