NFL Saturday Night Football Betting Picks: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Saturday, December 16, 2017, 4:30 pm Eastern, NFL Network
Ford Field – Detroit, Michigan
Opening Line: Detroit -6 1/2
Current Line: Detroit -5 1/2
Opening Total: 43 1/2
Current Total: 44
Opening Money Line: Lions -275 / Bears +235
Current Money Line: Lions -240 / Bears +200

The Lions and Bears meet Saturday in Detroit.

Two of the NFL’s oldest rivals meet as the 7-6 Detroit Lions host the 4-9 Chicago Bears Saturday afternoon. Detroit is tied for second place in the NFC North with the Green Bay Packers but both teams trail the 10-3 Minnesota Vikings. The Lions are also tied with the Packers and Dallas Cowboys. All three teams are a game behind the 8-5 Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks for the last playoff spot in the NFC. Chicago is in last place in the NFC North.

The rivalry between the Bears and Lions dates back to 1930. Chicago leads the series 97-73-5. The Lions have won eight of the last nine including  two straight games in the series including 27-24 in Chicago November 19.

Chicago is coached by John Fox. The Bears have home wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers 23-17 in overtime and Carolina Panthers 17-3  , plus road wins at the Baltimore Ravens 27-24 in overtime and Cincinnati Bengals 33-7 last week. Chicago has home losses to the Atlanta Falcons 23-17, Minnesota Vikings 20-17, Green Bay Packers 23-16, Lions 27-24, and San Francisco 15-14, plus road losses at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 29-7, Packers 35-14, New Orleans Saints 20-12, and Philadelphia Eagles 31-3. Chicago  The Bears were 6 point underdogs against the Bengals and the total was 40.5. Chicago is 6-6-1 ATS and the total is 4-9 this season.

Detroit is coached by Jim Caldwell. Detroit has home wins over the Arizona Cardinals 35-23 and Cleveland Browns 38-24, plus road wins over the New York Giants 24-10, Minnesota Vikings 14-7, Green Bay packers 30-17, Bears 30-17, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-21 last week. The Lions have home losses to the Atlanta Falcons 30-26, Carolina Panthers 27-24, Pittsburgh Steelers 20-15 and Vikings 30-23. Detroit also has road losses at the New Orleans Saints 52-38 and Baltimore Ravens 44-20. The Lions were a pick against the Buccaneers and the total was 47.5. Detroit is 6-6-1 ATS and the total is 9-4 this season.

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Chicago is being outscored 21-17. The Bears are #29 in scoring. Chicago averages 292 total yards per game including 167 passing and 125 rushing yards. The Bears are #30 in total offense  and last in passing, but #7 in rushing. On defense, Chicago allows 326 yards per game including 216 passing yards and 109 rushing yards. The Bears are 64/179 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 77/190. Chicago has forced 35 sacks and allowed 31 this season. Chicago is -1 in turnovers. The Bears have scored four special teams/defensive touchdowns but have allowed five.

Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has completed 58.2% for 1,508 yards with 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, plus he has 31 carries for 199 yards and a touchdown. He has been sacked 23 times. Quarterback Mike Glennon has thrown for 833 yards with 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, and has been sacked eight times. Glennon will be the back-up behind Trubisky.  Mark Sanchez is questionable with an illness.

Running back Jordan Howard has 235 carries for 1,032 yards and 7 touchdowns, and has 18 catches for 98 yards. Tarik Cohen has 80 carries  for 347 yards and two touchdowns, plus 41 catches for 311 yards and a touchdown.

Receiver Kendall Wright has 43 catches for 477 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with a shoulder injury. Tight end Zach Miller has 20 catches for 236 yards and two touchdowns. He is out for the season with a knee injury. Josh Bellamy has 15 catches for 227 yards and a touchdown. Dontrelle Inman, Dion Sims, Benny Cunningham and Adam Shaheen will also get some targets. Shaheen is questionable with a chest injury.  Cameron Meredith and Kevin white are both out for the season.  Ten defensive players and two offensive linemen are listed on the injury report for the Bears.

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Detroit is outscoring teams 26-25 this season. Detroit is #5 in scoring and #28 in points allowed. The Lions average 345 yards per game including 268 passing and 76 rushing yards. Detroit is last  in rushing and #4 in passing. On defense, the Lions allow 363 total yards per game including 247 passing and 116 rushing yards per game. Detroit is #27 against the pass and #27 in total defense.  Detroit 65/176 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 65/166. The Lions have forced 26 sacks and allowed 39 this season. Detroit is +4 in turnovers with 2 special teams and 5 defensive touchdowns. However, they have also given up five defensive touchdowns.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has completed 65.6% of his passes for 3,683 yards with 23 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, with 25 carries for 90 yards.  He has been sacked 39 times. He has been battling a hand injury recently but isn’t listed on the injury report.

Running back Ameer Abdullah has 150 carries for 505 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 20 catches for 133 yards and a touchdown. He is probable with a neck injury. Theo Riddick has 64 carries for 211 yards and 3 touchdowns, and 45 catches for 397 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dwayne Washington, Tion Green, and Zach Zenner will also get some carries. Washington is questionable with a hip injury.

Receiver Marvin Jones has 51 catches for 885 yards and 8 touchdowns. Golden Tate has 79 catches for 852 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Eric Ebron has 42 catches for 449 yards and 2 touchdowns. T.J. Jones has 27 catches for 373 yards. Kenny Golladay  has 18 catches for 340 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tight end Darren Fells  has 16 catches for 165 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Ten defensive players and seven offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.

The Bears are 4-1-1 ATS against the Lions recently and were the underdogs in each of those contests. The over is 4-1 in Detroit in this series recently. The road team is 3-1-1 ATS in this series recently. The Lions are 5-2 ATS at home against the Bears.

Trubisky had easily his best game as a pro last week against the Bengals. However, the Bears are too banged up at the skill positions. The Lions need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, while the Bears look to play spoiler. I think the Lions win a low scoring game at home.

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