NFL Week 11 Picks: San Diego Chargers vs. Chicago Bears

San Diego Chargers at Chicago Bears
Sunday, 11/20/11, 4:15 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Chicago -4
Current Betting Line:  Chicago -4.5
Opening Total:  47
Current Total:  45
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Bears Packers NFC Championship Preview
Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler faces off with one of his biggest rivals Sunday

San Diego is in a downward spiral and has lost four straight games coming into this Week 11 contest.  “The bottom line is we’ve lost four games in a row, and we’ve got to win a football game,” stated Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.  He’s certainly been part of the problem this year, pacing all NFL signal-callers with 15 interceptions and turning the ball over 19 times.  Injuries are also starting to mount up on this roster, with the offensive line hit especially hard with three starters being listed as out for this afternoon’s game.  San Diego is 2-7 ATS on the season and 0-2 ATS when getting points.

The Chargers weren’t suppose to be in this position after jumping out to a 4-1 start, but the locker room is faced with a must-win situation without key players being available.  “You’re going to have adversity and it’s how you handle it,” stated Chargers second-year running back Ryan Mathews.  “You got to get after it and keep driving.”  He will have to play an important part in this contest, running the ball behind a makeshift offensive line, while also keeping the Bears pass rush and defensive end Julius Peppers off of Rivers in the passing game.

Chicago comes in as one of the hottest teams in the league and has won four straight games, including last week’s 37-13 win over the Detroit Lions as 2.5-point home favorites despite being out-gained by 177 yards.  The Bears certainly know how dangerous this week’s opponent can be.  “Looking back in the past, November-December is when they play their best ball,” stated Bears quarterback Jay Cutler who has first-hand experience due to this time in Denver.  Chicago is 3-1 ATS as a favorite this year and the ‘over’ has cashed in three of those games.

The Bears have the biggest offensive weapon in football in running back Matt Forte, who is averaging an NFC-leading 145.3 yards per game from scrimmage.  Cutler and the offensive unit should have success against a defense that allowed 489 yards last week to the Raiders, but it’s important to point out that San Diego was playing its third game in 11 days in that contest.  Sunday will be the first of four consecutive games against AFC West opposition.

Bettors will likely back the Bears due to covering six of their last seven games as a favorite, while the Chargers are 1-4-1 ATS on the road.

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