A day with plenty of playoff intrigue hits its apex tonight, as the Philadelphia Eagles play host to the pesty Chicago Bears on SNF. I couldn’t think of a more entertaining game for the primetime slot today, with both offenses definitely capable of putting on a show for viewers. If you haven’t watched a Chip Kelly offense before, get ready to buckle up because they go in super hurry-up mode. Both the Bears and Eagles are very well alive for their respective division crowns, and consequently, a spot in the postseason. It looks like for the Eagles that it will come down to next week against the Cowboys, so this is generally a pointless game for them. But if the Cowboys lost today then the Eagles will be able to clinch the division with a win tonight. A Cowboys win would essentially make next weeks meeting a playoff game.
Conversely, the Bears need to keep winning. They are in a heated race with the Packers and Lions for the NFC North, and at this point, it is anyone’s to win. We will have a much better picture of how things will shake it following this matchup tonight. Hopefully we can finish the day off strong and come out with a win heading into MNF tomorrow.
Bears vs. Eagles Betting Odds:
Chicago Bears +3(-110)
@Philadelphia Eagles -3(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bears vs. Eagles Pick:
Even with Josh McCown assuming the starting duties, the Chicago Bear offense was able to move the ball and put up points effectively. Oddsmakers adjusted the odds early, especially on totals, but McCown lit up the board when he was out there. Jay Cutler came back against the Browns with mixed reviews, he started off with a fizzle, with fans I imagine demanding the reinstatement of Josh McCown. Cutler settled down though and ultimately finished throwing 3 touchdowns with 2 interceptions and 265 yards. The Browns have an underrated secondary, so Cutler coming out with some rust wasn’t much of a surprise to me. The Chicago offense has been benefiting from a triple-threat that features wide receivers Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey, and running back Matt Forte. Jeffrey has had a breakout campaign, not only compiling impressive numbers, but coming up with spectacular catches in the process. The offense is operating well above average, situated in the top-tier, averaging 393.4 yards per game (7th) and just less than 30 points a game with 29.
Problems begin to arise for the Bears when you look at the defense. In the NFL today so many teams have survived with a defense, the Bears will need to prove that is true once again. They’ll now need to do it without one of their best defenders, corner Charles Tillman. The Bears identity is no longer all defense, sort of what I was getting at with my Steelers writeup earlier. Their defense has dipped all the way back to 27th in the NFL and is giving up an average of 28 points per game, not good football. However, the Bears are in good company, they will be facing a defense that has had lots of trouble as well. In fact, you need to look further back to find where the Eagles are. They are 30th in yards allowed, but to their credit are giving up only 25 points a game, 3 less than the Bears. I think it is the same story for the Eagles as it is for the Bears. The offense will need to propel them to victory. Nick Foles will have to be the catalyst against a terrible Bears’ secondary. It is a good warmup for their game next week against the Cowboys, in which they’ll play an even worse defense.
I think in a critical situation here for the Bears you’ll see Cutler light it up against a weak defense. I don’t see the Eagles shooting their load if Dallas wins earlier, but the offense should still move the ball against an inept defense. The Bears should be the hungrier team tonight. The way the Eagles’ offense operates so quickly, and given the troubles on defense for both teams, I think we will see some points. Charles Tillman won’t be on the field for the Bears, which puts a damper on their defensive efforts even more. The Eagles only know one speed, which is fast. I love taking OVER bets in teams that play at an up-tempo pace, so many more plays are fit in through the course of a game, which affords us more opportunities at getting points. We’ll get that offense tonight against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. I like both teams to put on an entertaining display, as we should cash a ticket on the OVER 55. *Note please keep an eye on the weather, if it is extremely windy with rain I obviously do not like this bet as much.
PICK: OVER 55(-110)