The Sunday of Week 8 is finally here, and it’s usually around this point in the season when the contenders are separated from pretenders. Two teams fighting to stay out of that latter category square off today in Foxboro, when the Chicago Bears will take on Tom Brady and his New England Patriots. Both these teams have been hard to read thus far in 2014, with inconsistent games being the norm. Chicago currently sits at 3-4, fresh off a disappointing home loss to Miami. They can ill-advise afford another defeat today in what’s turned into a very competitive NFC playoff picture. The Patriots sit comfortably with a 5-2 record, though outside of a dismantling of the Bengals one week, they haven’t looked overly impressive. This is a squad with some holes. Can the Bears exploit those holes though? Read on below to find out, with a detailed game breakdown and today’s official wager.
Bears vs. Patriots Betting Odds:
Chicago Bears +6 (-110)
@ New England Patriots -6 (-110)
Over 51 (-110)
Under 51 (-110)
Betting odd provided by Bovada.lv
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Bears vs. Patriots Pick:
I think the Bears’ offense explodes in this game. Last week we saw how the plodding Chris Ivory exposed the New England rush defense without Jerod Mayo, and look for Matt Forte to do the same. There’s been some tension within the Chicago locker room regarding their offense of late. It’s an immensely talented group with great pieces, but right now the results aren’t there. Look for Cutler, Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffery to all step up with big outings today. Cutler is getting a great opportunity to rebound today against a fairly pedestrian defensive uni. Chandler Jones is also sidelined with a hip flexor injury, meaning Cutler should have ample time and space in the pocket to find his targets. It’s crunch time for Chicago, and the offense must carry them if they’re to have success today.
On the other side of the football, it’s imperative that the Bears continue their success with stopping the run game. Over the past four weeks they have held opponents to just an average of 58.5 yards per game. They’ve been amazing in this regard and if they can turn the Pats into a one-dimensional offense, it will boost the secondary’s chances of stopping the aerial attack. It should also be mentioned that Brady is fairly banged up right now and his mobility may be even less than usual. If the Bears can get to him early, it could be a struggle for the Pats on Sunday.
The Patriots are on upset alert on Sunday. Outside of thrashing the Bengals, they’ve done nothing that impressive this season, and now have some real holes on defense. They’ll be taking on a desperate Bears team, while they’re likely looking forward to the showdown with Denver next week. It’s a bad spot to be in, and I think a hungrier Bears squad will play to their full ability. Take the Bears plus the points, and don’t be surprised if they end up winning outright.
PICK = Bears +6 (-110)