And so it begins – another week of glorious NFL action, and if you can believe it, we are already at Week 11 of the regular season. Time sure is flying by, and you can bet that I’m eager to rebound after a 1-3-1 performance last week.
To kick things off, we’ll travel to the NFC North where a key divisional showdown will take place between the Lions and Bears – oh my! The Lions have the upper hand at the moment, and their eyes are firmly set on qualifying for the post-season – likely as a wild card team given how well Minnesota has been playing. For the Bears, they suffered a bad loss last week to the Packers, but will look to disrupt the hopes of another divisional rival this week. Their defense remains pretty solid, but they’ll need some additional offense if they are going to be effective down the stretch.
It’s the Lions and Bears in a big rivalry match-up to kick off a busy slate of 1:00 games for Week 11. As always, read on below the odds for game analysis and a detailed betting prediction for Chicago and Detroit.
Lions vs. Bears Betting Odds:
Detroit Lions -3 (-115)
@ Chicago Bears +3 (-105)
Over 41 (-110)
Under 41 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Lions vs. Bears Pick:
For as good as the Lions have looked on offense of late – they have been feasting on weaker stop units. The Bears will give them a stern test this week and despite their showing last week against the Packers and Brett Hundley – this remains one of the NFL’s top units.
One of the reasons they struggled last week was injuries. Bryce Callahan and Danny Trevathan were both out injured, and though both are questionable right now – if just one suits up, it will add a lot to this unit. Monitor the statuses of these two players in the lead-up to kickoff. Expect Callahan to be able to blanket Golden Tate in the slot, and Trevathan kind of serves as the ‘brains’ of this entire defense. His communication is irreplaceable, and they have struggled when he has been off the field.
Finally, look for the Bears to win the battle at the line of scrimmage, and be able to apply some key pressure on Matt Stafford. If he doesn’t have time in the pocket, he won’t be effective, and the Bears should be able to limit him. With Lions’ guard T.J. Lang in concussion protocol, it remains to be seen if he can suit up. If he doesn’t, it will mean big openings for the Bears’ defensive line rush.
Detroit also has a very key injury on their defense in Ziggy Ansah. If you noticed last week, without Ansah – the Lions generated nothing on the Browns’ QB DeShone Kizer. Cleveland as a result moved the chains pretty effectively on the road in Detroit – and as mediocre as the Bears’ offense is, it is still better than the Browns. Expect a mini-breakout of sorts for Mitchell Trubisky and this scuffling Chicago attack.
Kyle Long is also expected back to serve as protection for Trubisky in the pocket. With time and space, the young QB has proven to be accurate downfield, and should be able to find some targets. Although the Bears’ receiving corps is a bunch of no-name guys, they should be able to find space downfield against the Lions’ secondary. It’s also worth mentioning that if the Bears can finally establish some deep threats through the passing game – it’ll make things way easier in the running game with Jordan Howard. Again, Detroit let Isaiah Crowell run all over them last week – so Howard must be licking his chops for this one.
This isn’t a good spot for the Lions, and you get the sense they might be taking this game lightly with Minnesota on the horizon on Thanksgiving Thursday. Be sure to check injury statuses, but even so – you have to like this angle for the Bears on Sunday. Expect a solid outing from Chicago, as they cover the spread against their bitter rivals.
PICK = Bears +3 (-105)