It’s a big day for college football as bowl season kicks off Saturday but the NFL wants to get into the mix as well. Bettors are treated to some Saturday games to end the ’17 campaign starting with the Chicago Bears traveling to Detroit to face their division rivals the Lions. Oddsmakers have made the Lions -5 favorites at home, but the 12/16 NFL total free pick is set at 43.5.
At first glance, that 43.5 number seems a bit high for the 12/16 NFL total free pick. Chicago isn’t known as an offensive juggernaut and the Bears ‘D’ is actually pretty strong for a 4-9 team. Then again the two teams did meet up in a 27-24 Detroit win in Chicago a month ago and the Lions have been both scoring – and giving up points recently.
Another ‘Over’ For These Two Teams?
Chicago had been hot garbage on offense in five of the last six games they had played besides the Detroit game. Then the Bears exploded last week against Cincinnati, actually looking like a competent offense in a 33-7 win in Cincinnati. Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was 25/32 with 271 yards and a TD in that game while Jordan Howard added 147 yards and 2 TD on the ground. Howard had 125 yards and a TD in the first game vs the Lions that went ‘over’ 41.
The Lions are going to be major contributors to an ‘over’ in the 12/16 NFL total free pick because of both their offense and defense. Detroit has scored 20+ points in 8 of 9 games but also allowed 21+ in 8 of 9. Detroit has the #4 passing offense in the NFL and the league’s #12 overall total yardage team while scoring the 5th most points in the league. The Lions can’t get any help on defense though, ranking 27th in total yards allowed and passing yards given up while being 28th in points against.
“…Detroit’s offense is scoring more points than all but four teams.” Lions have always been underrated in my opinion, often passed over despite big talent.
— Adrianna (@12s_4life) December 16, 2017
Chicago is an ‘Under’ Factory
The Bears had one of their best games on offense against Cincinnati last week, but the game still went ‘under’ for the third straight time for Chicago. The Bears are 4-9 O/U this season mostly because their offense stinks and their defense is solid. Prior to last week the Bears had scored under 17 points in 5 of 6 games. Their defense has also only given up 22 points in the last two games. Overall Chicago is dead last in the NFL in passing yards, 30th in total yards, and 29th in points scored. The Bears ‘D’ is 11th in total yards and 9th versus the pass.
Matthew Stafford threw for 299 yards and 2TD in the first game against the Bears but the Lions ran for just 65 yards as a team. At the same time, the Detroit defense gave up over 220 yards rushing to Chicago, which always fuels the under in the 12/16 NFL total free pick. Detroit is last in the NFL in rushing offense which means the Bears can play downhill against the pass. At the same time Chicago is 7th in rushing and they’ll rely on the ground game on the road again today.
The Keys for the @lions vs @ChicagoBears 1- Stop the run, make Trubisky beat you 2- Keep Trubisky in the pocket 3- Account for DL Hicks 4- Must block their Blitzes 5- Be patient vs their zone defense, sometimes they will drop 8 into coverage @nflnetwork
— Charley Casserly (@CharleyCasserly) December 16, 2017
12/16 NFL Total Free Pick – Betting
The Bears offense looked good last week but one of the biggest questions with John Fox and the Chicago coaching staff is if they stay consistent. Surprisingly enough, Chicago’s rookie signal caller has attempted 30+ passes five of the last six games even though Bears fans hype on the offense for being conservative. Detroit has allowed an average of 269 yards passing in their last three games with 6 TD and 2 INT. Stafford is going to get his, if Trubisky can answer the total should soar.
Pick: Chicago / Detroit *Over 43.5