Temperatures are expected to be in the low 30s for the Texans at Bears pick, is that enough to wager against a team that just left balmy 65 degree Houston? Every other conceivable advantage would seem to lean the Texans’ way, including the not-really-but-kind-of revenge factor for Deshaun Watson going against a team that chose Mitch Trubisky over him at #2 in the 2017 draft.
There’s also the little detail of Chicago dropping six in a row, including 34-30 at home vs. Detroit last week when the Lions scored 14 points in the final 2:18 of the game. Houston has won two of their last three, but lost 26-20 to the Colts last week after being outscored 2-0 in the 2nd half. Houston -1.5, even on the road, looks like a steal. 60% of the betting public agrees.
Huge Game Upcoming From Watson?
Those around him will tell you there’s no extra motivation for Deshaun Watson in the Texans at Bears pick. Even so, the 2017 draft has to still sting a bit for the Houston QB, as Chicago only visited the Clemson scouting combine and didn’t have a sit down interview or follow up with Watson as they did with Trubisky and Patrick Mahomes. Chicago didn’t want to be ‘stuck’ with Mahomes or Watson so badly that they traded two 3rds and a 4th to move up one spot.
Odds are, Watson was going to be great on Sunday no matter who he played. He tossed for 318 yards and 4 TD vs. Detroit on Thanksgiving and had 341 last week vs. a good Colts defense. Watson has one INT in the last seven games, and has posted a QB rating of 109 or better in five of those.
Houston does have their share of troubles on the defensive side of the football however, ranking second worst vs. the run and 30th in total yards allowed. The Bears had 140 yards on the ground vs. Detroit before inexplicably abandoning the run once again. David Montgomery also had his first 100+ yard game of the season two weeks ago against Green Bay, and once again on just 11 carries.
Not Much Left for Chicago
The Bears are still mathematically in the hunt for a postseason berth at 5-7, trailing Minnesota and Arizona by a game. The loss to Detroit last week was very deflating though, especially as all Chicago had to do was run out the clock before a Trubisky fumble gave the ball to the Lions at the 7-yard line. They scored two plays later to tally the 34-30 win.
Despite the fumble, Trubisky did play better going 26/34 for 267 yards and a TD. The Bears also had success in the run game for the 2nd straight week but Chicago can’t seem to get out of their own way. Something that should continue against a Texans team that is better than their 4-8 record indicates.
Chicago’s defense was actually the more maligned after last week’s loss to the Lions, as they allowed a 402 yard, 3 TD day to Matthew Stafford. That followed a 4-TD performance from Aaron Rodgers the week prior so expect a huge day from Watson and the Houston passing game.
Free Texans at Bears Pick
It’s hard to see Watson not having an absolutely dynamic day vs. the Chicago defense on Sunday. The Texans seem like a good play at -7 or more, which does raise a red flag with the Houston -1.5 line. At the very least, Chicago’s offense has been playing better and they should be able to run the ball again vs. the Houston defense. This one seems like it will be higher scoring.
Texans 31 – Bears 24
Free Pick: Over 46