Even though they have a miniscule shot at the playoffs, Chicago still has a lot to play for in the week 17 Falcons at Bears betting matchup. Coach Matt Eberflus and QB Justin Fields can perhaps save their jobs with two strong showings to close out the year and the Bears also have a four game win streak at Soldier Field as they play their last home game of the year.
Atlanta is a game back in both the NFC South and for the final wild card spot, so they are in a must-win situation this week and in the finale at the Saints. The Falcons kept their season alive with a 29-10 win over the Colts last Sunday, but might be haunted by the 9-7 loss to Carolina in week 15. Chicago is just a -2.5 favorite for this contest, and almost 70% of the public is on the Bears in what seems like a low number.
Why the Falcons Have Value at +2.5
This line seems on the low side as the Bears have been playing better lately and are at home on a snowy day in Chicago. The fact that nearly 70% of the betting public agree – and the line has only moved 1/2 a point – indicates maybe Atlanta could be locked in as a contrarian play on Sunday.
The Falcons have the talent to win this game as indicated by last week’s big win over an Indianapolis team that is in both the wild card and the divisional race. Taylor Heinicke is a gritty QB that seems made for these snow games and he was 23/33 vs. the Colts. The Falcons backfield trio of Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgaier, and Cordarelle Peterson helped the team run for 177 yards last week.
The Falcons covered the number by 1/2 a point last year in a 27-24 win over the Bears in Atlanta. Fields had 85 yards rushing for Chicago in that game – but that was on the fast track turf of Mercedes-Benz Stadium so he should be easier to contain outdoors on a wintry day in the Windy City.
Why the Bears Have Value at -2.5
Atlanta picked up a big win over the Colts last week – but that was at home. The Falcons are 2-4 on the road this season and that’s been while playing in friendly climates such as Detroit, Tennessee, Tampa Bay, and Arizona. Atlanta has managed just 10 ppg their last two away games at the Jets and at Carolina.
The Bears defense has been playing improved football since acquiring Montez Sweat from Washington, holding five of their last six opponents to 20 points or less. Chicago has won four of their last six and are 4th quarter blown leads at Detroit (31-26) and at Cleveland (20-17) away from an eight game win streak and looking at a wild card spot.
Atlanta hasn’t played a lot of outdoor, cold climate games this season so it will be interesting to see how their #8 ranked rush offense performs in Chicago. The Bears on the other hand are #2 in the league in rushing but also boast the league’s top run defense.
Free Week 17 Falcons at Bears Betting Pick
Atlanta isn’t used to the cold and snow, so this game plays right into Chicago’s hands. Fields won’t be as quick as he was on the turf in Atlanta last year, but he’s got a solid running game to lean on and the Bears defense has been dialed in as well giving the Bears more of an edge in the intangibles.
Free Pick: Bears -2.5