Wednesday, October 19, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: Chicago Bears vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Week 7, 2011-12)

The Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will meet up in London. Both teams have been extraordinarily inconsistent throughout the season. Both have fared poorly on the road. Which team will win in London?

The early spread on this game is PICK’ EM. Here are some of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for in pick ’em leagues. All lines from Y! Sports and injury reports from CBS Sports as of October 19, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week.

Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Only)
Chicago Bears 4-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-4

Key Injuries
LeGarrette Blount (Out), LB Zac Diles, DL Gerald McCoy, S Devin Holland (IR), OT James Lee, WR Earl Bennett, OT Gabe Carimi, DE Corey Wootton

Keys to the Game
  • Can the Bears win their first road game?
  • Both teams are Jekyll and Hyde with every other week
  • Can the Buccaneers contain Matt Forte?
  • Does Joshua Freeman give the Buccaneers a fourth-quarter advantage?
  • Will Devin Hester have an impact in this game?
  • Which team can avoid turnovers?
  • Will the Bears' offense be smothered on third down?
  • Which team can eliminate the penalties?
The Bears and Buccaneers look like completely different teams every other week. Neither team has played well on the road. The Buccaneers suffered a 48-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in their last road game. The Bears are 0-2 on the road this season.

The Bears have already won games against the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers while losing to the New Orleans Saints. The Buccaneers have lost to the Detroit Lions and needed a 17-point comeback to defeat the Minnesota Vikings.

Both teams are amongst the NFL leaders in penalties. They both have similar turnover ratios. Both defenses are vulnerable to good ground games. However, the Buccaneers likely won’t have LeGarrette Blount as he’s injured. The Bears will have Matt Forte.

I’m thinking the Bears are due for a road victory. After that 49ers fiasco, the Buccaneers will have to win a road game to restore my confidence in them as an away team (even if this is a neutral game). I also feel like the NFC North is better than the NFC South.

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: Chicago Bears (Pick ‘Em)
Straight: Chicago Bears 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19

Stat sources:

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