Thursday, November 3, 2011

JZN NFL Predictions vs. Spread: Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (Week 9, 2011-12)

The Chicago Bears have had two weeks to prepare for what appears to be a Philadelphia Eagles team that is on the rise. The Bears upset the Eagles during the regular season in 2010. That was at Solider Field. Can the defense contain Vick in Philadelphia?  

The early spread on this game is Eagles (-7.5). 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 November 3, 2011. Always update yourselves with injury lines because they’ll change throughout the week. Please note that ATS means “Against the spread.”

*MY* Current Personal Picks Record (Straights Only)
Chicago Bears 5-2
Philadelphia Eagles 3-4

Key Injuries
WR Earl Bennett, T Gabe Carimi, S Major Wright, DE Brandon Graham (Out)

Keys to the Game
  • Can the Bears contain the Eagles’ pass rush?
  • Can the Bears avoid the big play from one of the NFL’s offenses with the most big-play potential?
  • Can the Eagles contain Matt Forte?
  • The Bears have had two weeks of rest and preparation
  • Devin Hester vs. DeSean Jackson
  • Can the Bears contain Michael Vick like they did last season?
  • How much pressure can the Bears get with their four-man rush?
  • Can the Bears contain the Eagles’ No. 1 run offense?

I foresee a bunch of problems for the Bears in this contest. The Eagles No. 1 run offense (180 yards per game) goes up against a defense that is allowing 5.2 yards per attempt. I also feel like the Bears are more susceptible to the big play than in past seasons. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin should prevent the Bears from focusing too heavily on the run.

Another thing to consider is that the Eagles got healthy during their bye week. They got many of their defensive linemen and linebackers back from injuries. They should create plenty of havoc against an inconsistent offensive line from the Bears. The Bears will need a heavy dose of Matt Forte because I don’t think they can afford to get into a shootout with the Eagles.

The Bears are 1-3 ATS as underdogs. They’ve had double-digit losses to the Lions, Green Bay Packers and Saints. I just think that the Bears’ defense is getting old and their secondary isn’t as good as in past seasons. While the Bears had mostly dominated the Eagles in 2010, I'm going with the Eagles this time around. 

Final Predictions:
Against the Spread: Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5)
Straight: Philadelphia Eagles 31, Chicago Bears 21

Stat sources:

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