Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
Chicago +10½ +100 over NEW ORLEANS
4:40 PM EST. The Bears' three-game winning streak ended when they faced the Packers but that string of victories was thanks to facing the Jaguars, Vikings, and Texans. Chicago’s last loss prior to Green Bay was when they were at home to the Lions. The Packers came in last week and reminded them of their place in the NFC North. Only the additional seventh seed added this year is getting the Bears into the postseason where their 1-5 result against teams with a winning record may work against them. The final score said the Bears lost 35-16 to the Pack last week and that works to our benefit in a big way because all the market sees is another Bears loss to a good team. What the final score does not reveal is that Mitch Trubinsky had more passing yards than Aaron Rodgers or that the Bears had more rushing yards than the Packers also. Furthermore, Chicago held a time of possession edge and also held the Pack scoreless in two of the four quarters.
We understand that is just one game but the final score was influential in the price of this game. When the Bears lost to Detroit, they had a 10-point lead with two minutes to go before a series of bizarre events led to Detroit scoring twice. In between all that, the Bears annihilated three weak teams but it’s still not easy to frog-stomp three teams in three weeks.
Chicago’s offense is humming. Since returning from being benched, Matt Nagy has let Trubinsky loose. Dude is moving and throwing while hitting his targets in the numbers. The Bears players and coaches hear and read the same things we do, which is that they have no chance today, thus, they’ll bring a dangerous “us against the world” attitude with absolutely nothing to lose.
So, while the Bears are getting zero credit for steamrolling the Panthers and Vikings (and Texans), New Orleans is getting tons of credit for ending their season with two consecutive victories over….wait for it…..the Panthers and Vikings. Prior to beating the exact same two teams that Chicago beat, New Orleans lost to the Chiefs and Eagles. Losing to the Chiefs is not a big deal but don’t be fooled by the final score of 32-29. K.C. was up 14-0 early and 29-15 with nine minutes left. Prior to losing to K.C. and Philadelphia, the Saints won four in a row over the Falcons twice, the Broncos without their first six QB’s on the totem pole and to San Francisco.
Incidentally, the Saints lost to the Packers too only that was way back in Week 2 so the market does not give a hoot. We don’t either but are we not looking at a double standard here? Who the f**k have the Saints beat this year? Atlanta? The Lions? The Chargers? They beat Detroit by six and the Chargers by three. They also lost to the Raiders. When they beat the Bears back in Week 7, they were playing a Bears’ squad that didn’t know whether they were walking or shitting at that time. The Saints beat two playoff teams this season. They beat these Bears and the other playoff team they beat was Tampa Bay. By the way, the Bears beat Tampa too. Other than the wins and losses, are the résumés of these two teams that much different? We think not.
So, what we have here is a 12-4 team playing a team that backed into the playoffs. Once again, all the market sees is wins and losses. Add five losses to the Saints four and we would be looking at a 7-9 team and everyone would be asking what the fuck happened to the Saints. Where do we get five losses from? The Saints won four games by a FG or less and one game by six points. That’s five games they could have lost and now they’re a 10-point favorite because of that W column.
Finally, the Saints are getting some impactful bodies back, most notably Michael Thomas and running back Alvin Kamara. Although the report is that it’s a game-time decision, we’ll assume that they are playing. That, too, has influenced both the price and the market to get behind the Saints. We have no idea if it will be the difference between winning and covering or not but one thing we are absolutely positive about is that the price on the Saints is grossly inflated. That leaves us with two choices, Bears or nothing. We’ll choose the Bears.
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Chicago +10½ +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)