by Joe Fortenbaugh
October 22, 02012
The Bears have covered the number in three consecutive contests and look to keep that streak alive Monday night against a Lions team that is just 1-6-1 ATS over their last eight road games dating back to last season. Take note that it’s been raining in Chicago and the forecast calls for isolated thunderstorms for tonight’s showdown.
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Detroit Lions (2-3, 1-2 road) at Chicago Bears (4-1, 2-0 home)
Time: 8:30pm ET, ESPN
Open: Chicago -6.5/48
Current: Chicago -6.5/46.5
Current betting percentages: 59% backing Chicago, 56% backing the OVER
Weather: 66 degrees, scattered thunderstorms, wind out of the south at 8 mph.
1. The Lions are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight road games.
2. The Lions are 1-6 ATS in their last eight games overall.
3. The Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last six Monday night games.
4. The Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall.
5. The OVER is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these two teams.
DETROIT: OUT: CB Jacob Lacey (concussion), DOUBTFUL: CB Dwight Bentley (shoulder), QUESTIONABLE: DT Corey Williams (knee), PROBABLE: DE Cliff Avril (back), S Louis Delmas (knee), DE Ronnell Lewis (eye), TE Brandon Pettigrew (knee), LB Stephen Tulloch (knee), WR Titus Young (knee)
CHICAGO: OUT: WR Alshon Jeffery (hand), QUESTIONABLE: CB Sherrick McManis (hip), PROBABLE: LB Blake Costanzo (thumb), WR Devin Hester (quadricep)
Chicago head coach Lovie Smith is 5-2 straight-up and 3-4-1 ATS in his career coming off the bye week, but the Bears have been on a roll as of late and look to stay perched atop the NFC North with a win over division-rival Detroit on Monday night. The Lions are just 1-8-1 ATS over their last ten games against teams with a winning record while the Bears are 7-3 ATS over their last ten games following an ATS win. Protecting quarterback Jay Cutler against the Lions’ front-four will be the key for the Bears in a game that could be affected by inclement weather.
Fortenbaugh’s pick: Chicago -6.5
FROM THE EXPERTS
Jeff Sherman, Assistant Manager at LVH Superbook: “We stayed a half point higher than most shops earlier in the week anticipating Bears money, so when the line was Chicago -6, we were at Chicago -6.5. And while we took some money early on the underdog, we’re seeing balanced action as of Monday afternoon. The sharps haven’t really gotten involved at this point, but you’ll probably see them make a move on Detroit if the line gets to -7. Short of 7, this one is a tough call. But I’d lean to the Lions if the line reaches 7.”
PayneInsider, Professional Sports Bettor: “One of the toughest games on the Week 7 board, so it’s no surprise our group and a majority of sharp bettors I speak with are treading lightly. Based on the math, our true number is Chicago -7.25, so there’s a little value in getting Chicago at under a touchdown. Especially since “7” is the second largest key number in the NFL, where games land roughly 11% of the time.
“Matchups, situations and information play a significant role, too. Hard to neglect the fact that NFC underdogs are a mind blowing 37-7-2 ATS this season (84%), but Schwartz’s Lions have covered the number in just 39% of their road games since the head coach took over in 2009. Chicago is second in the NFL in takeaways, averaging 3.4 per game – that can’t withstand the test of time.
“We saw early money come in on the UNDER 48 minutes after this line opened eight days ago. At the current number of 47, there’s still value as my true number is 44, which is above the key number of 45. Anything at 45.5 or better is worth a look towards the under and I expect this to tick back up as recreational bettors enter the market closer to kickoff.”
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