Chicago Bears vs New Orleans Saints
Louisiana Superdome – New Orleans, LA
Sunday September 18 – 1:00PMMoneyline: New Orleans -312, Chicago +245
Spread (ATS): New Orleans -7.5
Odds courtesy of 5Dimes
The Chicago Bears surprised by beating the Atlanta Falcons 30-12 in the opener. If you watched the game (it wasn’t pretty) than you know it wasn’t as lopsided as the final score appeared. With the exception of a defensive TD by Atlanta in the 4th quarter all the big plays in the game were made by the Bears. It is unreasonable to think that they can be that explosive the whole season….and it is different playing on the road than at home for sure.
Jay Cutler was pretty good in the opener throwing for more than 300 yards. A third of that yardage came on two plays as the Bears were more explosive than usual (I just couldn’t come up with another word for explosive). They didn’t do too much damage on the ground but were able to get yards when they needed them. The most encouraging thing to take away from last week was the play of the defensive line. Henry Melton and Julius Peppers both had two sacks. They will need to get pressure on Drew Brees to beat the Saints.
Winning at home against a top team from the NFC South is one thing but going into the Superdome and beating the Saints is something altogether different. The Bears may have won 4 in a row against the Saints but the last three have been at home and the fourth was back in 2005 when a guy named Aaron Brooks was the Aints quarterback. A lot has changed since then.
Thrilling ending to the opener on Thursday night. I am still wondering why Coach Payton thought the smart play was taking the ball out of Drew Brees hands on the final play. It shows confidence in the line and rookie RB Mark Ingram but I think it was also a little bit of him outsmarting himself. Nevertheless they are back at home looking to get back to winning, although a little dinged up.
Last week’s game turned on Marques Colston’s lost fumble. The Saints had little trouble moving the ball but dug themselves too deep a hole to ultimately win the game. Drew Brees was very sharp and with Colston out he will rely even more on spreading the ball around. The running game was pretty ineffective against the Pack and it won’t get much easier against Chicago this week. They use it just to keep the offense honest though.
The Saints are in a great bounce back spot here. They are playing at home and have a couple of extra days to prepare after opening the season last Thursday. This is one of the most explosive offenses in the league and the defense is probably better than it showed against an amped up and very talented Green Bay team. The line is a little heavy at -7.5 but I think it is manageable though there are better bets on the board.
ATS Pick: New Orleans -7.5
Over/Under Pick: Over
Score Prediction: New Orleans 34 – Chicago 23