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NFL Week 15 Preview: New Orleans vs. Chicago

NFL Week 15 Thursday Betting – New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears

Week 15 of the 2008-09 NFL season is do or die for a number of teams, but even more so tonight for the New Orleans Saints (7-6, 9-4 ATS) who will invade the frozen shores of Lake Michigan looking to get the best of the Chicago Bears (7-6, 6-6-1 ATS) in tonight’s online betting battle. Both clubs remained in the playoff hunt last week by picking up home win and covers against their opponents.  

This will be the third time in a two-year span that these teams will have squared off against one another. They last met in December of last season with both clubs out of the playoff race, and Chicago made NFL wagering proud by smashing the Saints 33-25 as one-point home favorites. Chicago also got the best of the Saints in the 2006 NFC Championship game before heading to Miami and losing to the Colts in Super Bowl XLI.

QB Drew Brees had a decent outing last week against a stingy Falcons defense (18/32 230 yards 2 TD), but his teammates in the backfield put forth monster efforts to help propel the Saints to their seventh SU and ninth NFL pointspread victory of the season. RBs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas combined to rush for 182 yards and a score, but they also caught a TD pass each to keep pace with QB Matt Ryan and the Falcons pesky offensive attack. Since the dud it put forth in its sports betting loss at Carolina, New Orleans’ offense has averaged 31 PPG in its last six contests. Overall, the Saints boast the 2nd ranked offense in the league scoring an average of 28+ PPG.

The defense got gouged for 315 yards through the air, but did a much better job containing RB Michael “The Burner” Turner this time around. He ripped them up for close to 100 yards and a score in the first meeting, but was limited to 61 yards on 18 attempts in the second go round. At 25.1 PPG, the Saints boast the league’s 24th ranked stop unit.

The Bears bounced back from what could have been a crippling defeat at Minnesota in Week 13 with a commanding home win and cover against the punchless Jacksonville Jaguars. The game couldn’t have started any better for head coach Lovie Smith who chose to defer after winning the coin toss. They then forced a turnover on the games third play from scrimmage and punched the pigskin into the endzone two plays later when QB Kyle Orton connected with TE Desmond Clark from two–yards out. The Bears offense did just enough to get the job scoring a pair of TDs but having to settle for three Robbie Gould FG’s. Chicago’s offense has really cooled down since its bye in Week 8. They were averaging 28 PPG before it, but have only churned out an average of 18 PPG since. At 23.4 PPG overall, Chicago owns the 16th ranked offensive attack in the league.

After getting thoroughly dominated the week before by Minnesota, Da Bears defense put forth a much better effort against the Jaguars limiting them to 119 yards on the ground and 159 yards through the air. It also forced the crucial interception at the onset of the game to set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Allowing a shade over 21 PPG, the Bears rank 16th in the league in scoring defense.

The NFL betting trends are as follows: The underdog has dominated the recent series cashing against the spread in 5 of the L/8 overall meetings. The Saints are a perfect 4-0 ATS their L/4 games, and have covered in each of their L/2 road games (@ KC & @ TBY). Chicago is 4-9-1 ATS the L/14 times it’s taken on a +.500 team, and they’re 0-4 ATS their L/4 following a SU win.

Offshore oddsmakers expect the Bears to remain in the playoff hunt after this one since they installed them as three-point home chalks. The game ‘total’ has been set at a lofty 45 points.

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