2015 NFL Football Betting – Bears-Chargers Preview
The ninth week of the NFL season features a prime-time duel on Monday between two teams that are banged up, struggling, and looking for any sort of inspiration heading into the second half of a brutal 16-game deathmarch.
Chicago Bears @ San Diego Chargers – Monday, November 9
Betting Line: Chargers -4
Why The Bears Will Win
This is a game Chicago can win because one of San Diego’s most important players won’t be playing. Receiver Keenan Allen is a speed merchant who makes life very difficult for opposing cornerbacks. He has been a featured part of the Chargers’ passing game, the man who expects and gets the ball when Antonio Gates isn’t the primary target. Allen is so good at getting open on short routes in a relatively brief period of time. He facilitates the ball-control passing game San Diego has used to keep the likes of Peyton Manning off the field. San Diego is an immeasurably better team when Allen is playing well. Not having him will restrict what Philip Rivers can do, and that’s a big hit for the Chargers overall.
Beyond Allen, the San Diego team has a lot of other players in bad shape. A total of 10 players are currently listed as questionable for this game on Monday night. One would expect some to play, but if – for the sake of argument – four of them cannot play, that really takes away from the depth an NFL team needs in the second half of the season, when guys get tired and the cumulative pounding of the year takes its toll on players. San Diego wants to be able to rotate bodies in and out, but with that injury list, it’s hard for the Chargers to use a lot of options.
San Diego’s defense is also clearly vulnerable. The Chargers have allowed at least 27 points in each of their last three games. Chicago, even though limited on offense, can find openings in the Chargers’ defense, especially the secondary.
Why The Chargers Will Win
The reality of the situation for Chicago is almost as grim as it is for San Diego. Matt Forte, the star running back for the Bears, is likely to miss this game with an injury. The Bears have multiple defensive linemen on the injured reserve list and multiple offensive linemen who are questionable for this game on Monday. Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler will continue to have that strong arm, but if he can’t get much protection, his presence really doesn’t add much of anything to the Bears’ offense and what they’re trying to do.
The other big reality attached to the Bears is that they’re a poorly coached team. John Fox has not done well in his first season, and to drive home that point, Chicago lost to the lowly Detroit Lions in a game the Bears never should have lost. Chicago comes into this game with no confidence in addition to the lineup questions. That’s a recipe for a Charger victory.
Who Will Win
Both teams have lost by one score (eight points or fewer) in each of their last four games. This points to a very close game. As a result, while San Diego might win, it will be by only a field goal. The Bears plus the points is the best play.
NFL Football Betting Pick: Bears +4