Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears: 2015 Week 2 NFL Pick

Arizona Cardinals (1-0) at Chicago Bears (0-1)

Earlier in the week, I really liked Chicago here as 2 point home underdogs and was strongly considering putting money on them. The Cardinals had an impressive performance last week at home against the Saints, but that was at home and the Saints aren’t that good. The Bears aren’t that good either, but the Cardinals aren’t at home anymore. The Cardinals are 30-12 ATS as home underdogs or favorites of less than 3 since 2007, but they have no such advantage on the road.

For that reason, they don’t deserve to be 2 point road favorites here. They have Carson Palmer back from injury, but they’ve already lost Andre Ellington with injury again and they weren’t as good as their 11-5 record last season. Arizona’s 11-5 record was buoyed by a 4-1 record in games decided by a touchdown or less and their +11 point differential was 2nd worst among qualifying playoff teams. The Cardinals also benefitted from tough to sustain things like a 62.07% rate of recovering fumbles (best in the NFL), a +8 turnover margin, and a +4 return touchdown margin. They finished the season just 17th in rate of moving the chains differential, worst among playoff teams.

They’re not that much better than a Chicago team that is improved over last season and gave the Packers a fight last week. Jay Cutler should bounce back from the worst season of his career, the addition of Eddie Royal will help make up for the loss of Brandon Marshall, while the addition of Pernell McPhee more than makes up for the loss of Stephen Paea and Tim Jennings defensively. They also should have significantly fewer injuries than they did in 2014, when they were one of the most injury prone teams in the NFL. Importantly, guys like Matt Slauson and LaMarr Houston are back, after missing large chunks of last season. Neither one has a history of injuries so both should bounce back to their original form, which is consistently above average.

I don’t have the Bears as a playoff team or anything, but they were better than their 5-11 record last season (24th in rate of moving the chains differential) and I think they’re better this season than last season. I’m not going to put money on the Bears though, because both top receiver Alshon Jeffery and top edge rusher Pernell McPhee are serious question marks with injury and the line hasn’t really done anything to adjust to that. If the line moves to three or both of those guys end up playing, I may reevaluate, but, for now, I’m just taking the Bears for a low confidence pick.

Chicago Bears 20 Arizona Cardinals 19 Upset Pick +110

Pick against the spread: Chicago +2

Confidence: Low




2 thoughts on “Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears: 2015 Week 2 NFL Pick

  1. Wow where to start picking apart your argument. Oh yeah how about the beginning The first stat you quoted about playing on the road, why go back to 2007? Is 7 years significant somehow? Or did you pick 7 because it made your ridiculously irrelevant stat work? This is a completely different team then they had then with a new coach.

    To address your second argument, I venture to say they were better then their record last year. They played a large part of the year (5 games) with a second and yes two games with a THIRD string QB,

    You talk about how the Bears had such injury problems… the Cardinals probably sustained the most significant injuries in the NFL, Darryl Dockett, Ellington, Palmer, Stanton, and several others.

    We do agree on one thing they don’t deserve to be a two point favorite because that is an insult, they should be a 7 point favorite. Brees is so far ahead of Cutler as far as QB’s go it’s not even close everyone agrees the bears are going to stick up the league this year, do yourself a favor pull your head out and stop embarrassing yourself.

    You completely ignore how dominant their defense was early in the year especially, before the offense became so decimated with injuries it could not sustain a drive.

    Their lack of ability to move the chains was significantly impacted by the fact that Palmer was out for the last seven games, and were forced to play the last two games with a third string QB, not to mention Ellington being slowed by a hurt foot for most of the year. They also don’t move the chains because they are a big play team, you don’t need first downs when you can score from deep.


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