Chicago Bears (2-3) at Detroit Lions (0-5)
Normally, I love fading significant line movements and the Lions went from being favored by 6 in the early line last week to just favored by 3 now. Detroit did get blown out by the Cardinals and Chicago did win in Kansas City last week, but beating the Jamaal Charles-less Chiefs isn’t a big accomplishment and Detroit didn’t get crushed in rate of moving the chains, moving them at a 72.09% rate, while the Cardinals moved them at a 77.78% rate, in a game that would have been a much different game by not for a fluky 6-0 win in the turnover battle by Arizona. Teams that lose the turnover battle by 6, on average, have a -0.4 turnover margin the following week, showing, once again, how inconsistent on a week-to-week basis something like turnover margin is. Home favorites are 55-39 ATS off of a game in which they lost the turnover margin by 4 or more since 1989.
However, I’m not confident in Detroit at all. They rank 27th in rate of moving the chains differential, while the Bears rank 24th, actually better than the Lions. Chicago is also in a better injury situation, with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and left tackle Jermon Bushrod running this week. Detroit’s offensive line is getting healthier with LaAdrian Waddle and Larry Warford both working their way back from early season injuries, though defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and outside linebacker DeAndre Levy will both be out for this one. I’m taking the Lions because they’re playing by far the easiest opponent they’ve faced thus far this season (San Diego, Minnesota, Denver, Seattle, Arizona) and because this line is probably too low, but I’m not confident at all.
Detroit Lions 24 Chicago Bears 20
Pick against the spread: Detroit -3