Chicago Bears (0-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
The Bears have been hit hard by the injury bug early in the season. Not only is quarterback Jay Cutler out for this game with a thumb injury, they’re also without starting linebackers Pernell McPhee and Danny Trevathan, reserve linebacker Lamarr Houston, and top defensive lineman Eddie Goldman, while top cornerback Kyle Fuller is questionable after missing the first two games of the season with an ankle injury. That’s a lot to be missing from a defense that wasn’t great to begin with.
However, the Cowboys are missing a lot of guys as well. Top cornerback Orlando Scandrick will be out for this one, while starting defensive ends Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence and starting middle linebacker Rolando McClain are all suspended and of course quarterback Tony Romo remains on the sidelines with a back injury. They won in Washington last week, but only by 4 and against a Redskins team that isn’t playing well right now. Cowboys Backup quarterback Dak Prescott understandably hasn’t quite lived up to his big pre-season and has a patchwork defense supporting him, so the Cowboys shouldn’t be favored by a touchdown against anyone, except for maybe the Browns.
The Bears aren’t that bad. They’re actually in pretty capable hands with backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, who has made 22 starts over the past 2 seasons and has shown himself to at least be a low end starting quarterback. He had success throwing to DeAndre Hopkins and will likely have similar success with Bears #1 receiver Alshon Jeffery, a similar player. Even with Goldman, Houston, and Trevathan going down too, this line shouldn’t have moved from 3.5 on the early line to 7 this week as a result of Cutler’s injury, especially if Fuller can play.
The Cowboys also haven’t had much homefield advantage in recent years, as they are 15-34 ATS at home since 2010, including 8-26 ATS as home favorites, as opposed to 28-21 ATS on the road. That makes sense, as the Cowboys have fans scattered around the country and normally have many of their own fans in attendance at road games, while their home stadium is a bit of a tourist attraction and often has many visiting fans as a result. There aren’t a lot of good sides this week, but I like the Bears a good amount.
Dallas Cowboys 23 Chicago Bears 20
Pick against the spread: Chicago +7