Chicago Bears (2-7) at New York Giants (6-3)
This is one of the games I’m torn on this week. On one hand, the Giants are the significantly superior team and they have an easy upcoming game, a trip to Cleveland to take on the winless Browns, so they don’t have any upcoming distractions. The early line has them at least favorites of 6 or more next week and favorites of 6 or more are 89-50 ATS since 2012 before being favorites of 6 or more again. Meanwhile, in terms of first down rate differential, the Giants enter this game 5th, while the Bears enter in 23rd.
Things were looking up for the Bears before their bye, as they were getting guys back from injury and they pulled the home upset victory over the Vikings, but things fell apart again for the Bears last week in their first game back from the bye in a 36-10 loss in Tampa Bay. Not only did they get blown out, but they’ve since lost talented guard Kyle Long for the season with injury, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for 4 games with suspension, and possibly nose tackle Eddie Goldman, who is questionable this week after tweaking his ankle injury in his return last week. The Bears are one of the worst teams in the league, while the Giants have actually been one of the best this season.
At the same time, this line is pretty big at 7.5, after a significant line movement in the past week (the early line was 5.5). As a result, we’re not really getting any line value with the Giants. Teams also tend to bounce back off of embarrassing losses like the Bears’ loss last week. The Bears lost by 26 last week as 2.5 point road favorites, an against the spread loss of 28.5. Teams are 92-54 ATS since 2002 off of an against the spread loss of 28 or more, as teams tend to be overlooked, underrated, and embarrassed in that situation.
It also helps the Bears that they’re in their 2nd of two road games. Teams are 136-103 ATS as road underdogs off a road loss since 2008, including 108-71 ATS when it’s their 2nd of 2 road games. This is because teams tend to do better in their 2nd straight road game than their first one, but lines don’t really adjust for this. Teams are 229-245 straight up in their 2nd of two road games since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 0.86 points per game, as opposed to 329-459 straight up in their 1st of one road game since 2008, getting outscored by an average of 3.00 points per game. I’m still taking the Giants, but this is a no confidence pick.
New York Giants 27 Chicago Bears 17
Pick against the spread: NY Giants -7.5