Detroit Lions (2-6) at Chicago Bears (3-6)
A week ago on the early line, the Bears were favored by 1.5 points at home in this matchup with the Lions, but now they are favored by 3, a significant swing, given that 1 in 6 games are decided by exactly a field goal. I normally like to go against significant week-to-week line movements as they tend to be an overreaction to a single week of play and I think that is the case here. The line movement is likely driven by the Bears’ near upset of the Dolphins last week, but the Lions played a close game with the Dolphins the week prior and then pulled an upset victory over the Packers last week, so it doesn’t really make sense that this line would have moved significantly.
These two teams are pretty similar, below average teams with much better offenses than defenses, but the Lions are a better version of the Bears, with a significant edge in schedule adjusted offensive efficiency, ranking two points above average, 9th best in the NFL, with the 23rd ranked Bears are 1.5 points below average. My roster rankings also support that, giving the Lions a 1.5-point edge on offense. The Lions rank dead last in defensive efficiency, so they are worse on that side of the ball, but the Bears rank 28th and have been horrendous defensively since trading away Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith, so the gap isn’t much between these two defenses, with the Lions having the clear edge on offense.
Despite the Lions being the better team, the Bears are favored by a full field goal at home, suggesting they are the better team. My calculated line is even and the Lions could easily end up pulling the upset, even if my numbers still have the Bears as slight favorites to win straight up. There isn’t quite enough here for the Lions to be worth betting, but they should be the better side for pick ‘em purposes.
Chicago Bears 28 Detroit Lions 27
Pick against the spread: Detroit +3