Cowboys vs. Bears Monday Night Point Spread Preview, Expert Picks, Score Prediction
Week 14 closes out with a doozy in the Windy City where the playoff hopeful Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears will crack skulls for the first time since the 2007 season. The Boys came back to oust the Oakland Raiders on Turkey Day in a non-covering effort last week to remain tied with the Philadelphia Eagles atop the NFC East standings, while the Bears played an overtime for the second time in the L/3 weeks up in Minnesota – but this time, they fell by the same 23-20 final score they beat the Ravens by the first time around.
OPEN: BEARS -2 | CURRENT: BEARS -1 | O/U: 49
1. Why the COWBOYS will cover the spread: The Cowboys have the make-up offensively to keep the high-powered Chicago offense on the sideline with RB DeMarco Murray moving the chains on the ground and QB Tony Romo taking advantage through the air once the Bears load the box. Dallas is readily able to exchange points with Chicago should the game call for it, but points could be held to a premium in this one with the weather forecast calling for 13 MPH cross winds and a balmy 21 degree game-time kick.
Da Bears have been gouged on the ground recently having allowed each of the L/5 primary backs they’ve faced to rush for 100+ yards. Coming off a 3 TD game vs. the Raiders, Murray will be zeroing in on the goal line the second he steps onto the gridiron.
2. Why the BEARS will cover the spread: As bad as the Bears have been on the defensive side of the ball this season, if you can believe it, the Cowboys have been even worse! Ranked dead last in total yardage allowed, Dallas has been equally bad in defending both the pass ( #31 at 294.9 YPG ) and run ( #27 at 126.7 YPG ). Chicago just so happens to possess the league’s 5th best scoring offense that’s lit scoreboards up across the league for an average of 26.9 PPG. It hasn’t mattered who was under center either as both Jay Cutler and Josh McCown have thrived running head coach Mark Trestman’s attack; it’s still unknown at the time of this writing which will get the starting nod Monday night.
As long as the weather cooperates, it simply won’t matter as RB Matt Forte should have a field day on the ground allowing the trio of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and Martellus Bennett to run roughshod on the Cowboys secondary.
3. Total Talk: Each of the L/3 meetings dating back to 2007 between these historic franchises combined to go ‘over’ the closing number. Jay Cutler picked the Cowboys defense apart last season to the tune of 275 yards passing and a pair of scoring strikes en route to helping his squad secure the surprising 34-18 outright win as 3-point underdogs on MNF. Dallas has cashed ‘over’ bettors tickets each of the L/3 times it stepped onto the gridiron, and has played to high scorers in four of six roadies.
The ‘under’ only came in once in Chicago’s first seven games of the season, but since the Week 8 bye, the Bears have played to low scorers in three of five; the ‘over’ is 4-2 in their six home tussles.
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4. Betting Trends for BEARS/COWBOYS: While the overall bodies of work were hardly impressive, Dallas has done what its needed to do each of the L/2 weeks to remain relevant atop the NFC East standings. A win here will at the very least keep them tied with the Eagles for division supremacy. Chicago on the other hand looks to be a team slipping into a void that will ultimately end with a second straight season of watching the playoffs on the tube. The Bears had every opportunity made available to them to take the division lead or at the very least tie the Lions in the standings the last couple weeks, but they choked and ended up dropping back-to-back decisions to the freaking Rams and Vikings.
Though the Cowboys check in just 1-7 ATS their L/8 MNF appearances, that dreadful record is overshadowed by the Bears putrid 3-12-1 ATS tally in their L/16 home games as well as their 1-4-1 ATS record following a SU defeat. There’s still work for Dallas to do in 2013 while Chicago is still in the midst of a changing of the guard season. Look for Big D to go into Soldier Field and hand a crushing blow to Chicago’s playoff chances while at the same time bolster theirs.
Dallas 26 – Chicago 16