By Justin Mark, SGPN Football Handicapper
The picks continue to register on the right side of the ledger as we move to 10-1 with our selections over the last three weeks. And the Eagles continue with top-tier performances, including last week’s 48-22 dismantling of NFC East division rival New York Giants. Now, just weeks away from playoffs, the Eagles look to wrap up the number one seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The good news is, the next match is against one of the three teams that are already eliminated, the Chicago Bears.
Key Defensive Matchup
The Bears’ offense has been an interesting one this year. Justin Fields has shown explosiveness, rushing for more yards than any other quarterback in the league and he may have potentially turned a corner. However, he has still been keen to make mistakes when passing the ball. The Bears find their success on offense with the ground game, so the Eagles will look to stop the run. They’ll also need to make sure they have a spy on Justin Fields so that he’s throwing the ball and not running it.
Key Offensive Matchup
The Bears’ defense has many weaknesses, including stopping the run. When their defensive backfield is healthy, they’ve done a decent job slowing the pass down. Rookie Jaquan Brisker (Penn State) is returning from his concussion and will help the Bears try to defend the Eagles’ passing game.
However, the Bears struggle against the run and, much like last week, look for the Eagles to get those low-risk yards. Last week, Miles Sanders ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
Even though it’s hard to hit the road in December in the NFL, the Eagles are the far superior team.
Looking at lines on WynnBet this week the Moneyline is -450 (bet $45 to win $10) which isn’t worth considering. This nine-point line seems off as I would expect the Eagles to be bigger favorites against the 3-10 Bears. Therefore, this pick seems easy to me and I’m taking the Eagles -9. The total for the game is 48.5. The Bears games have been hitting the over quite often and I expect the Eagles to put up some points. I could see the Eagles getting close to 48 points on their own against this weak Bears defense, so I also like over 48.5.
The Bears are bad against the run. Therefore, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Miles Sanders go like a madman again. I’ll take Sanders over 69.5 (-115). It’s almost funny that Justin Fields’ rushing total is set as the same as Sanders. The Eagles have a talented defense and I think they focus on shutting the Bears’ best weapon, Fields, down. I’ll also take Fields under 69.5 rushing yards.
Justin Mark is co-host of SGPN Fantasy Football’s show “Old-Fashioned Football”, and co-host of a show on the NFL Gambling Podcast, which airs every Wednesday at 3:30 Eastern time on YouTube. He’s also a writer for the Sports Gambling Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @JMarkFootball and The Sports Gambling Podcast @GamblingPodcast.