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NFL Week 11 Sunday Night Football Betting Preview
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (NBC, 8:20 p.m. ET)SNF Betting Results
Last week's rant against the Marvin Lewis coaching tree didn't work out, as Minnesota did go into Dallas and came out as the victors. The Vikings still got ultra-conservative in that 4th quarter as they did have a sense of playing not to lose rather then to win, and even with the unit lost, my opinion hasn't really changed on Minnesota. They are still a team that will tense up in tight spots and not likely get through. It's on to this week's game though, and another team I was wrong about this year on the whole, as Chicago heads west to play the LA Rams.
I had Chicago coming out of the NFC to be Super Bowl bound this year, and that couldn't have been more wrong just 10 weeks later. I knew the turnover margin they Bears got last year wasn't sustainable, but I expected the Bears offense to take multiple steps forward, not multiple steps backwards. Chicago's 2019 season is now on the brink of collapse now, as these guys know they are a much better team then what their record shows, but one more loss soon and it's probably time to pack up shop and get ready for offseason vacation plans. Chicago isn't likely going to catch Green Bay or Minnesota within the division, and then that leaves only one Wildcard spot as an option, and that's likely going to the NFC West runner up.
It's now or never for the Bears, and depending on how you figure Chicago's going to come out of that proposition is where you'll end up in terms of playing this game.
Total TalkThis number opened at 42 and has since taken 'under' action for the majority of the week. Given how bad the Bears offense has been this entire year, 'under' money in Chicago games is no surprise. It's not like the Rams offense did themselves any favors in terms of those potentially looking at an 'over' here, as LA's offense wasn't responsible for 9 of the 12 points the team scored last week. That's not a one-off of a bad game for Goff and that Rams attack either, as there are starting to be some louder concerns about that unit then anyone expected coming into the year.
On top of all that, it's easy to remember the game in late-December these two played last season in Chicago, where it was the Bears defense who choked the life out of a then-dynamic Rams attack. Chicago's basically got that same defense out there on the field this year, so there is that as well. 'Under' money was always going to come in here, and at 42 it's probably the right course of action. At the current number of 40.5, it's probably best to pass.
I say that because, the Rams “one-offs” of bad offensive performances rarely, if ever, turn into consecutive games like that. LA has scored 20 or fewer points three times this year, and after the previous two, they responded with 40 and 37 points themselves in the next respective games. They were actually just 1-1 SU (and 1-1 O/U and ATS) in those games, which tells you that after an offensive stinker, their own defensive play tends to take a step back. Chicago's offense wouldn't scare a 7th grade team right now, but they still are pros, and miscommunication or blown assignments on the back end of LA's defense is something all NFL teams can take advantage of.
Furthermore, LA is going to have a much better idea of what to expect from Chicago after last year's game, and a year to think about schemes that will have much better success against what the Bears run is plenty of time to find at least a few things that work.
It's also not a mid-December game in Chicago, it's in sunny, warm LA and that has to benefit the Rams chances for success on offense much more then walking into Chicago did a year ago. It's still hard to trust either of these teams to put up the necessary points to creep over the current total, but it's something that should be a pass now.
Side SpielLine Movements
Because this game is out in LA, and the Rams are in a “do-or-die” mode themselves in terms of making the playoffs this year, it is hard not to like the Rams to cover this number of less than a TD. LA is in just as a precarious spot in terms of trying to stay in the Wildcard picture, because they aren't likely to catch both San Francisco and Seattle. Beating down one of those teams looking up at them like Chicago could be a nice momentum builder for LA as the rest of their schedule is rather tough.
Sean McVay's ability to game plan will pay dividends in this rematch with Chicago too, and while the numbers don't always show it, LA's offense is easier to trust at home. McVay and Goff will have a much better plan set out in terms of attacking this Bears defense, and hopefully it leads to a nice 20+ point effort again coming off a bad offensive showing.
And then, we can't forget that it is the Bears offense on the other side of the field that will need to do more then nothing multiple times to ensure that this game stays within the point spread. At this point I'm not sure how you can thing that will be the case as it's not like LA's defense doesn't have a few talented playmakers as well. Quite frankly, I can't believe I was this wrong on Chicago coming into the year.
Finally, as desperate as Chicago's situation is and could be used as a positive in terms of motivation, do you really think there is that much belief in the locker room that the team can make something out of 2019. Sure, the Bears could win this week to stay alive, but then they've basically got to run the table, get a bit of help, and do it all with QB Mitchell Trubisky who doesn't even want T.V's on in the building because there is so much criticism coming his way. Do you really believe the Bears believe they can overcome all of that, and then go on to make a deep playoff run? I know I sure don't.
Chicago has resigned themselves to their fate of this being a sub-par, lost season weeks ago. Even if the defense plays the best any unit has in the history of football for the next six weeks or so, they've still got to overcome what they put on the field on offense, and long term in 2019, that just isn't going to work. Yes the defense will rise up at least one more time to potentially pull off a big upset – likely at home – a nice, warm trip to sunny Los Angeles in the middle of November isn't where I expect that to be the case. Especially against a Rams team who's underachieved by their standards as well this season.
Final ThoughtsThe Rams may be a tough sell for some after what they saw from them in Pittsburgh last week, but they probably only need 20 points here to win and cover the game. Chicago's scored 20 or fewer points in three straight games and six of their nine games this season. The Bears offense has been that bad, and with the locker room already having a sense that the year will end up going nowhere, a trip to LA in November could 'conveniently' be full of distractions for many guys on this Bears team.
LA has a more legitimate shot at playing themselves back into playoff position, and at home and under the lights, they should get it done in relatively comfortable fashion.
Best Bet: LA Rams -6.5
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