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Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions Point Spread - Pick

Chicago Bears (4-9 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (7-6 SU, 6-6-1 ATS)
Week 15 NFL
Date/Time: Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 4:30PM EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
TV: NFL Network

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: CHI +6.5/DET -6.5
Over/Under Total: 43.5

The Chicago Bears take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Saturday in week 15 NFC North divisional action. Both teams posted wins last week. For Detroit, it was crucial, keeping their fading playoff hopes alive, as they once again got a long FG late by Matt Prater to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road, 24-21. The Bears, meanwhile, really piled it on at home, beating the Bengals, 33-7, to put an end to a 5-game losing streak. These teams played less than a month ago on November 19, with the Lions scoring a narrow 27-24 win over the Bears at Soldier Field, again on the strength of a long Prater field goal late in the game. They look for another win over their divisional rival at home this Saturday to keep their faint playoff hopes alive.

It has really been an up-and-down season for the Lions in 2017. Both wins and losses have come in bunches, a common thread from recent seasons. After seeming to right the ship with three straight wins, losses to the Vikings and Ravens appeared to put their season on the critical list, making the win over Tampa so big. It was still a less-than-vintage showing against a wayward Bucs' squad. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Lions were up comfortably, 21-7, before Tampa tied the game with two late touchdowns. But the dogged Matthew Stafford had another fourth-quarter surge, getting the team in position to take advantage of Prater's big leg and he again delivered.

Playing with a hurt hand that almost caused him to miss the game, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was big on the day with 381 yards on 36-for-44 passing, though he did toss two picks on the day. Tight end Eric Ebron was big with ten catches, with big games from Marvin Jones and Golden Tate, who caught a TD pass. Theo Reddick had 64 yards receiving, while also running in two touchdowns. It just wasn't a very-compete performance with Detroit's offense not getting after it late as they did earlier in the game. But the offense looked pretty good in spots.

The Detroit defense did really well for three quarters and change last Sunday, holding the Bucs to just one score. Then, the Bucs and Jameis Winston starting to make things happen and the Lions found themselves under-siege. The defense was able to stave off any more damage, helping stage the go-ahead play late. For the Lions' defense, they have been better from a playmaking standpoint than from a stoutness perspective. We saw some of that in evidence on Sunday. With S Tavon Wilson out, Quandre Diggs played well and had a pick, as did corner Darius Slay, who also recovered a Tampa fumble. In the middle, Jarrad Davis and Tahir Whitehead were active on the day, with Whitehead also recovering a fumble and Davis getting a sack. Also getting to the quarterback was Ziggy Ansah and reserve corner DJ Hayden, who also recovered a fumble.

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Chicago is an interesting team, not a good one, but one that is worth keeping an eye on. Even with the five loss streak, which ended with a 33-7 win over the Bengals on Sunday, they have been overachieving in a sense. With half of their projected starters on IR, a rookie quarterback, and gaping voids across all areas, they could be the worse team in the league on paper, but they're far from that in reality. In addition to beating the Bengals and making the point spread miss by 33 points on Sunday, they have beaten the Panthers, Ravens, and Steelers this season, while losing narrowly to the Falcons, Vikings, and Lions. They gave Detroit a good go the first time around and hope for more and even better on Saturday.

The Chicago offense thrived on Sunday against the Bengals' defense. Rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky was pretty good with 271 yards passing on 25-for-32 completions and a touchdown. He also ran one in and got a big boost from Jordan Howard, who rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie back Tarik Cohen added 80 yards on the ground and has been a big addition this season, both on offense and in the return game. Aerially, they finally got some nice production, with Kendall Wright going over 100 yards, with Adam Shaheen catching a TD pass. It was the exact right formula for the Chicago offense on Sunday and even with a lot of guys they counted on being on IR, they have still managed to form an identity. And with Howard, Cohen, and Trubisky, they can really punish defenses with the ground-game.

The Bears' defense was dominant on Sunday. They held the Bengals to just 234 yards and kept them scoreless after the Bengals scored a first-quarter touchdown. Rookie Eddie Jackson had an interception, while Lamarr Houston, Howard Jones, and Roy Robertson-Harris each had sacks on the day. Corners Prince Amakamura and Kendall Fuller were both impactful against the Bengals, as was LB Danny Trevathan, who has been a valued playmaker this season on this side of the ball. With how little support they have gotten from the offense and all the injuries, the "D" has held up somewhat admirably.

This has the look of a tough divisional game. Granted, the Lions have more to play for and already beat the Bears this season on the road, but the Bears have a way of making things a little harder on opponents than what some forecast. In the first game against the Lions, the Bears were able to do some good things, with a big showing from the run-game and holding Detroit to just two second-half field goals. It wouldn't take much for them to be right in the thick of this game. I see the Bears getting the cover this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Chicago Bears plus 6.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Saturday Bears vs. Lions game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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