Chicago Bears (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS)
Week 5 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 1PM EST
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: CHI +4.5/IND -4.5
Over/Under Total: 47.5
The Chicago Bears come to Lucas Oil Stadium to face the Indianapolis Colts. The Bears finally saw something go their way on Sunday with a 17-14 win over the Detroit Lions. The first three weeks offered little promise, but maybe winning a game for the first time in months will put some wind in their sails. Indianapolis, meanwhile, had to go to London to lose to the winless Jaguars, 30-27. The win sends the previously-hopeful Colts to 1-3 and on the precipice of seeing this season start to get away from them a little bit.
It seemed to be a good spot on Sunday for the Colts to even the slate at 2-2 against a Jaguars team struggling to get things right. There are a few things that help paint it in a slightly-less disastrous light. First of all, it was in London. And after being down 23-6 in the fourth quarter, they got it to 30-27 with the typical Andrew Luck comeback. He connected with growing long-threat Phillip Dorsett for 64 yards, but the ensuing drive ended on downs, as the Jags' defense stepped up.
Mistakes are costly in this game and the Colts had more than their share on Sunday. On offense, dropped balls were the special of the day. An Andrew Luck pick led to a Jaguars TD and penalties were also costly. Moving forward, there is still cause for positivity with Andrew Luck having overcome slow starts and rough patches before. And at home against Chicago isn't the worst place to start. Sure, Frank Gore isn't what he once was, but he's still a consistent performer. He had a TD on Sunday. Luck connected with a lot of receivers, but other than his late strike to Dorsett, it was a lot of peck-and-poke stuff. Look for them to try to get the ball downfield more in coming weeks. This is a critical time for this Indy offense to re-establish some of its credibility.
The Indy defense also was a big part of the problem. It's apparently not bad enough that they're usually not very robust against the pass or run or that they're very inconsistent. Now they've decided to be a downright nightmare with dumb penalties extending several Jaguars drives. They've given up 125 points in 4 games and they've been ragged at times—very exploitable and not making positive contributions to the team. Granted, the Brian Hoyer-led Bears don't elicit fear, but it's not hard to picture them getting business done against this Indy defense.
Chicago deserves some kudos, not necessarily for beating a sideways Lions team, but just for coming up for a win amidst a lot of negativity. With all the defeat and injury surrounding their early-season, they delivered on a much-needed win. Their defense had been looking dicey through three weeks and to hold a potentially-dangerous Detroit offense to two field goals of productivity is a feat of sorts. Finally, they have something to be positive about following a good effort at home. They've been getting better play from the secondary, which picked off two passes on Sunday and forced Matthew Stafford to have a very problematic day. Akiem Nicks was in his face and this "D" looked downright good after being dysfunctional in spots over the first three weeks. With all the injuries to key players in this unit, to the point where half of their projected starters are out, Sunday stands out as a very impressive performance for the Bears' "D."
It's going to be hard for John Fox to give it to Jay Cutler after Brian Hoyer went over 300 with a pair of touchdowns en route to getting the Bears their first win. Hoyer conneted well with often-neglected talent Eddie Royal, who was over 100 yards with a score. With injuries and departures having hurt the backfield, interesting rookie Jordan Howard stepped up with 111 yards on 23 carries. Kevin White caught 6 balls, while Zach Miller hauled in a score. White, however, was placed on IR, as injuries threaten to derail the 7th pick in the 2015 draft. And though he was quiet on Sunday, Alshon Jeffery looms as a constant threat and opens it up for others when not posting big totals himself. And those other pieces proved capable on Sunday. Fox may be facing a conundrum this week with the QB situation. On Sunday, the Chicago offense started to resemble what Bears optimists envisioned before the season when trying to cite why the Bears would be better.
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There will be some understandable focus on Indy's travel arrangements this week following the tough road assignment this past Sunday. Their opponent in London got the week off, while Indy has to get back to business on the heels of a draining loss overseas. But that could also be blown out of proportion. And when is the last time Chicago came into Indianapolis, which isn't exactly the most invigorating experience?
With a mistake-prone and underachieving Colts offense that looks to have lost some mojo combined with the road trip they're coming off of, you'd think this is a good spot for the Bears. They could build on the success of last week against a Colts team that could be weary. Still, one is inclined to think the Colts can avoid the abyss for now, at least against the Bears. It's just that the Colts are dealing with some very real problems across many areas, namely on defense. I see both offenses getting untracked in this one. I'm going over.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting over 47.5 points in the Chicago vs. Indianapolis game. Bet the Bears vs. Colts game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!