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Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans Saints Point Spread - Pick

Chicago Bears (3-4 SU, 5-2 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS)
Week 8 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: CHI +9/NO -9
Over/Under Total: 48

The Chicago Bears come to the Superdome on Sunday for a matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Both teams are on a nice little roll after starting the season in rough fashion. The Saints looked to have a long season in store after stinking it up in an 0-2 start. They have since won four straight games, including a nice road win on Sunday against the Packers, 26-17. The Bears, meanwhile, were big at home, beating Carolina, 17-3 and after a 1-4 start, they are now 3-4 with an arrow going up. Their defense was a huge part of the win on Sunday and they look for more of that this week. Who can leave the Superdome with the win and the cover on Sunday?

New Orleans had an uphill battle on their hands on Sunday. Good things were forecasted given their recent form and the fact that the Packers were missing a key piece to their puzzle in Aaron Rodgers. The Packers still managed to take a 14-7 lead into halftime with Drew Brees turning the ball over twice. But after a sloppy half of play, they were able to get enough good plays in the second half to secure the comeback win with room to spare. Still, with the turnovers, penalties, and uneven play on defense, they were lucky to be facing a team searching for answers in the Packers. They are at home this week, but will need to be better against a hot Bears team, especially on offense where there was a lot of sloppiness this past week.

Still, after the Saints' 0-2 start, one would have been hard-pressed to find a person predicting they would be 4-2 after six games. That says a lot about their makeup. Part of that leadership equation is QB Drew Brees, who regained his composure on Sunday with a TD both in the air and on the ground against the Packers. Mark Ingram ran for over 100 yards and a TD and appears to be hitting his stride. RB Alvin Kamara continues to add production, as he had 57 yards rushing and 50 through the air. Ted Ginn, Jr. is having a big season and had 141 yards on Sunday, with Michael Thomas at 82 yards. Brandon Coleman caught a TD and soon, dynamic receiver Willie Snead will get involved. It is a potent offense and with the line having got healthy, the run-game is taking off and Brees is being allowed to work in a clean pocket.

We've been seeing good things from the Saints' defense over the past month. Other than letting Detroit almost climb back into a game a few weeks ago, the "D" has been a lot different from the one that we saw at the beginning of the season. After falling behind 14-7 at the half on Sunday, the "D" allowed one field goal, albeit to a Packers' offense that was heavily-compromised. But they've been pretty tough lately, though always on the verge of seemingly bottoming out. They shut out Miami on the road a few weeks ago and have been really solid in certain stretches of games. The secondary has been playing better and Kenny Vaccaro had a pick on Sunday. Alex Okafor had sack, with linebackers AJ Klein and Craig Roberson making a lot of plays on the day, particularly in the second half.

Chicago got it done with defense on Sunday. More specifically, they got it done with playmaking rookie safety Eddie Jackson. On Sunday, Jackson returned a fumble 76 yards for a touchdown, before taking an interception back 75 yards for a score. He became the first player in league history to record two defensive scores in a game of 75 or more yards. Looking at the score of the game, it's hard to tell that the Bears recorded a mere five first downs on the day, with Mitchell Trubisky completing just 4 passes on the day. They put up only 153 yards of total yardage. It's good that they found other ways to win with their offense stagnating, but moving forward, they won't be able to depend on that and will need to be able to put up points. This week would be one of those times.

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Trubisky can't be captured in stats. He hasn't exactly been putting up numbers, but a near-win over the division-leading Vikings and two straight wins with him behind center is more than mere coincidence. He has a nice presence about him, bolstered by a strong running-game, led by Jordan Howard who was a bit quiet on Sunday. Other than a big 70-yard reception to RB Tarik Cohen, the positive plays on this side of the ball were minimal on Sunday. Looking ahead, they need to develop some aerial playmakers and have their offense rely on something other than Howard or the defense.

The Chicago defense gets big credit for holding the Panthers offense to a mere three points, despite Carolina holding onto the ball for nearly 40 minutes in the game. Scores on this side of the ball have been big in their last two wins. A playmaking defense can go a long way and this group has shown a recent knack for it. Jackson was huge on Sunday. The pass-rush also showed up with a nice performance. Danny Trevathan had a sack and an interception. Leonard Floyd and Akiem Nicks also got to Newton on the day, with LB Christian Jones making a lot of plays. They have looked a lot better in the past three weeks and look for more of that this week at the Superdome where they look to be put to the test to a greater extent than in their last two wins.

Chicago is a team that is easy to overlook. And with their last two wins coming from big plays on the defensive side of the ball, people might think there is something fluky about their recent mini-surge. That perception could be a miscalculation. Still, the level of difficulty ramps up this week in a road spot against a hot Saints squad. Scrappy or not, the Bears will need to make big plays on offense and could really use a huge performance from Howard this week. We see them getting enough of that to cover the big number. We're taking Chicago.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Chicago Bears plus ten points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Chicago vs. New Orleans 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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