Chicago Bears (2-7 SU, 2-7 ATS) vs. New York Giants (6-3 SU, 5-3-1 ATS)
Week 11 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 1PM EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: CHI +7/NYG -7
Over/Under Total: 45.5
The Chicago Bears come into MetLife Stadium on Sunday to take on the New York Giants. The Bears have had an awful season, but after winning before the bye week against the Vikings and looking good doing it, their 36-10 loss to Tampa last Sunday was a humbling loss. They now sit at 2-7 both straight-up and against the spread. The Giants eked a one-point win over the Bengals on Monday Night Football, their 4th straight win. They've been at home nice and dug-in since their last road game on October 23. They are still in reach of Dallas and are building a solid postseason case at 6-3.
Not that Chicago was flying high after a win over the Vikings after the bye. But it's all relative for a team that has seen almost nothing go right this season. They scored a decisive win, had their starting QB back in there looking good, and got a huge showing from rookie back Jordan Howard. The defense looked oddly effective against Minnesota that night. Now turn the page and we see a Bears team coming off a lopsided and ugly loss to the Buccaneers. Now, they found out that star receiver Alshon Jeffery has been suspended for 4 games for a dirty test. Howard hurt his hamstring and is questionable for this game. Guard Kyle Long suffered a season-ending injury on Sunday, as well. Tackle Bobby Massie is questionable after suffering a concussion. And that's not even discussing all the issues. Talk about a rough week—that's as tough as it gets.
Maybe if all or most of the pieces were intact, we could see what this team can do, but one look at the injury list reveals far too many instrumental players out of action for a team to dig themselves out of irrelevance. The Bears 'offense was without QB Jay Cutler for an extended time. Now Jordan Howard, who was giving this offense hope, is looking iffy. With Jeffery out and others already out-of-action, the offense bears almost no resemblance to what they had in mind coming into the season. With the line banged up even more now, the picture looks bleak on this side of the ball. Putting ten points up against Tampa and getting blanked in the second half is really a disgrace. The Chicago offense will now be rolling with Cutler, receivers Cameron Meredith., Eddie Royal, tight end Zach Miller, and whoever else can step in and produce. The options at this point are not all that promising.
The Chicago defense has performed capably at times this season. Sunday wasn't one of those times, as Tampa's offense didn't get a ton of resistance. That's unfortunate considering how good and energetic they looked against Minnesota in their previous game. They're the 11th-ranked defense in the league. The pass-rush hasn't been bad at times this season. The middle, with Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan, and Willie Young has been pretty good. They're either pretty stingy or readily exploitable and it's tough to determine what you're going to get from this group from week to week.
The Giants have seen things go their way lately with four straight wins. The game against the Bengals at home on MNF was a back-and-forth and hard-fought affair. Cincinnati took a 6-point lead in the third quarter, but a 4th-quarter Eli Manning TD pass to Sterling Shepard on a gutsy 4th-down play was the deciding score, with the defense stepping up to curtail any follow-up Bengals attempts to come back for the win with some big late-game plays.
It was impressive how the Giants' defense was able to come through late on MNF. We're seeing a New York defense this season that is far from a liability like we've seen in recent seasons. The offseason moves have really manifested in a good way, the coaching is getting through, and they've won as many games already this season as they've won in each of the last two seasons. The front is getting rigid against the run, with Jason Pierre-Paul starting to show his old form. And while the pass-defense has been leaky at times this season, they are getting some playmaking out of that group, especially from Landon Collins, as well as Janoris Jenkins and others. Again, the defense is making steady contributions to the overall team effort. And their clutch play has allowed the Giants to win six games by a combined margin 21 points.
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Eli Manning has been a bit off-target at times with ten picks, but has generally been able to move this offense with a lot of help from a multitude of weapons. Granted, most of them are aerial, as the Giants run-game is negligible at best. They make up for it with a diversified passing-game, led by the hyped, but consistently-delivering Odell Beckham, Jr. Rookie Sterling Shepard has added a lot to the offense and Victor Cruz will be back in the mix. There are different guys that can get you in this offense.
The Bears are in trouble and need to find something quick before a bad season disintegrates into a complete downward spiral. But after such a collapse of their personnel with injuries and a key suspension, it's going to take a lot of fortitude to soldier on through all the issues. The Bears could give the Giants a run for their money with New York coming off the short week in a difficult game. I still see it as being a bit too much to overcome and I like the Giants.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the New York Giants plus 7 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting rhe Chicago vs. New York game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!