Both had the Bears to cover but it wasn’t to be, but at least they hit the total (under), so it wasn’t a total loss.
It’s better news in the pick ‘ems contest, where Sam had the highest scoring weekend (11 points) and has jumped into the overall lead. Jeff was the only other one with a double-digit weekend (10 points). Sam now leads over Cooler’s Picks by two points (64 to 62), while Jeff is in fifth with 58 points. WhiskeyRanger is in 10th, Opinion Bear down in 14th and Lester in 17th among the writers.
Not much to report in the survivor pool, no one was lost last week and only two people took strikes. One was Opinion Bear on the Bears and the other was on the Patriots.
Now, let’s take a look at the Bears, who are underdogs once again. Is this the week to go back to betting them?
Sunday, 3:25 p.m., FOX
Sam: Is this a good spot for the Bears? At home, on a short week, against a winning opponent after getting absolutely beat down on Monday Night Football...I don’t know. This game is going to be in pretty much every TV market east of the Mississippi River, so it’s basically a spot for national redemption.
The Bears have lost five straight in this series overall and lost all five against the number, including four as underdogs. But going in their favor could be the weather; the forecast is calling for windy and cold conditions at Soldier Field on Sunday and the Saints have yet to play outdoors this season.
Could the sub-40 conditions affect Drew Brees? Of course. Plus, the Saints are 2-4 against the number this year, while Chicago is 4-3.
On the other hand, the Bears’ run defense is solidly in the “porous” category and the Saints’ offense runs through Alvin Kamara. Michael Thomas looks like he could return as well and that would be a big challenge, even for a secondary as good as Chicago’s.
The Bears under Nagy haven’t been great coming off of losses, going 6-7 straight up and the same record against the spread.
This is the toughest stretch of games for the Bears and I just don’t see how the offense is going to keep up. I keep trying to see an angle for the Bears to win or at least cover and maybe I’ll be there by the time Jeff and I are making our picks on the Sunday Livestream with Steven, but right now? I’m laying the four and the under. The weather is going to take care of the under for me.
In the survivor pool I’m taking the Bucs. I want to have the Chiefs later in the year and while I’ve been harping on picking against the Jets, but I’m taking a break to pick against the other New York team that is terrible. Maybe this will make the Monday Night game worth watching? One can hope...
Pick: Saints -4, under 43.5, Buccaneers (survivor)
JB: That was a tough beat last week with Cody Parkey missing the extra point, turning a 4 point win and cover into a 3 point win and loss so... wait, wrong column. The Bears? Yeah, that was just a bad bet. Sorry about that one. By the time I wrote my piece in this column last week, I had convinced myself that the Rams weren’t legit because they’d only knocked off the NFC East.
The Saints were the prohibitive favorites to represent to NFC this year and while that looks a little overzealous, they’re still a good team capable making a deep run.
I want to take the Bears here because I’d love to crown them NFC South champions as they currently sit at 3-0 against that division. I’d love to believe that the offensive line issues won’t be as big of an issue since Aaron Donald won’t be on the field and I’d love to believe that Foles will have enough time to take deep shots against a not good defense.
But I’m worried. I’m worried about Allen Robinson not being on the field. I’m worried about what happened in last year’s matchup between these two - a game I had to shut off in the third quarter and the game that shattered any hopes I had for Mitchell Trubisky and the 2019 season. I’m carrying around a lot of baggage with this one.
So, my betting advice is probably just stay away from this one. We have to make picks, so I’ll say Saints -4 and I’ll take the under. The Bears defense can still dominate and I doubt that the Saints will have much in the way of weapons to challenge the defense outside of Alvin Kamara.
As for Survivor League, I’m taking the easiest of easy squares this week and taking the Chiefs. They play the Jets at home and have a 19.5 point spread. Don’t overthink it, take the obvious shot if you’ve still got it.
Picks: Saints -4, Under 43.5, Chiefs (Survivor)