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Betting the Bears: Bye week look around NFC North

The Bears are on a bye but there are still bets to be made!

NFL: NOV 07 Vikings at Ravens Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Betting the NFL was rough last week for a lot of bettors, with all of the upsets and underdogs coming through.

Whether it was the Browns throttling the Bengals, the Jaguars improbably suffocating the Bills or the Broncos getting a huge road win over the Cowboys, there were a lot of losses for those that like to gamble.

But that’s why they call it gambling, right? You can’t win ‘em all.

One of my two Bears picks hit last week, as I actually got the spread right for a second straight week, but the total once again was opposite my pick, going over.

Over in the Survivor league we lost three out of the pool and an additional 11 pickers all took a strike, a season-high for one week.

Most of the losses can be attributed to the Cowboys (five), including yours truly, but also the Bills (four), Raiders (two) and then one who took the Bears. The last person didn’t make a pick and was eliminated.

Over in the pick ‘ems the upsets across the league were reflected in the scores as the week’s high-scorer was my former co-author of this column, Jeff Berckes, who had 10. No one else in the league broke double-digits. MonstersoftheMIdway continues to hold on to his lead with 92.

Let’s take a week without the Bears to take a look around the division and see what else is happening out there in the gambling world.

All lines and totals come from DraftKings Sportsbooks.

Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh Steelers (-8, O/U 42.5)

The Lions are coming off of their bye week to go on the road and face the Bears’ last opponent. The Steelers are known to play down (or up) to their opponent and Detroit has had an extra week. But the public’s trust in Detroit is reflected in this eight-point line from DraftKings Sportsbook. I kind of like taking the Lions and the points here.

My pick: Lions +8, under 42.5

Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Chargers (-3, O/U 53)

The Vikings travel out to Los Angeles to take on a Chargers team that’s suddenly struggling after being an early-season darling of the league. The Chargers are losers of two of their last three and barely squeaked by a bad Eagles squad a week ago.

The Vikings are an equally tough team to read, coming in losing their last two, albeit in close games with good teams. But they’ve also OT to beat the Panthers and played very close with the Lions. No team has played more OT games than Minnesota, who’ve played three overtime contests this season.

Although it’s hard to know which Kirk Cousins you’re going to get, I think this contest will have a lot of points, with two of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL.

My pick: Vikings +3, over 53

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (-3, O/U 49)

Clearly the oddsmakers at DraftKings Sportsbook expect Aaron Rodgers to be cleared to play with the Packers being favored at home over the returning Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Granted the Seahawks aren’t a great team, but I think a Wilson-led squad against a Rodgers-less squad would have an advantage.

But Rodgers could be joining the squad with no real practice reps with the team and having outside of the team facilities for 10 days. That seems like a bit of a concern, even if it is Rodgers.

We’ve seen some wild games between Rodgers and Wilson, so hopefully this game will be entertaining and good for the visiting team. Weather looks like it could also be a factor.

My pick: Seahawks +3, under 49

Since I did take my first strike in survivor I need to tread carefully this week. I already used the Colts and the Texans are on bye, so I am going with the Steelers. I am a little worried about it, but I still want to hold out on some of the better teams until I (hopefully) really need them later.