Chargers Bears Spread
The Chicago Bears are set to host the San Diego Chargers Sunday in Week 11. Chicago is on a roll right now, while San Diego is reeling and in desperate need of a victory. This is only the fifth meeting between these teams since 1993. Chicago won the first four, but San Diego was victorious 14-3 at home in their most recent meeting in 2007. Philip Rivers only threw for 190 yards with an interception, but the Chargers’ defense limited the Bears to just 202 total yards en route to victory.
Taking a look at the odds in Las Vegas, I find a line of Chicago -3.5 over San Diego and a total set of 45 points.
The Bears have reeled off four straight wins thanks to a defense that is coming up with turnovers and crucial stops in big situations. Chicago (6-3, 4-1 home) currently holds ownership to the NFC’s final wild-card spot due to their recent surge. They have forced 12 turnovers while limiting opponents to an average of 14.0 points during their winning streak. The Bears are coming off a 37-13 home win over the Detroit Lions last Sunday.
Chicago forced six turnovers, which is the most takeaways they’ve had in a single game since 1995. Charles Tillman and Major Wright each returned interceptions for touchdowns, and Devin Hester chipped in an 83-yard punt return for a score on special teams. Because of these big plays, the Bears won in blowout fashion despite getting outgained 393-216 by Detroit. Jay Cutler went just 9 of 19 passing for 123 yards, and Matt Forte rushed 18 times for 64 yards and a score.
The Bears rank 17th in the league in total offense (327.8 yards/game) and 23rd in total defense (376.4 yards/game). They are 29th against the pass (269.7 yards/game), and unless they can create more turnovers, their secondary could be in trouble against one of the best passing attacks in the NFL this weekend. Cutler is completing 58.0 percent of his passes for 2,033 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. Forte has rushed for 869 yards and three touchdowns, and he has 42 receptions for 439 yards and a score as well. Forte leads the NFC in yards from scrimmage (145.3/game).
While the Bears have won four straight, the Chargers have dropped four in a row. San Diego (4-5, 1-3 away) still finds themselves just one game out of first place in the AFC West division. They continue to beat themselves by committing 11 turnovers during this skid. Now, they are battling injuries that could really hamper their chances to turn things around. The Chargers were already without guard Kris Dielman (concussion) for the season, and both tackle Marcus McNeill (neck) and guard Louis Vasquez (ankle) went down in a 24-17 home loss to Oakland last Thursday.
McNeil and Vasquez are each listed as questionable heading into this big showdown with Chicago. San Diego allowed a season-high six sacks against the Raiders, and their defense was gashed for 489 total yards. Philip Rivers threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns, but he was intercepted once, and he also lost a fumble. Rivers has turned the ball over an NFL-most 19 times this season, 15 via the interception. The Chargers will be hoping to avoid their first five-game skid since 2003, when they opened 0-5. With three extra days to prepare for the Bears, this team should come to play Sunday.
San Diego ranks 7th in the league in total offense (396.7 yards/game), including 4th in passing offense (288.7 yards/game). They also rank 10th in total defense (331.3 yards/game). Just looking at numbers alone, this is one of the better teams in the league, but they continue shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers. Rivers is completing 61.4 percent of his passes for 2,743 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Chargers need to get their ground game going behind Ryan Matthews (543 yards, three TD) and Mike Tolbert (282 yards, four TD) to take some of the pressure off of Rivers.
The Chargers are 22-8-3 ATS in their last 33 games as an underdog, but they are just 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
The Bears are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite, and 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 November games.