First-Place Bears Host Desperate Lions on MNF
Black-and-Blue Division rivals meet as the first-place Chicago Bears and last-place Detroit Lions get together at Soldier Field for this week's edition of Monday Night Football (8:30 pm ET, ESPN).
Can Chicago hang on to first place with a victory? Or can Detroit stay alive with an upset? And who's going to cover the point spread?
On the home side of this matchup the Bears opened this season with a win over Indianapolis, then lost at Green Bay. But since then Lovie's boys have won three in a row, beating the Rams at home, the Cowboys in Dallas (on a Monday night) and the Jags in J'Ville.
Chicago had last week off.
On the visitor's sidelines the Lions opened with a tough win over St. Louis, then lost a tight one out at San Francisco, then took a hard-to-stomach defeat at Tennessee, then lost at Minnesota. However, last week, as four-point dogs at Philly, the Lions rallied late to tie the game at 23, then won it on a Jason Hanson field goal in OT.
So the Bears, at 4-1, are essentially tied for first place in the NFC North with 5-2 Minnesota, with Green Bay lurking at 4-3, while the Lions are in last place at 2-3.
Which means Detroit, which broke a decade-long playoff drought last season, is already in serious trouble as far as making back-to-back post-season appearances goes.
As for the betting on this game, most football books opened the Bears at around -6 over the Lions, with a total of 47. Since then many shops have added a hook to Chicago.
So far this weekend NFL favorites are 10-2 straight-up but only 6-5-1 against-the-spread.
Playing vs. the weekly expectations on the NFL betting boards Chicago is 4-1 ATS this season, while Detroit is 1-4 ATS.
These teams split their two games last year, the Lions winning 24-13 at Ford Field, the Bears winning a month later 37-13 at Soldier Field.