Bears-Colts Free Sunday Play

On October 7, 2016, in Free Picks, NFL, by Stephen

Bears plus 4 1/2 at Colts

We have two 1-3 struggling teams here. So usually the school of thought is take the points especially when the line is higher than the key number of four.

But there is a lot more to that simple premise in this matchup as to why the Bears should cover this number – if not upset the Colts straight-up.

The Colts’ major edges are Andrew Luck and home-field. It’s a circle-the-wagons game for the Colts, too, because their next two contests are on the road. The Bears’ defense has multiple injuries with four of their better defenders out. So now the Bears rank among the bottom in terms of defensive talent.

That’s the major negatives for the Bears. However, there are just as many negatives for the Colts plus their are key situational elements working against them.

Indy is not playing well. Morale is teetering with players calling out the general manager. The team just cut two defensive starters a month into the season perhaps displaying panic. Luck, once again, isn’t getting adequate protection. He’s on pace to be sacked 60 times – if he lasts the season. The Colts have failed to adequately protect their franchise quarterback. They started three rookies on the offensive line in last week’s loss to Jacksonville. The Colts also lack a reliable possession wide receiver to pair with T.Y. Hilton with Donte Montcrief out.

Speaking of that Jacksonville defeat: It occurred in London. The Colts didn’t get a bye this week. So jet lag becomes a factor. Most people have to deal with it when flying back from being overseas. I know I have and it usually takes me at least a week before I fully regain my senses. This also is a division sandwich spot for the Colts as they just got through with the Jaguars and have the Texans on deck followed by the Titans.

It’s a necessary two-way street when backing a ‘dog. You want to fade the favorite, but also believe in the ‘dog. The Bears are well-coached defensively and their offense and team chemistry is better with Brian Hoyer at quarterback rather than Mr. Poor Body Language Jay Cutler. The statistics prove this: Hoyer has a 103 passer rating in two starts compared to Cutler’s 75.7. Luck’s quarterback rating, by comparison, is 91.1.

This isn’t to say Hoyer can compare to Luck because he doesn’t. But Hoyer is a savvy veteran, who can be effective with weapons. He has them with Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal, red zone monster Zach Miller and Jordan Howard, who is providing the Bears with their best running of the season.

Chicago’s confidence is up after a much-needed victory against the Lions last Sunday. The Bears’ defense held the Lions without a touchdown. Matthew Stafford had thrown multiple touchdown passes in eight of his last nine games prior to that game against the Bears. The Lions, by the way, beat the Colts in Indianapolis, 39-35, opening week.

The Bears should be able to get their points against a vulnerable Colts defense that is depth-shy in the secondary and weak at linebacker. One of the reasons why the Colts are below par at linebacker is because they didn’t resign Jerrell Freeman, one of their better defenders. Freeman is now a key for the Bears defense and familiar with the Colts where he played for the previous four seasons.

Chicago also is experienced playing in a dome setting having met the Lions every year at Ford Field.


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