Chicago Bears (4-5, 3-6 ATS) vs Los Angeles Rams (5-4, 6-3 ATS)
Sunday Night Football kicks off at 8:20 p.m. ET from Los Angeles Memorial Stadium. The Rams opened as 7-½ point favorites, but early action cut that number to 6. The total opened at 41 before quickly dropping to 40.
The Rams and Bears are one and two games, respectively, out of the playoffs. This is an elimination game in the sense that whichever team loses will face an almost impossible path to make the playoffs.
Rams offense changing course
Los Angeles, a top team over the last couple of NFL seasons, have stagnated. The offense is lacking an identity. The offensive line looked bad in a 17-12 loss to the Steelers last week and will be absent starters Brian Allen for the next two weeks and Rob Havenstein for the rest of the year.
QB Jared Goff has continually been given chances to make the big plays and he hasn’t made them. It is a mystery why HC Sean McVay hasn’t committed to the run yet, but you can expect that to change. Goff has had his chances. Now the offense will shift to a steady diet of Todd Gurley.
Bears looking for two in a row
Chicago enters this game fresh off a 20-13 win in which they failed to cover against a Lions team that was without starting QB Matt Stafford. That victory snapped a four-game skid in which they averaged 19 ppg. They could be improving.
QB Mitchell Trubisky looked good in the triumph, going 16/23 for 173 yds and 3 TDs. He faces a defense this week that ranks 8th in the NFL in sacks which will be a huge challenge for the young Bears signal caller. Finding a way to score early and rely on ninth ranked defense to hold the lead could be their best chance to defeat the Rams.
Rams defense a bright spot
It isn’t all doom and gloom. For as bad as the Rams were on offense against the Steelers, they were equally spectacular on defense.
In fact, the defense put all except three points on the board by virtue of a touchdown and safety last week. This was a rare situation where a defense plays as well as they did and loses. They put up the kind of effort that will win nine out of 10 football games.
It doesn’t seem likely that they will give up many points to a team like the Bears. That’s especially true given the knowledge that they have to bail out their offense. The Rams defense will be looking to make the same kind of plays they made last week.
Low scoring game?
It looks like the Rams offensive line is totally over matched by the Bears defensive line. Combine that with the fact that the Rams are playing such good defense and face what is a middling at best Bears offense and what do you get?
The perfect recipe for a game with very few points and lots of punting. If you’re looking for an angle from which to play this game, then the under might be the right place to look.
Our Pick – Bears +6.5