Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis Rams Preview and Pick ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
|Chicago Bears (10-2) -6 1/2, o/u 41 1/2 at St. Louis Rams (5-7), 8:30 p.m. Eastern Monday, ESPN
by Ultimatecapper.com Staff
The Chicago Bears, in search of home-field advantage in the playoffs, travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams on ESPNs Monday Night Football tonight.
Chicago, at 10-2, has already clinched the NFC North Division title, and leads the New Orleans Saints by a game and a half in the race for the best record in the conference.
St. Louis, at 5-7, sits in second place in the NFC West, 2 ½ games back of the division-leading Seattle Seahawks. But the Rams still have playoff hopes, sitting just a game and a half back of the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles for last two NFC playoff slots.
The Bears started this season by winning their first seven games, but have gone just 3-2 since then. Chicago beat the Minnesota Vikings last week 23-13 as 10-point favorites at Soldier Field, but that score is more than misleading. The Bears gave up 192 rushing yards, and the Chicago offense was held to just 107 total yards. But Chicago scored 16 points on an INT return for a TD, a punt return score and a safety.
St. Louis, in its first season under new head coach Scott Linehan, won four of its first five games this year. But the Rams have lost six of seven since then, including a 34-20 decision at home to the Arizona Cardinals last week.
Da Bears are 8-4 against the spread this season, 5-1 straight up and 3-3 ATS on the road.
St. Louis is 6-6 ATS this season, and 3-3 both SU and vs. the number at home.
After Sundays betting action, NFL home underdogs are a profitable 39-24 (62%) against the spread on the season.
Chicago’s struggling QB Rex Grossman, whos only made 19 career NFL starts, owns an 18/17 TD/INT ratio this season and a 72.0 passing rating.
St. Louis QB Marc Bulger owns a 16/7 TD/INT ratio and a 90.2 passers rating.
The Bears are outrushing opponents this season by a 113-106 yards-per-game average, while the Rams are getting outrushed by a 153-99 YPG margin. And St. Louis is just 1-3 and averaging only 15.5 points per game since OT Orlando Pace went down and out for the season with leg injuries.
These two teams have played five common opponents this season. Chicago beat Green Bay in the season opener 26-0 at Lambeau Field, while St. Louis also beat the Packers in Wisconsin 23-20. The Bears pounded Detroit 34-7, and the Rams beat the Lions 41-34. Chicago defeated a Shawn Alexander-less Seattle 37-6, but the Seahawks have beaten the Rams twice, by scores of 30-28 and 24-22. The Bears needed a minor miracle to come back and win at Arizona 24-23, while St. Louis split its two games with the Cardinals, winning 16-14 and losing last week 34-20. And while Chicago beat the **** out of San Francisco 41-10, the Rams split their two games with the 49ers, winning 20-17 and losing 20-13.
These two teams havent met in the regular season since St. Louis beat the Bears 23-21 in November of 2003.
Chicago ranks 8th in the NFL with a 30:43 average time-of-possession, while the Rams rank 9th at 30:41.
The Bears have a real weapon in KR Devin Hester, who leads the league in punt returns at more than 14 yards per return has three return TDs.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com ranks Chicago #1 at 32.7, St. Louis 28th at 11.4.
The O/U is 8-3-1 in Bears games this season, 5-6-1 in Rams games.
Chicago opened up as six-point road chalk, with a total of 42 ½. The Bears have been bet up just a bit, to 6 ½ at many sportsbooks , while the total has dropped a point or so.
The Ultimatecapper Pick: We absolutely hate laying points on the road and even more-so on Monday Night Football! We’re gonna do the dirty though and recommend laying all the way up to 7 on the Bears tonight.