Chicago Bears vs. Washington Redskins Picks & Odds: December 6th, 2007
The Washington Redskins (5-7 SU, 3-7-2 ATS) will be playing with a heavy heart on Thursday when they host the Chicago Bears (5-7 SU, 4-8 ATS), a team which also has feint playoff hopes, in a game at FedEx Field in Maryland (grass) that will start at 8:15 PM EST and is televised on the NFL Network. The Redskins are listed at -3 odds, with the total posted at 37 points.
Here are some NFL football betting stats and trends relative to this matchup:
* WASH is 1-6-2 ATS in its last nine home games
* WASH is 1-6-1 ATS in its last eight games overall
* WASH has lost five of its last six games SU
* WASH has covered four of its last 17 games overall
* WASH has won three of its last nine home games SU
* WASH has played five of its last seven games OVER the total
* WASH has played seven of its last 10 home games UNDER the total
* CHI has covered five of its last 18 games
* CHI has won 10 of its last 14 road games SU
* WASH has covered six of the last eight meetings
* WASH has won eight of the last ten meetings SU
* Six of the last nine meetings have gone UNDER the total
When tragedy strikes a football team, whether it is a very serious injury, or, in the case of the Redskins, the death of one of their players (Sean Taylor), it is an extremely difficult thing to handicap. A team could be feeling so depressed that it does not have its collective mind on the upcoming performance. Or it can reach new levels of inspiration, playing for the memory of the fallen one. That is why I do not think it is prudent to either summarily dismiss or jump on the ‘Skins solely on the basis of an emotional state.
Where something like that DOES matter, however, is if there is a time factor involved. NFL teams operate according to a routine; in fact, when you see coaches being interviewed, the one thing they will emphasize is that they are creatures of habit and regimen, particularly during the season. In this instance, the Sean Taylor tragedy throws off that schedule, as it concerns a Thursday game. The funeral for Taylor was held on Monday in Miami, so the Redskins had to travel, as a team, and then travel back. They lost a full day of preparation in that process, so there is really only one day to formulate and implement the game plan. And yes – these are human beings, so there are some things that are more important than a football game.
Chicago coach Lovie Smith came up with the motivational gimmick than his team was in its own playoff, because one loss and they’d be done. But he may have to do a “double-elimination” talk, because try as they might, the Bears are not completely out of things. At 5-7, they are among a group of teams just a game out of the final playoff spot. And even though the Bears ran out of gas late in last week’s game against the Giants, it is clear that they have been playing with some intensity. Adrian Peterson (no, not that one – the other one) has presented the team with more of a receiving outlet out of the backfield, and Rex Grossman makes mistakes but appears to be playing with more confidence since returning to the lineup. With each passing week, the staff is trying to come up with different ways to get the ball in the hands of Devin Hester. And the defense will be standing across from a QB (Jason Campbell) who could very well be working with a limited playbook this week.
This has been a tough week for Washington. Their Pro Bowl safety is killed, they endure a last-second loss to Buffalo, and then they experience an incredibly emotional funeral. That is draining – enough for us to offer a recommendation for the other side, which is getting points here. Considering the Redskins’ poor home performances, and their lack of pointspread prowess overall, on top of an offense that is even more anemic than the not-Monsters of the Midway, we’ll grab the points with Chicago, the three-point underdog in the BetUS NFL betting odds.
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