Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears
January 6, 2019 at 4:40 PM EST (Soldier Field)
Line and Odds: Bears -235 — Over/Under: 41
Free ESPN NFL Pick Chicago Bears vs Philadelphia Eagles
The Bears and Eagles will square off in the NFL’s final wild card game on Sunday, and it’s a matchup that features two of the hottest teams in the league entering the playoffs.
The Bears will take their top ranked defense and solid offense into this game, making them the favorites against the 9-7 Eagles. Chicago boasts a balanced defensive attack that leads the league in opponent points per game and interceptions while ranking third in sacks and opposing yards per game. In addition, the Bears lead the league in passes defended and rank among the top five teams in opposing yards per carry. On offense, the Bears are a middle of the pack team based on yards per game but are quietly a top-ten team in points per game. With a somewhat unreliable Mitch Trubisky under center, the Bears tend to lean heavily on their fairly effective run game (sixth most rushing attempts per game in the league). Fortunately for Chicago, Trubisky has been much stronger at home than on the road over his career, so playing at Soldier Field on Sunday should help boost their passing attack.
Philadelphia took until Week 17 to seal their playoff spot, but the Eagles enter the Wild Card round as a legitimate threat. Since Nick Foles took hold of the quarterback position in Week 14, the Eagles have accumulated impressive victories over the playoff bound Rams and Texans along with a 24-0 beat-down over the Redskins. Philly ranks around the middle of the league in nearly every meaningful offensive and defensive metric but have two notable weaknesses that will likely play significant roles in this game: turnovers and run defense. The Eagles have struggled with turnovers on both offense and defense this season. On offense, the birds have thrown four picks in Nick Foles’ last five games and have fumbled the ball more than any team in the league besides the 49ers. On defense, Philadelphia ranks among the bottom ten teams in forcing interceptions; an important note considering that interceptions can be among the Bears’ largest offensive issues. The Eagles’ run defense is also poorly suited to face the Bears as Philadelphia has allowed 4.7 yards per carry to opposing running backs this season (eighth worst in the NFL) and allows opposing running backs in the end zone at a worse than average rate.
Cover the Spread 365 Trends
Chicago is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
Chicago is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games
Chicago is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Philadelphia is 5-9-1 ATS in its last 15 games
Philadelphia is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
Philadelphia is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
ESPN NFL SCORES Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears
The Eagles vs Rams game from Week 15 represents a close comparison for this matchup, but the differences between the two games should change the outcomes. For one, the Eagles played the Rams at home, giving them a slight advantage. More importantly though is that while the Rams feature a passing defense that in some ways rivals the Bears’, L.A.’s run defense is relatively porous. The Rams allow a league worst 5.1 yards per carry to opposing running backs and rank among the bottom ten teams in the league in opposing rushing yards per game. In fact, all 30 of the Eagles’ points in Week 15 came either from kicker Jake Elliott or on the ground — Nick Foles threw for 270 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.
The Bears defense likely won’t allow such a strong running game, and the Eagles don’t appear to have the defensive ability to stop the Chicago offense from scoring enough points to pull out the win. Take the home field favorite in what should be a tightly contested playoff game at Soldier Field.