Free NFL Game Preview & ATS Pick: Rams vs Bears

Sunday’s NFL action comes to an end with a game between two teams in need of a win to boost their hopes of returning to the playoffs as the Los Angeles Rams play host to the Chicago Bears. Kickoff is set for 8:20 EST on Sunday, November 17 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The game will be broadcast for a national audience on NBC.

Current betting odds list the Rams as 6.5-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is set at 40.5 points. Click here to check out all of the Week 11 NFL betting odds.

Rams vs Bears Betting Preview & Vegas Game Odds

The Bears may have saved their season last week with a 20-13 home win over the Lions. That win snapped a four-game losing streak for Chicago that has derailed their season. Of course, the Bears benefited in that game from Matthew Stafford being a late scratch for the Lions. Nevertheless, a win is a win, and it was a win Chicago desperately needed.

That being said, the Bears are barely hanging on in the playoff hunt at 4-5. Winning the NFC North seems virtually impossible right now, so the Bears have to find a way back into the Wild Card race. Chicago will play the Giants and Lions to close out November, giving them hope of a turnaround before a brutal December schedule. However, building off last week’s win and beating the Rams is critical to their playoff hopes.

The Rams, meanwhile, continue to endure an up and down season. L.A. survived a three-game losing streak earlier this season with a pair of convincing wins over the Falcons and Bengals. However, they couldn’t keep it going last week, losing to the Steelers 17-12 in an ugly game in which the Rams failed to score an offensive touchdown.

As it stands, the Rams are just 5-4 and three games out of first place in the NFC West. If they’re going to make the playoffs and have a chance to defend their NFC crown, the Rams will likely have to do it as a Wild Card team. Unfortunately, Los Angeles is in a three-way tie with the Eagles and Panthers in the Wild Card race, and all three teams are still a game and a half out of the last playoff spot. In other words, the Rams need to start stringing wins together if they want to stay in the playoff race.

Free NFL Betting Prediction: Under 40.5

For what it’s worth, I think the Rams will win this game. But I don’t like Los Angeles enough to cover 6.5 points, nor do I trust the Bears enough to avoid a lopsided loss on the road. Both of these teams are a mess offensively right now while both continue to play good defense. Thus, the only logical decision is to take the under in this game.

By his standards, Mitchell Trubisky had a good game last week, throwing three touchdowns to bring his total to eight on the season. However, the Bears were still out-gained by a team with a backup quarterback. Trubisky continues to be unreliable from week to week while the Chicago rushing attack remains underwhelming. In addition to not being able to run the ball, the Chicago offensive line also yielded five sacks last week to a Detroit defense that had just 14 sacks heading into the game.

Those problems aren’t likely to get better this week against a Los Angeles defense that’s almost becoming a strength. The Rams have had some rough moments defensively, but they’ve allowed 20 points or less in six of nine games, including their last four games. More importantly, the Rams have the kind of pass rush with Aaron Donald, Dante Fowler, and others that can cause a lot of problems for Trubisky, especially if the Bears continue to struggle running the ball.

On the other side of the ball, the L.A. offense is a mere shadow of what they were last season. As mentioned, they didn’t score an offensive touchdown in Pittsburgh last week, in part because Jared Goff turned it over three times. Goff was fine in previous weeks against the Bengals and Falcons. But he’s had a hard time against qualify defensive teams. On the season, he’s barely completing 60% of his passes and has just 11 touchdown passes to nine interceptions.

To make matters worse, the Rams have lost center Brian Allen to a season-ending injury. Los Angeles is also without Brandin Cooks and has a roster full of tight ends who are battling injuries. This week, the Rams will face a Chicago defense that is one of the best in the NFL at stopping the run. That means the Rams can’t rely on Todd Gurley and the running game giving Goff much help. Keep in mind that the Bears are giving up just 17 points per game and were one of the few teams to stifle the Los Angeles offense last season.

More than anything, I’m confident that this game will be dominated by the two defenses. It would take a drastic turnaround from both teams to get their offense clicking. To be honest, I’d be surprised to see one of these teams crack 20 points in this game, much less have both teams do it. That makes me feel good about taking the under at 40.5 points.

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