The Bears clinched the NFC North last week with a 24-17 victory over Green Bay. The win was especially satisfying for Chicago as it completed a “worst-to-first” story from last season’s 5-11 campaign while eliminating their arch rivals from the playoff race.
Since losing back-to-back games to the Dolphins and Patriots, the Bears have won seven of eight.
NFL betting fans should not expect to see a victory lap over the last two games of the regular season now that Chicago is in the playoff picture for the first time since 2010. At 10-4, there is still a shot at a first-round bye if the Bears can run the table over San Francisco and Minnesota.
San Francisco will not be a pushover as their 26-23 overtime win over Seattle last week proved. Although the 49ers have only a 4-10 record, the win last week over the Seahawks provided a punch to Seattle’s playoff hopes. The 49ers have won their last two games and are a much better team at Levi’s Stadium (4-3).
After a shaky return to action from a two-game layoff the week before against the Rams, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky bounced back nicely in last week’s Green Bay victory. He completed 20 of 28 passes for 235 yards with two touchdowns, no turnovers and a 120.4 passer rating.
That was the highest by a Bears quarterback against the Packers since Cade McNown posted a 123.5 on Oct. 1, 2000.
The Bears will need Trubisky guiding the offense more along those lines the rest of the way in order to make a deep playoff run.
Running back Jordan Howard and all-purpose back Tarik Cohen were instrumental last week in establishing the ground game, which allowed Trubisky to spread the ball around through the air to favorite targets Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton.
While the Chicago offense was better against Green Bay than in recent weeks, the defense was again outstanding. Collectively Chicago’s defense has allowed opponents to rush for an average of 84 yards and pass for 249 yards per game.
Last week the pressure led by Khalil Mack kept Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers to a passing rating of just 68.9 last Sunday afternoon.
That means San Francisco QB Nick Mullens will need protection against one of the best defenses in the league to have a chance in this one and replicate what he helped the offense to last week against Seattle. Mullens completed 20-of-29 passes for 275 yards and one touchdown.
Since taking over the starting QB duties, Mullens has guided San Francisco to a 3-3 record.
Do not underestimate the intangible of the Bears having much to play for in this content and must guard against a letdown after the big Green Bay victory. Chicago also has enough on both sides of the ball to win this game outright and cover.
Bet Chicago -4 with Karamba.
As a team, Chicago is averaging 345.9 yards of total offense and 27.4 points per game this season; through the first 14 games of the season, the defense sits third in the league with 310.9 yards of total offense against per game and 18.9 points against per game.
San Francisco is averaging 364.2 yards of total offense and 21.5 points per game this season. Mullens has thrown for 1,754 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions on 64.5 percent passing. Breida leads the ground game with 794 rushing yards and three touchdowns this season.
Not exactly eye-popping numbers for an offense that will now be tested by a defense as stout as Chicago’s.
Chicago has a real chance to keep San Francisco out of the end zone with just field goals only or even pitch a shutout. Bet the under with 888Sport.
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