The Bears ended a two-game losing streak against the Jets last week with a convincing 24-10 over the Jets. The victory coupled with the rest of the division losing gave the Bears sole possession of first place in the NFC North with a 4-3 record.
As the team hits the halfway part of the season this week with Game 8, the stretch of four straight games against AFC East opponents comes to a close with Sunday’s trip to Buffalo. Losses to Miami and New England opened up the string and a Buffalo victory ends the run at .500.
Two things stood out for Chicago in the Jets victory. First was a return to form for the defense, which started out the year as one of the league’s best but had faltered – especially in key situations – in recent weeks.
The D gave up just 207 total yards and 12 first downs to New York, the fewest in both categories in seven games this year. Last week’s performance came without the services of Khalil Mack who was out with an ankle injury.
On the offensive side of the ball both quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the team’s running game worked well in concert to be effective.
Trubisky racked up 271 yards Sunday, completing 16 of 29 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns and rushing for 51 yards on six carries. He’s thrown 13 TD passes in a four-game span, the most by a Bears quarterback since Hall of Famer Sid Luckman in 1947.
Also Trubisky’s 296 rushing yards this season are second by an NFL quarterback to the Panthers' Cam Newton (309).
The running game with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen contributed as well against the Jets. Howard accumulated 81 yards on 22 carries.
The Bills limp into the game at 2-6 with their latest loss coming at the hands of Tom Brady and New England last Monday night. The 25-6 defeat was the latest abysmal offensive showing by Buffalo, which has mustered a mere 87 points in eight games and has now dropped three straight.
To add to the misery, quarterback Derek Anderson left the game with a concussion and was replaced by Nathan Peterman. If Peterman starts Sunday, that could be problematic for Buffalo. The interception-prone QB will be facing the team that is tied for second in picks with 11.
Mack is expected back and has been practicing with the team this week albeit still not a full strength. But Chicago suffered a major blow against the Jets when right guard Kyle Long left the game with a foot injury. The All-Pro is expected to be lost for several weeks. Also wide receiver Allen Robinson remains questionable with a groin injury.
Buffalo’s quarterback dilemma, which began when rookie Josh Allen was sidelined with an elbow injury, was compounded by the Anderson concussion. Peterman is expected to start but don’t be surprised to see recently signed back-up Matt Barkley or even wide receiver Terrelle Pryor called into service. Buffalo signed the former Ohio State quarterback this week.
Here are some things for NFL betting fans to consider in this matchup:
The Bears are a 10-point favorite with Karamba. It makes sense Chicago is considered a two-score favorite. The Bears enter Week 9 ranked 10th in offense in the NFL (third rushing and 21st passing) and seventh in defense (third against the run and 16th versus the pass.
The Bills rank 31st in offense (23rd rushing and 32nd passing) and sixth in defense (15th rushing and sixth passing).
Trubisky may not have as many ample opportunities to exploit the secondary against Buffalo as he did last week against the Jets. But Chicago’s running game and the Howard-Cohen tandem should find enough holes in the Bills’ defensive line to rack up yards and scores.
Buffalo will have an incredibly difficult time scoring given its injury-riddled offense and potential quarterback carousel. If Mack comes back to impact an already stout Chicago defense, Buffalo’s already anemic offense might have trouble simply adding to its 87 points scored season total.
Take the Bears -10 with Karamba.
888Sport has set the over/under at 37. Most of those points are going to come from Chicago.
So the question is, will the Bears light the score up like they have at times this year putting 48, 31 and 28 on the scoreboard already this year? The game is in Buffalo, but at this point in the season weather won’t play a factor.
Still points will be more at a premium in the overall total here. Bet the under at 888Sport.
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