San Francisco 49ers vs. Chicago Bears
Date and Time: Sunday, December 4, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
Week 13 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Bears -1, 43.5
49ers vs. Bears TV Coverage: FOX
It’s hard to believe, but the Niners just might have been better off with the coaching staff in place last year than they are now with Chip Kelly at the helm. This year started off the same with San Francisco winning its season and home opener. Last year it was against the Vikings. This year it was against the Rams. Last year’s team got back into the win column in Week 5. This year’s team has dropped ten straight.
The squad has however been a bit more competitive since returning from its Week 8 bye. Since getting blown out at home by New Orleans, the Niners played to within three points at Arizona, didn’t get embarrassed by New England, and then gave Miami all it could handle last week in a 31-24 defeat. They’re 2-2 ATS over that stretch with Colin Kaepernick leading the offense to an average of 21 points per game; nearly a field goal more than the unit’s seasonal average.
Thank goodness for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Blackhawks and even the Chicago Bulls. All three teams’ cumulative success has kept the Bears 2016-17 season under wraps. Even with Jay Cutler at the helm of the offense, nobody was excited about this team. With that the case, how do you think Bears fans feel about Matt Barkley under center?
His first career start last week had its ups and downs. He showed he had a rubber arm by letting it fly 54 times and completing 28 of them for 316 passing yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, his two early interceptions forced Chicago to play from behind. His stat line would have been even better had his receiving corps not dropped an insane 10 passes. San Francisco owns the league’s worst total and scoring defense, so he should be in line for another decent outing.
Player to Watch
Jordan Howard – In a season that’s had more or less nothing to get excited about, Chicago’s rookie running back has cemented himself as the Bears primary option out of the backfield. He’s proven to be a dual threat in rushing for 766 total yards and averaging 5.1 yards per carry, while also hauling in 22 receptions for 242 yards.
The 49ers run defense is nonexistent. It ranks dead last in the league conceding an average of 171.8 yards per game, and has allowed all opposing ball carriers to average 5.1 yards per carry. The scenario sets up extremely well for Howard to hit the century mark after failing to do so each of the last two weeks, and likely score a touchdown or two.
49ers vs. Bears Free Picks
It’s going to be rainy and windy at Soldier Field making it tough for both quarterbacks to routinely do much of anything through the air. That won’t be the case for the running backs, so the matchup between Carlos Hyde and Howard should be a fun one to watch. Neither defense has done a good job limiting opposing ground attacks all season, so there’s a high probability some big gainers are ripped off. Chicago will also have to be cautious of Kaepernick tucking it and running since he’s done some major damage with his legs since taking over under center.
The over has cashed against the closing odds at Bookmaker.eu in five of San Francisco’s last six road games, and it’s 4-1 the last five times these NFC rivals locked horns. Look for a sloppy game to play out and for the Niners to squeak out a higher scoring win in this battle of the ugly.
49ers vs. Bears ATS Pick: 49ers +1 at BookMaker.eu
49ers vs. Bears Score Prediction: 49ers 24 – Bears 23