Bears - Chargers MNF Preview
ESPN SADDLED WITH 4-11 TEAMS ON MNF...CAN BEARS OR CHARGERS GET SEASONS BACK ON TRACK?
ESPN sure was hoping for a lot better than the Chicago Bears visiting the San Diego Chargers on the middle Monday of the 2015 NFL season. At least those are teams that usually draw some ratings. And, Jay Cutler vs. Philip Rivers could turn into a soap opera all in itself. But, in terms of real MEANING, there's very little at stake. In fact, the loser may want to start thinking about tanking out for the 2016 draft!
Chicago is 2-5...with very little shot of surging to a Wildcard even if they spring a prime time upset. There just isn't enough talent here. And, Cutler becomes even more mistake-prone when he plays in important games. San Diego's been so ravaged by injuries that a rally doesn't seem likely from their 2-6 start. They're not going to catch Denver from behind in the AFC West...and a Wildcard run would be a minor miracle even if they can get to 3-6 with a win.
The result won't matter...but MAKING MONEY always matters when you're a sports bettor! Let's see if JIM HURLEY'S key indicator stats offer up any clues as to how to play the NFL on the most important betting night of the week in Las Vegas...
Won-Lost Records (Strength of Schedule)
Chicago: 2-5 (#6 schedule according to Sagarin)
San Diego: 2-6 (#9 schedule according to Sagarin)
Both teams have played tough schedules...which at least means they're better than their won-lost records indicate. We may be looking at two teams who'd be near the .500 mark with league average schedules and better injury luck. It has a chance to be compelling television.
Chicago: 5.1 on offense, 5.8 on defense
San Diego: 6.0 on offense, 6.3 on defense
Poor defensive numbers jump out. San Diego is always playing shootouts because the defense can't get stops and Philip Rivers can put points on the board. Chicago's offense was hit hard by Cutler's injury...and is a bit better than 5.1 would suggest. Again...teams hurt by tough schedules and injuries rather than true patsies.
San Diego: -6
When Rivers is in shootouts, he's prone to throw the ball to the wrong team. That's part of how only a -0.3 differential in yards-per-play turned into such a bad won-lost record. Chicago's actually break even...which most of you probably wouldn't have guessed. Just wait. Cutler has a way of imploding just when you think he's gotten things figure out.
Chicago: 3-4 ATS
San Diego: 3-5 ATS
Both teams have been overrated by the markets...though some of that is because the market didn't recognize the impact of injuries. When healthy...these teams would be better and would have been more accurately read by oddsmakers.
Current Line: San Diego by 4, total of 49.5
Well...honestly...not much to go on for handicappers in these numbers! San Diego has better raw numbers but is more likely to make the extra turnover. That plus home field would put you very close to what the market is showing for the team side spread. On the total...you have to determine if this is going to be another Rivers-led shootout that soars into the 50's...or if that's overshot the mark because Cutler is going to find a way to screw up a couple of Chicago drives that should have been touchdowns.
Is this a game you should just pass? It's possible. But, JIM HURLEY has a full team of handicapping experts who will look under every rock to find an edge. It only takes on linchpin factor to create value in a game like this. Find it, and the winner takes care of itself. Maybe it's going to be the Over/Under instead of a team side. Or, maybe this is a blowout waiting to happen and the market has missed the most important influence.
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Back with you midweek to continue our season-long big game previews. Here's what's ahead on the immediate agenda...
Midweek: NFL TV Preview...Buffalo at NY Jets
Friday-Saturday: College Football TV Preview... choosing between Oklahoma at Baylor and Alabama at Mississippi State
Sunday: NFL TV Preview...Arizona at Seattle
Monday: NFL TV Preview...Houston at Cincinnati
Of course the TV games are just the tip of the November iceberg. GET ALL THE COLD CARD CASH that should be coming to you with BIG JUICY WINNERS from JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK!
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