The New Orleans Saints have managed to grind their way to four straight wins without star quarterback Drew Brees. Now they will look to extend that run and improve to 6-1 on the season in one of their toughest tests so far as they visit the Chicago Bears. Despite ranking just 25th in both yards per game and points per game without Brees, the Saints have found a way to win games thanks in large part to the elevated play of their defense. Can the Saints extend their magical run in Chicago this weekend?
- Opening Line: Chicago -3
- Current Line: Chicago -3
- Over/Under: 38.5
- Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
- Start Time: 4:25 PM ET
- Last Meeting: Saints 31, Bears 25 (12/15/14)
New Orleans has dominated in the month of October in recent years. Over their past 20 October games, the Saints are 19-1 both straight up and against the spread. While he hasn’t put up outstanding numbers, Teddy Bridgewater has been serviceable as New Orleans has averaged 17.0 points per game without Brees. Bridgewater will likely need to guide them to 17 points or better this week in order to pick up another win. It definitely helps that Cam Jordan and the defensive stars have really stepped up with Brees out. After holding the Jacksonville Jaguars to six points in last week’s win, the Saints have now held their last three opponents to an average of only 13.3 points per game.
Meanwhile, the Bears will need to figure out how to put up points on this New Orleans defense. Chicago’s offense hasn’t been able to generate enough explosive vertical plays and it has really taken its toll throughout a 3-2 start. After getting beaten up by the Oakland Raiders overseas in London, head coach Matt Nagy and the offensive staff spent the bye week scheming more big plays. They’ve had the fourth-fewest (11) passing plays of 20 yards or longer and only time will tell whether or not they will be able to execute those against this New Orleans defense. It’s hard to say whether Mitchell Trubisky will help – if he’s able to return – or if the Bears’ offense will continue to be about the same.
On defense, the Bears rank third in the NFL with an average of 13.8 points per game allowed this season. Their job will be easier if Saints running back Alvin Kamara is out on Sunday. He’s been sidelined throughout the week, and it looks like that will be the case.
- Saints are 19-1 SU & ATS in last 20 October games
- New Orleans is 5-1 SU in last 6 games
- Under is 5-1 in Saints last 6 road games
- Under is 8-2 in Chicago’s last 8 games
- Bears are 18-6-1 ATS in last 25 home games
Chicago’s emphasis on big plays might lead to improvements in the long run, but it likely won’t translate against a Saints defense that has been great at limiting them this week. The Bears will need to play mistake-free football on offense and tough defense at home in order to hand Bridgewater his first loss of the season. The good news for Chicago is that they have the horses on defense to get after Bridgewater and limit a New Orleans offense that has struggled in recent weeks. Coming off a bye week with Kamara likely out, the best bet in this game is the under.
Check out our other NFL Sports Betting Guides for Week 7
Oakland Raiders vs. Green Bay Packers (-4.5)
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts (-1)
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals (+4)
Arizona Cardinals vs. New York Giants (-3)
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions (+2)
Los Angeles Rams vs. Atlanta Falcons (+3)
San Francisco 49ers vs. Washington Redskins (+9.5)
Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills (-16.5)
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Tennessee Titans (-2.5)
Baltimore Ravens vs. Seattle Seahawks (-3)
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys (-2.5)
New England Patriots vs. New York Jets (+9.5)