NFL Week 7 Picks: Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Rams Predictions
- Bears games average 40.7 combined points, fewest in the NFL.
Chicago is one the league’s most confounding teams, and the spread in this game shows. The Bears aren’t as good as their 5-1 record, and they find themselves 5.5-point underdogs on the road Monday night.
What the Bears do have going for them is a strong defense anchored by edge defender Khalil Mack. Unfortunately, Mack has a back injury that has him designated as questionable. Mack missed practice Friday in what was deemed a preventative measure, and he did get in a limited session Saturday. It sounds like Mack will play, but if he is at all limited, the Bears are a less imposing defense.
The Rams have also played good defense so far in 2020, and their unit is also anchored by a superstar defensive lineman in Aaron Donald. The Rams are a little more susceptible to the run than the pass, but they shouldn’t get too much trouble from a Bears rushing attack that managed just 63 rushing yards last week against a Panthers defense that had given up at least 117 in each of their previous five games in 2020.
Offensively, we know the Rams have a little bit more to offer, but this isn’t the same high-powered offense from Sean McVay’s early days in Los Angeles. Now more of a ball control team, the Rams average more than 30 runs per game, and are at a near 50/50 run/pass split, which is a significant run lean relative to league averages. Despite an immobile quarterback who doesn’t rack up scrambles, Los Angeles has recorded the second-most rush attempts this season against the 19th-most passes.
This has helped four of the Rams’ six games total 40 combined points or fewer. The Bears have had four such games of their own, and coming into Week 7 both teams have played three-straight games with 40 or fewer total points. The 45 game total is low for 2020, but neither of these teams have played a game within five points of that number since September.
There are a couple of reasons to be wary of the under. The Rams traditionally play better at home, but have started this season with four road games against just two in Los Angeles. The Bears have also played better offense when trailing and hurrying things up, and I expect them to trail in this one. We even saw them try to employ some hurry-up tendencies in regular gameflow in Week 6, so they might try that early on to get some things going.
But ultimately we’re talking about two teams whose strengths are their defenses, with immobile quarterbacks that limit their offensive explosiveness. Both Jared Goff and Nick Foles can get hot and suddenly these offenses can look better than usual — the Rams can look unstoppable while the Bears can look competent — but I’m not sure this is the game to expect that. Both teams seem to like grinding out low-scoring games, so if we want excitement we’ll have to look at the phenomenal defensive lineman battle showcased Monday night.
NFL Expert Picks
Under 45 @ -110
NFL Free Picks
We're onto Week 7 of the NFL season with the Ravens, Dolphins, Colts and Vikings all on bye-weeks. We have some divisional games this week including the Bengals meeting the Browns and Washington facing a depleted Cowboys. The game of the weekend is arguably Titans vs. Steelers, with both teams being hugely impressive. Elsewhere we'll see Jon Gruden face his old team, the Buccaneers on Sunday Night football and the Rams face the Bears in primetime on Monday Night Football.
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