NFL Week 5 Picks: Chicago Bears vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jay Cutler is one of the more important players to handicap when making your pro football picks on a weekly basis, especially with the Chicago Bears traveling to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars inside EverBank Field on Sunday afternoon.
With his team favored, Cutler came into the 2012 season with a dreadful 15-25-2 record against the spread (ATS). That likely won't improve due to his failure to cover his two opportunities when laying six or more points on the road in this career.
Let's take a closer look at this nonconference matchup from a betting perspective, while also providing an ATS pick along the way.
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The Chicago Bears scored an impressive 34-18 victory over the Dallas Cowboys as three-point road underdogs on ESPN's Monday Night Football last week, which places the team in a bad situational spot.
In their last six games following an appearance in that prime-time event, the Bears have failed to cover the spread five times in five losses.
Since Jay Cutler arrived in the Windy City, the franchise has averaged just 15.7 points per game in seven road games versus AFC opponents.
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The Jacksonville Jaguars have alternated wins and losses over their last three games.
They come off a 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals as one-point home favorites. It's important to note that the squad has been out-gained by a triple-digit margin in terms of total yards in each of this year's contests.
Running back Maurice Jones-Drew needs to have a monster game on the ground, while also taking care of the football. The Chicago Bears thrive on creating turnovers.
It's going to be a difficult test, considering that Sunday's visitor ranks third in the NFL against the run, allowing an average of just 67.3 yards per game.
Las Vegas Perspective
I reached out to Jimmy Vaccaro earlier this week about this high-profile affair. He serves as the public relations director for William Hill US. Here's what he had to say:
Chicago is coming off of the biggest win it's had in the last two years. Coming off of the short week, I think they stumble. I'm going to predict that the Bears lose this one by three.
I'm not going to predict an ATS loss by the Chicago Bears in this spot. They do have their bye week to look forward to, but before that they will be tested in the Sunshine State.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will do just enough to stay within the point spread, especially with Sunday's visitor going 1-6 ATS when playing consecutive road games coming off a win.
NFL Week 5 Prediction: Chicago Bears 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 21