Bears vs. Cardinals: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IDecember 21, 2012

The Chicago Bears vs. Arizona Cardinals game should be called the, “Protect Whom? Bowl.”

Both teams have struggled to keep their quarterbacks upright this season. That’s the greatest reason why the Cards were eliminated from playoff contention long ago and the Bears are on the outside looking in. And less than two months ago, Chicago was a Super Bowl favorite with a 7-1 record.

Here’s everything you need to know about this Week 16 matchup:

Where: University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona

When: Sunday, Dec. 23 at 4:25 p.m. ET

Watch: Fox, DIRECTV: 716, NFL Redzone or online at Game Rewind

Listen: Sirius XM Radio: 94 or online at Audio Pass 

 

Spread: Chicago -5.5, according to Odds Shark

Only one of the Bears’ eight wins this season has come by less than 5.5 points. The hard part is winning. If you believe they’ll take care of business against the Cards, they’re a safe bet to cover the spread.

 

Over/Under: 36.5, according to Odds Shark

In each of the Cardinals’ last three games, at least one of the two sides failed to score more than 10 points. Chicago hasn’t scored more than 17 points in its last three.

That combination of trends is a flashing neon sign pointing to bet under.

 

Injury Report (via ESPN: CHI/ARI, as of Thursday, December 20)

Chicago LB Brian Urlacher is out with a hamstring injury.

Chicago WR Earl Bennett is questionable with a concussion.

Chicago WR Brandon Marshall is probable with a hamstring injury.

Chicago CB Tim Jennings is questionable with a shoulder injury.

Chicago RB Michael Bush was placed on injured reserve with a rib injury.

Chicago DE Henry Melton is questionable with a chest injury.

Chicago DT Matt Toeaina was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Arizona DE Calais Campbell is probable with a calf injury.

Arizona CB Greg Toler is questionable with a hamstring injury.

Arizona LB Quentin Groves is questionable with a foot injury.

Arizona TE Rob Housler is questionable with a knee injury.

Arizona WR Early Doucet is questionable with a concussion.

 

Fantasy Big Plays

Chicago: RB Matt Forte

Forte hasn’t had a season to remember. He only has 1,215 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns, which is nothing for him.

Against Zona’s 28th-ranked run defense; though, he’ll finally kick it into high gear.

 

Arizona: Beanie Wells

Wells is the only Cardinal even worth playing. That’s how poor of a passer Ryan Lindely is—Larry Fitzgerald is unstartable.

Anyway, Wells rushed for three touchdowns last week, so he has the hot hand.

 

Keys to a Chicago Win

Jay Cutler can’t throw interceptions. Arizona’s defense is practically better at scoring than its offense. The Cardinals returned two Matt Stafford interceptions for touchdowns last week.

As long as Cutler protects the football, Chicago will roll.

 

Keys to an Arizona Win

Arizona needs the exact opposite. To win, it must create turnovers.

Another three-touchdown effort from Wells wouldn’t hurt either. Everyone knows Lindley won’t be able to carry the club to victory, so the Cardinals’ ground game needs to come up huge once again.

 

Prediction

Coming off of their 38-10 win over the Detroit Lions, the Cards will enter the contest with more momentum. But Chicago has too much to lose compared to Arizona, who lost hope weeks ago.

Chicago, 20-14

 

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.

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