ATLANTA (-3.5) 26 Chicago 23
Matt Ryan is a very good quarterback and the Falcons have a good offense (5.8 yards per play against teams that would allow 5.1 yppl to an average team), but Atlanta is 0.5 yppl worse than average defensively (5.5 yppl allowed to teams that would average just 5.0 yppl against an average defensive team).
Chicago is 0.1 yppl worse than average offensively (5.3 yppl against teams that would allow 5.4 yppl), but the Bears have an edge when they have the ball in this game. Chicago's defense has been as good in their last 3 games without two starting linebackers, including star Brian Urlacher, but they've still been 0.3 yppl better than average defensively with their current lineup (5.0 yppl allowed to teams that would average 5.3 yppl against an average team).
These teams are evenly matched from the line of scrimmage and Jay Cutler's higher rate of interceptions thrown is more than made up for with his team's edge in special teams.
My math model favors Atlanta by just 1 point, but my ratings favor Atlanta by 3 1/2 points. I'll call for a 3 point Falcons' victory and lean with Chicago at +3 1/2 or more.
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