Chicago Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys Betting Odds, Analysis, NFL Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2016

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) looks for an open man during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The winless Chicago Bears will be without starting quarterback Jay Cutler this weekend, when they travel to Texas to face the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Sunday night. Cutler is sidelined after suffering a sprained thumb in Monday's 29-14 loss to Philadelphia, which dropped the Bears to 1-6 straight up and against the spread in their past seven games.

Dallas is riding high following a 27-23 win over the rival Washington Redskins as a three-point underdog, marking Dak Prescott's first victory as an NFL starter and just the Cowboys' second SU win in their past 15 games without Tony Romo.

Point spread: The Cowboys opened as a four-point favorite and the total was 45.5 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 27.6-14.6 Cowboys (NFL picks on every game)

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Why the Bears can cover the spread

The Bears are scrambling to fill the gaping hole left by Cutler's injury as they try to buck some serious trends and make the playoffs despite their 0-2 start. Chicago also faces the spectre of losing its third straight game to a team led by a freshly minted starting quarterback.

The Bears are ranked 31st in team offense. The defense has fared better, limiting passers to an average of under 200 yards per game, but has been busy spending over 36 minutes on the field in each of its past two outings.

Chicago must also improve on its brutal 25% third down conversion rate to avoid wearing down its defense, which has allowed over 14 second-half points per game over their past five games.

Why the Cowboys can cover the spread

The Cowboys hope they have finally found a way to win without Romo. Prescott impressed, going 22 for 30 for 292 yards and piloting Dallas to a 27-24 comeback win in Washington.

But Dallas received plenty of help from Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, whose shaky play gave the Cowboys a chance to tally an important road win.

Fortunately, the Cowboys face another opponent facing serious questions under center. That should give their 17th-ranked pass defense a break, while the rush defense looks to hold an opponent to under 100 ground yards for the fourth time in six outings.

Smart pick

The Bears look to be on the edge of another lost season following the injury to Cutler, who will likely be replaced by Brian Hoyer. Chicago is 5-3 SU in its past eight road dates, and 3-1 SU and ATS in its past four against Dallas.

The Cowboys have lost eight in a row SU at home, and have been mediocre at best in the early going this season. But Dallas looks primed to end that losing streak against a Bears squad with limited offense and an overworked defense.

Look for the Cowboys to claim the SU win but fail to cover as big home chalk.

Betting trends

The visiting team is 4-1 SU and ATS in its past five games in this matchup.

The Cowboys are 2-10-2 ATS in their past 14 games at home.

The Bears are 6-2 ATS in their past eight games on the road.

All NFL betting lines and point spreads data courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and Odds Shark YouTube for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.

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