The Chicago Bears (3-2) are hoping to catch the New England Patriots (4-2) in a letdown spot and continue their own early success at home on Sunday when they host them as small underdogs at sportsbooks.
The Patriots handed the Kansas City Chiefs their first loss on Sunday night, while the Bears suffered their second defeat in three road games last week versus another AFC East team in the Miami Dolphins.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 29.0-19.4 Bears (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Patriots can cover the spread
When New England is motivated to beat an opponent, the duo of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady makes sure it happens much more often than not. That was again the case last Sunday night in a wild 43-40 victory against the Chiefs, as Brady rebounded from a weak start to throw for 340 yards with one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown in the shootout.
Belichick's defense came up big early and faltered late, nearly giving away the victory. Do not expect that to happen again here.
Why the Bears can cover the spread
Coming off its bye week, Chicago blew an excellent opportunity to pick up its fourth straight win and stay further ahead of both the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North. Instead, the Bears faded late and surrendered a 21-10 lead in a 31-28 overtime loss to the Dolphins.
The good news is that they have played way better at home this season, with a perfect 2-0 mark straight up and against the spread at Soldier Field, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. That includes a 48-10 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the game right before their bye, as second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw for a career-high 354 yards and six touchdowns.
Smart betting pick
The big difference between the Patriots and most other teams is that they do not suffer letdowns, especially following a huge win. Belichick simply does not allow it, so bettors will not see a lack of effort at Chicago.
In addition, New England has not dropped three straight games to NFC opponents since 2012, and that included the team's second Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. The Patriots have also won the past four meetings with the Bears by an average of 16 points and will win and cover again.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone over in four of the Patriots' last five games vs. the Bears.
The Patriots are 31-13 ATS in their last 44 games.
The Patriots are 8-0 SU in their last eight games in the early afternoon.
All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.