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Chicago Bears vs. Oakland Raiders: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Andrew Kulha@@AKonSportsSenior Analyst IIINovember 26, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 20: Carson Palmer #3 of the Oakland Raiders calls a play on the line of scrimmage to Marcel Reece #45 in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings on November 20, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Raiders defeated the Vikings 27-21. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears will face their biggest test of the season as they head out to the bay to play the Oakland Raiders, and they will have to do so without star quarterback Jay Cutler.

Cutler suffered a thumb injury last weekend against the San Diego Chargers and it appears that he will be out for at least a few weeks.

The news couldn't be any worse for a 7-3 Bears team that is right in the middle of the wild-card hunt.

The Raiders are also starting to think playoffs, but unlike the Bears, they are doing so from the top of their division.

At 6-4, Oakland has a slim lead over Denver in the division, and with the Broncos and Chargers squaring off this weekend, the Raiders could use a win to gain more ground.

This is a huge game with tons of playoff implications for both teams. 

Where: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, CA 

When: Sunday Nov. 27. 4:05 p.m. EST

Watch: FOX

Spread: -4

Oakland has been rather inconsistent at home this season at 2-3, but the Bears are without Cutler so this is a safe bet.

Over/Under: 41

The Bears are defensive minded and without their starting quarterback. Oakland averages 23.5 points per game. It's going to be close, but I say go with the under.

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 20:  (L-R) Kellen Davis #87, Matt Forte #22, Zack Bowman #35 and Johnny Knox #13 of the Chicago Bears run onto the field before a game against the San Diego Chargers at Soldier Field on November 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Be
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

All Betting Information Courtesy of ESPN.com


Key Injuries:

Bears: Quarterback Jay Cutler out (thumb), cornerback D.J. Moore doubtful (ankle).

Raiders: Quarterback Jason Campbell out (collarbone), wide receiver Jacoby Ford out (foot), running back Darren McFadden out (foot), defensive end Jarvis Moss out (hamstring), running back Taiwan Jones questionable (hamstring), wide receiver Denarius Moore questionable (foot), wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey questionable (neck), safety Michael Huff questionable (ankle), cornerback Chris Johnson questionable (hamstring), safety Michael Mitchell questionable (ankle), defensive tackle Richard Seymour questionable (knee), running back Manase Tonga questionable (knee).

Big Fantasy Plays:

Start: Matt Forte is obviously a must-start every week, but this week he may be the best fantasy start in the league. Without Cutler, the Bears are going to rely on the running game and Forte.

Sit: The Bears are allowing 270.7 yards per game through the air, but Carson Palmer has been inconsistent so far this season with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. Sit Palmer, as the Bears defense is very opportunistic.

Keys To Bears Win:

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 20: Brian Urlacher #54 and Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears await player introductions before a game against the San Diego Chargers at Soldier Field on November 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Chargers 3
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

If the Bears want to win this game, and keep themselves in the playoff talk, they are going to have to rely on their defense.

They say defense wins championships, and now it's time for the Bears to prove that statement. No offense to Caleb Hanie, but everything about this team must now revolve around the defense.

Keys To Raiders Win:

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 10:  Defensive lineman  Kamerion Wimbley #96 of the Oakland Raiders sacks quarterback  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers in the first half at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Ste
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Plain and simple, blitz the quarterback.

Hanie is in his first NFL start, and he has to do so on the road at Oakland, which is pretty daunting.

The Raiders can't let him get comfortable or confident, so they must blitz.

Prediction: 

The Bears' hot streak must come to an end, as I don't think they can do it without Cutler.

Bears 9, Raiders 17


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