NFL Week 10 Underdog On The Move
We have a familiar foe for our NFL Week 10 line moves column. Our suspicions about the Chicago Bears defense being one of the leagues worst was confirmed last week. Justin Fields mobility and pocket presence on third down has helped improve the Bears offense but it does appear like the market is forgetting which offense at Soldier Field is most competent.
#249 Detroit Lions +3 (-115)
The Week 9 look ahead lines saw Chicago installed a 2.5 point favorite. Not much changed when the market reopened following Sunday’s results. Chicago fell just short hosting Miami but covered on the strength of Justin Fields’ legs. Despite the Lions taking professional money against them and trading away T.J. Hockenson to Minnesota, beat Green Bay outright after forcing 3 interceptions inside their own 5-yard line. Early sharp money did push this number out to +3, but we have seen multiple buy orders at the key. That has forced sports books to make you pay extra juice for the 3 count on Detroit.
The Bears Offense is Improving
Undoubtedly the Bears have improved the last three weeks offensively on the strength of Justin Fields’ legs. It’s not just scrambles when the play breaks down on 3rd down either. Chicago offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has called 21 designed quarterback runs over this three game stretch of increased efficiency. Chicago is 15th in schedule adjusted rush efficiency on the season, and 5th in EPA per rush over the last 3 weeks.
Adding a big body receiver with a large catch radius in Chase Claypool seemed to have a positive impact on the Bears passing game. But I believe we’re too enamored with Justin Fields after his performance against Miami. Forget the fact Miami is 27th in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency. Fields threw for 123 yards and 4.4 yards per pass against a depleted Dolphins secondary missing three starters. Fields had the 6th worst completion percentage above expectation for Week 9 at -8.4%.
Here is Why I Bet the Lions
Why I believe all the +3 disappears by kickoff relates to the Bears defense. Without a bright spot in sight, Chicago ranks 31st in defensive efficiency despite playing a below average schedule of offenses. The opposite is true for the Lions offense. Detroit is 12th in efficiency while playing the 2nd toughest schedule of defenses. The Lions offense is multiple as they are just 1 of 8 offenses above league average in both rushing and passing efficiency. Detroit has been dealing with a rash of offensive injuries but only Josh Reynolds hasn’t practiced this week. The Lions enter Soldier Field with a healthy Amon-Ra St. Brown, DeAndre Swift, and an offensive line poised to be close to full strength.
It has been brought to Dan Campbell’s attention numerous times this week that he is still without a road victory in the NFL. I think that changes this week but fortunately for us we only need the Lions to cover +3. I anticipate this closing below the key number. If you are late to reading this and miss +3, Detroit makes for a solid teaser leg if we continue seeing support from professional bettors driving the Lions down to 2.5 flat.
NFL Week 11 Look Ahead Lines
Green Bay -1 vs Tennessee
Baltimore -13 vs Carolina
Buffalo -6.5 vs Cleveland
Philadelphia -10.5 at Indianapolis
Washington -2.5 at Houston
New England -4 vs New York Jets
New York Giants -3.5 vs Detroit
Atlanta -4 vs Chicago
New Orleans PICK’em vs Los Angeles Rams
Denver -2.5 vs Las Vegas
Kansas City -5.5 vs Los Angeles Chargers
Dallas -2 at Minnesota
Cincinnati -5.5 at Pittsburgh
San Francisco -5.5 at Arizona
BYE: Jacksonville, Miami, Seattle, Tampa Bay