Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans Saints Odds & Predictions

Date: 
January 10, 4:40 PM EST
Location:
TV:

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Chi +10/NO -10
Moneyline: 
Chi +385/NO -500
Total: 
47

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees begins what might be his last run at a Super Bowl when he leads his Saints against the Chicago Bears in an NFC wild-card playoff game Sunday afternoon at the Superdome. These teams played a close game earlier this season, a New Orleans victory in overtime at Soldier Field, but the Saints are lined as big favorites for this playoff bout. Who do we like here for our free NFL wild-card betting pick?

NFL Playoffs Betting Odds

NFL wild-card betting odds opened New Orleans at -9.5 for this game, with an over/under of right around 48. Early betting action then bumped the Saints to -10 and dipped that total to 47. According to Sagarin's ratings at USAToday.com, New Orleans should be favored by eight points for this game.

Bears Betting Preview

Chicago is back in the playoffs for the second time in three seasons under Coach Nagy after going 8-8 to "earn" the last wild-card spot in the NFC. The Bears rode a roller coaster this season; they started 5-1, with a win over Tampa Bay, the only loss coming against Indianapolis. But Chicago then lost its next six games, four to fellow playoff qualifiers like the Rams, these Saints, Tennessee, and Green Bay, but also a couple to sub-.500 clubs like Minnesota and Detroit. The Bears then woke up just in time to win three in a row, then finished with a 35-16 loss to the Packers last week. Chicago actually only trailed Green Bay 21-16 in the fourth quarter and had the ball just outside the Packers red zone but failed on a 4th-and-1, then gave up the last 14 points of the game. However, the Bears backed into their playoff berth when the Rams finished off Arizona with a few moments left in Chicago's game. The Bears actually out-gained Green Bay last week 356-316 and out-rushed the Packers 108-79. So Chicago out-gained three of its previous four opponents and out-rushed each of its last five foes. Also, prior to last week, the Bears had hit the 30-point mark each of their previous four games.

On the season, Chicago is 6-3 SU, 5-4 ATS when Mitch Trubisky starts at QB.

Saints Betting Preview

New Orleans, meanwhile, is back in the playoffs for the fourth season in a row under Coach Payton, after going 12-4 and winning the NFC South. The Saints started 1-2, with a win over Tampa Bay but a loss to Green Bay, then won nine in a row, some of those without Brees. Along the way, New Orleans beat this Bears team and those Buccaneers again. The Saints then lost two straight, one a puzzler to Philadelphia, the other by a field goal to Kansas City, before finishing with two wins, including a 33-7 victory last week over Carolina. Even playing shorthanded offensively last week, New Orleans out-gained the Panthers 347-320 and out-rushed Carolina 156-74. So the Saints out-gained seven of their previous ten opponents and out-rushed eight of their last ten foes. Two weeks ago, New Orleans beat Minnesota 52-33 as RB Alvin Kamara scored six touchdowns. Kamara then missed last week's game with a virus issue, but it looks like he'll be good to go for Sunday's game. It also appears Kamara will go against a Bears defense that will be without perhaps its best defensive player, LB Roquan Smith. These teams just met back in Week 8 of this season, a 26-23 Saints overtime victory in Chicago. New Orleans led that game early 3-0, trailed 13-3, led 23-13 late, let the Bears tie the game with 13 seconds left in regulation, then won it with a field goal in OT. But Chicago covered that day as a home dog getting 5.5 points. The Saints out-gained the Bears, who were quarterbacked by Nick Foles that day, 394-329, and won the ground battle 122-96. Also, that game played over a total of 41, even though the teams only combined to score four touchdowns. The kickers combined to go 7/8 on field goals. These teams also played six common opponents this season; New Orleans played 8-1 SU, 7-2 ATS against the Lions, Falcons, Panthers, Bucs, Vikings, and Packers, while Chicago played 5-4 both SU and ATS vs. that lineup of foes.

NFL Wild-Card Betting Trends

  • Favorites played 171-83 SU but just 112-141 ATS in the NFL this season.
  • Over the last five NFL wild-card rounds, home teams are 11-9 SU but 6-13-1 ATS.
  • Over the last five NFL wild-card rounds, favorites are 11-9 SU but 6-13-1 ATS.
  • Double-digit favorites played 13-17 ATS in the NFL this season.

Totals Report

Totals split 8-8 in Bears games this season, which averaged 46 total points. Overs played 10-6 in Saints games this season, which averaged 51 points. Over the last five NFL wild-card rounds, unders are 15-5.

Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans Saints Predictions

We expect both Kamara and WR Thomas to return for New Orleans, while Chicago will probably be without a key guy on defense. Also, the Saints own the better running game and the better run defense. Ultimately, New Orleans is a 12-4 division champion, while Chicago is a .500 outfit. We're giving the points here with the Saints. 

Free Pick: 
Take the Saints minus the points