Chicago at Tampa Bay Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

Posted by Juan Carlos on Friday,November 11, 2016 9:26, EST in

It’s a matchup of teams with losing records on Sunday in Tampa as the Chicago Bears come off their bye week and visit a Bucs team looking to snap a two-game home losing streak and get payback for a home loss to Chicago in 2015. MyBookie oddmakers don’t love the Bucs’ chances as they are slight NFL betting underdogs.

Chicago at Tampa Bay Lines, Expert Pick & TV Info

When: Sunday, Nov. 13, 1 PM ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
TV: Fox
RadioChicago / Tampa Bay
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Lines: Bears -1 (46)

Why Bet on Chicago?

The Bears are as healthy as they’ve been in a while off that bye week. And they are also off their best game of the season, a 20-14 home upset of Minnesota on Halloween. Jay Cutler threw for 252 yards and a touchdown after missing five games with a thumb injury, and rookie Jordan Howard ran for a career-high 153 yards and a TD. Howard easily surpassed his previous high of 118 yards. Alshon Jeffery got his first touchdown reception of the season while helping Chicago outgain Minnesota 403 yards to 258.

Good news for the Bears — Pro Bowl guards Kyle Long and Josh Sitton had full participation at practice on Thursday and should both play Sunday at Tampa. The bye week was helpful to much of the roster, especially a player like Long, who has battled multiple injuries throughout the year. Long missed only the second game of his career in Week 8 when Chicago defeated Minnesota. Considering how well the Bears ran the ball without their two Pro Bowl guards before the bye, Howard should find a lot of success this week with both back healthy. Defensive tackle Eddie Goldman is pushing hard to return from a high-ankle sprain that kept him out six weeks, but the second-year defensive lineman’s status for Sunday is a tad murky.

In terms of yards, Chicago’s right in the middle of the pack offensively, ranked 15th, and they are 12th in passing yards. However, the Bears’ offense has produced the fewest points in the league, and in terms of overall scoring (including defense and special teams), Chicago ranks 31st with 131 points, 16.4 per game. The Bears have been a passing team this season, throwing the ball on 65.7% of their snaps, the seventh-highest percentage in the league.

After Sunday’s game at Raymond James Stadium, the Bears will be the most common opponent in Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise history. Coming into the 2016, the Buccaneers had played 56 games each against the Bears and the Detroit Lions. Chicago leads Tampa 38-18 and has won the past three.

Why Bet on Tampa Bay?

The Bucs (3-5) lost 43-28 at home to Atlanta last Thursday. Jameis Winston threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns for Tampa Bay, including scoring passes of 3 and 24 yards to Mike Evans, who had 11 receptions. Both of Tampa Bay’s stars finished the game on the sideline, with Evans being evaluated for a possible concussion and Winston limping off after being shaken up. Mike Glennon finished up for the Bucs, taking his first regular season snaps since 2014. He threw a late TD pass to Cameron Brate to cut into a 23-point deficit.

Winston is good to go and has completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 2,037 yards with 17 touchdowns, nine interceptions and an 85.4 passer rating. Evans has exited the NFL’s concussion protocol and also should play. At the season’s midway point, Evans has 55 receptions for 745 yards and those eight scores, making him the only player in the league to rank in the top five in all three categories. He has more than double the next highest receiving-yardage total on the team (Adam Humphries, 337) and has accounted for 44.4% of the team’s 18 touchdown.

More good news for Tampa: Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin is likely to play for the first time since Week 2 due to a hamstring injury. Speaking after Thursday’s practice, Martin did add he’s not yet at full speed. “I did some individual work. My legs were pretty good. My hamstrings were pretty good. I didn’t really feel anything. I’m pretty optimistic for this coming game. Hopefully I can get in, but it’s up to the medical doctors.” Martin likely will be on a snap count.

The Buccaneers rank 14th in offense (15th rushing and 17th passing) and 28th in defense (25th versus the run and 27th versus the pass). The Bucs 3-17 in Tampa since the beginning of the 2014 season, including 0-4 this year. The Bears, however, are 0-4 on the road this season.

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Chicago at Tampa Bay Expert Pick: Tampa Bay

Buccaneers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following a double-digit loss at home.
Bears are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.
Bears are 2-5 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.

Take Tampa in NFL bets and under the total.