Well, that escalated quickly. At 5-7 just two weeks ago, it felt like the Bears’ season was dead and done. Fast forward a few Sundays and they will kick off against the Jaguars this afternoon as a heavy favorite, one in total control of its postseason destiny. Indeed, the Bears are alive and well-positioned to take care of a Jaguars team that has lost 13 consecutive games.
Will the Bears take care of business and roll to a third straight win (and cover), or will the Jaguars put a scare into Chicago (as well as their own fans who dream of Trevor Lawrence)? Let’s get into the pick and prediction with our Bears vs. Jaguars betting preview.
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Last week, the Bears avenged a November loss to the Vikings in an impressive 33-27 road win at Minnesota. After struggling for months to eclipse the 20-point mark, the Chicago offense is heating up down the stretch. The Bears have produced at least 30 points in three straight games and are averaging 31 points per game since the switch back to Mitch Trubisky.
Consecutive wins over a checked-out Texans squad and a Vikings team that was just pantsed on Christmas doesn’t mean the Bears are suddenly a Super Bowl contender, but with a little help on Saturday from the 49ers, it does mean that they have multiple paths to the postseason. That’s a pretty good spot to be in given it appeared all roads were closed just two weeks back.
Prior to last week, the Bears entered play with a 20% chance to reach the postseason. This week, those odds have climbed to 72%. With a win today over a team that should be trying to lose, the Bears’ odds rise to 85%, so let’s get to the Bears vs. Jaguars picks and predictions for this Week 16 matchup.
Bears vs. Jaguars Odds
The Bears are HOT and oddsmakers are taking notice. They are favored for just the third time in 15 games this season. What’s more, this game marks the most Chicago has been favored by in 2020 (-8.5), and it’s not hard to see why.
Not only have the Bears resurrected their once fading playoff hopes, but the Jaguars haven’t won since Week 1. Last week, the Jets gifted the Jags the inside track at quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft. That doesn’t seem like a gift Jacksonville will want to return by winning today.
|Bears||+10 (-110)||+400||O 47.5|
|Saints||-10 (-110)||-500||U 47.5|
Earlier in the week, the Bears were a 7.5-point favorite and held there until this morning as the line finally jumped up to 8.5. As for the total, it has held steady at 46.5 points.
Bears vs. Jaguars Betting Pick, Prediction
Last week, I wrote that bettors needed to “Trust Trubisky.” Admittedly, I contorted my face as I wrote those words, but Trubisky delivered a solid effort in which he completed 15 of 21 pass attempts for 202 yards and a touchdown. Comparatively, his numbers weren’t nearly as good as they had been in recent starts, but he still produced a 97.7 quarterback rating.
Trubisky figures to put up good numbers again today against a Jacksonville defense that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to post a 108.0 quarterback rating this season. Only Detroit and Houston have been more generous in this regard.
Some other ugly Jacksonville defensive numbers to consider:
- 30.2 points allowed per game (30th)
- 8.1 yards allowed per pass attempt (32nd)
- 2.2 passing touchdowns allowed per game (31st)
In other words, this is a brutal unit against the pass, and it’s not much better against the run. The Jaguars have yielded 4.6 yards per rush attempt (22nd) this season, so David Montgomery’s recent resurgence should continue today. Over his last four games, Montgomery has rushed for 434 yards on 71 carries (6.1 yards per attempt) and has totaled six touchdowns.
The Bears have quite the injury report this week.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 25, 2020
Chicago will be without two key defensive backs as Buster Skrine and Jaylon Johnson will again be sidelined. Tight end Demetrius Harris is out. But the news is not all bad. Several notable players, including Eddie Jackson and Allen Robinson II, are expected to play.
For the Jaguars, rookie running back James Robinson is out. That’s a huge loss. Defensive back Sydney Jones will also miss the game after being placed on injured reserve earlier this week.
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Bears vs. Jaguars Betting Trends
I don’t think we need to go overly deep with the betting trends this week, but here are some to know.
- Teams that have lost 13 consecutive games are 6-2 ATS since the 2003 season.
- Teams that have lost at least 10 consecutive games are 19-21 ATS and 8-13 ATS as home underdogs since 2003.
- The Bears are still a bad bet as a favorite under Matt Nagy. They are 10-18-1 ATS overall as a favorite and 4-7 ATS as a road favorite.
- It gets worse. The Bears are 1-12-1 ATS as a favorite since the start of the 2019 season.
Bears vs. Jaguars Prediction
Well, here’s what I know. The Jaguars suck. I’m also fairly confident in writing that the Bears are entirely mediocre and they’re recent resurgence is due, much in part, to a comically generous schedule. That being said, we’re not betting on the Bears to win the Super Bowl here, we’re betting on them to dispose of a team that has lost 13 straight games, possesses the league’s worst defense, and will play this game without its promising rookie running back.
Both of these teams have received gifts this holiday season. The Jags were gifted the inside track on Trevor Lawrence from the Jets, while the Bears were provided a clear postseason path by the 49ers. I don’t expect either of these teams to return such generous offerings, so despite that absolutely hideous recent ATS performance as a favorite, I’ll go with the Bears.
As for the total, I’ll side with the under. A total of 46.5 points typically requires both teams to put points on the board, and I don’t foresee Jacksonville pushing the pace against the Bears defense without James Robinson in the backfield.
Bears vs. Jaguars Pick
I’ll take Chicago to cover -8.5 points and the game total to stay under 46.5.
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