• Chicago’s defense is formidable, but Philadelphia has recently enjoyed success against teams with a profile similar to that of the Bears.
By Scott Gramling
January 02, 2019

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (-6)

Sun. 1/6, 4:40 p.m. ET

Three things you need to know before betting on Eagles-Bears:

1. Wild Card weekend wraps up late Sunday afternoon when the Eagles and Bears meet in Chicago. The 12-4 Bears own the best record among the teams taking the field during the Wild Card round, and their 12-4 against-the-spread mark was the NFL’s best during the 2018 regular season. While Chicago comes in having won nine of its past 10 games both straight up and against the spread, Philadelphia ended the 2018 regular season with five wins over its final six games, the lone loss having been an overtime defeat in Dallas in Week 14. The Eagles have turned to Nick Foles in place of injured quarterback Carson Wentz for the regular season’s final three games and proceeded to score a total of 86 points over three consecutive victories.

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2. The strength of Chicago’s team is its defense, specifically a front seven that allowed an NFL-best 80.0 rushing yards per game. The Eagles, however, have gone 8-2 straight up and 8-1-1 against the spread since Doug Pederson took over as the team’s head coach prior to the 2016 season when facing an opponent that allows an average of 90 or fewer rushing yards per game. They’re 7-3 (both straight up and against the spread) under Pederson when facing an opponent with a win percentage of at least .750, and they’ve also shown a tendency to stay hot once they get hot: Philadelphia is 10-5 against the spread (11-4 straight up) under Pederson when coming off back-to-back straight-up victories, and the Eagles are 9-2 (both straight up and against the spread) under Pederson when coming off back-to-back against-the-spread victories.

3. After having thrown for a franchise-record 471 passing yards and four touchdown passes in a Week 16 win over the Texans, Foles wasn’t counted on nearly as much in Philadelphia’s 24-0 shutout of Washington in the regular season finale. Foles is now 9-2 in his 11 starts over the past two seasons. This record includes his impressive playoff run last year when he threw six touchdowns with just one interception over three postseason victories. One of his two defeats came when Foles was pulled along with most of the rest of Philadelphia’s starters one quarter into a meaningless Week 17 game versus Dallas last year after the Eagles had already locked up the NFC’s top playoff seed.

Pick: Philadelphia +6

Confidence Level: Moderate (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)

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