What should be to no one’s surprise, the extra helping of Thursday games last week on Thanksgiving ruined my week. I only correctly picked one winner against the spread in the Thursday trio of games last week, which left me a bit behind the eight ball when it came to Sunday’s picks last week. A decent day Sunday salvaged things somewhat, so I finished the week 8-8 against the spread. I did alright picking straight up, going 10-6, although the late comebacks by the Chargers and Jaguars hurt me.
For the year, my record stands at 101-91 against the spread and 123-68-1 straight up.
Dallas Cowboys (8-4) at Chicago Bears (5-7)
Thursday, December 4 at 8:25 pm ET on CBS/NFL Network
Line: Bears (+3.5)
The Cowboys defense has been a little more suspect as of late, partly due to the fact that they haven’t been as dominant on the ground as of late as they were early in the year. With running back DeMarco Murray’s success during the first half of the season coupled with quarterback Tony Romo’s high-level efficiency, the Cowboys’ mediocre defense was rarely exposed. It also helped that they’ve had a relatively soft schedule outside their win in Seattle in Week 6.
The Bears on the other hand have conformed to the usual expectations of an average football. They beat most of the weak teams they’ve played this year, but have lost to most of the strong ones. Their defense, particularly their pass defense has struggled this year and they haven’t had the explosive offense that many (including myself) expected them to have. Their losses also seem to coincide with poor defensive effort and a bunch of turnovers on the part of quarterback Jay Cutler, two issues that are probably related. Cutler starts to press because they are playing from behind and it doesn’t do the Bears any good.
The Cowboys are undefeated on the road, and at some point their streak is going to snap. But I haven’t seen enough out of the Bears to give me a ton of confidence that it’ll be this week. Instead, I’ll look for the Cowboys to suffer their first road loss of the year next week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
One also wonders whether the fact that both teams are playing on Thursday night two consecutive weeks has an impact on the outcome.
Spread Pick: Cowboys
Straight Pick: Cowboys