Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions – NFL, September 13, 2020
The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions face off in week one of the 2020 NFL season, with both NFC North rivals hoping to get off to a hot start.
Detroit could certainly use one, seeing as the Lions tied in game one of last year, and then limped to a 3-12-1 record. Chicago disappointed in the face of title expectations in 2019, and will be hoping to rebound with Nick Foles pushing Mitch Trubisky.
We don’t know yet which quarterback will be under center in week one, but we can still gather what to expect from this game.
For bettors looking to bet on this one early, let’s dig deeper into this matchup and come away with a Bears vs. Lions betting pick and prediction.
Bears vs. Lions Odds
Detroit is a mild favorite at BetOnline, although I won’t be shocked at all to see the lines for this game shift going into week one.
Whoever ends up starting under center for the Bears may dictate which way things lean, although it shouldn’t be a dramatic change. Either way, the moneyline should reflect the spread here, which means you’re looking at a virtual pick’em that gives you value no matter which team you back.
This game total feels pretty approachable, although we do need to consider Chicago’s defense, as well as plays per game.
Detroit’s offense has nice upside and games can get explosive on turf, but Detroit ranks 14th in plays per game, and Chicago is 16th.
Bears vs. Lions Preview
You can’t completely prepare for this game without knowing who the Bears start under center, but I don’t know if it’ll sway me too much.
Chicago’s offense probably has a slightly better floor with Foles under center, but when Trubisky is cooking, the Bears can still put up points offensively.
Defensively, this game is easy to call. Khalil Mack powers a very talented Bears defense, while the Lions don’t have much of a pass rush to speak of. Detroit’s secondary could be better as a whole than they were a year ago, but if you’re looking at this from a defensive perspective, the Bears are the unit to fear.
Matthew Stafford was on an epic tear before succumbing to a back injury last year.
Before his injury ended his season last year-mid way thru the @Lions season Matthew Stafford was on track for 38 TDs and 5000 yards….— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) May 12, 2020
The problem? Even with Stafford playing some of the best ball of his career, his Lions were still just 3-4-1 with him as a starter. It’s worth noting that even at his best, Stafford still saw this team lose due to late collapses, poor coaching, and bad defense.
I don’t think enough changes for the better going into 2020 to assume the Lions are magically a new team that we can trust.
In addition to a weak pass rush, the Lions also struggled to stop the run last year. Chicago should be looking to run the ball more effectively this season, which could allow for them to dominate at every level in this contest.
In this series, Chicago has dominated throughout history, and they’ve done so recently with four straight wins. These games still tend to be close, but the Bears will be looking for win number five in a row in week one.
Prediction and Pick
Detroit is very competitive, and they tend to give it their all at home. A healthy Matthew Stafford is capable of winning just about any game, too, so I don’t think bettors should take Detroit lightly.
In that same breath, the Bears are simply the better team. Chicago’s defense sets the tone, and if they can see improved play out of the quarterback position, I see no reason they can’t win this game and set up a nice foundation for the 2020 season.
All things considered, I would bet on the Bears straight up, but at their current spread, they’re an easy pick. The game total is a bit tricky, but considering the tempo and defense involved, I’d also take the Under as a solid secondary wager.