Matchup: San Diego Chargers vs. Chicago Bears
Thursday, Aug.15, 8 p.m. (ET)
Pointspread: Chicago -5.5
Total Line: 35.5
The Mike McCoy era in San Diego got underway with the Chargers getting waxed by Seattle 31-10 as a three-point home underdog in last Thursday’s preseason opener. The total went OVER the 36-point line. In all fairness to the new head coach, his starting quarterback Philip Rivers did complete 5-of-6 passes for 45 yards in very limited duty and running back Ryan Matthews tallied 19 yards on three carries, so some of the starters he is going to count on to turn things around did look pretty sharp.
The Chargers finished the 2012 season a disappointing 7-9 straight-up and missed the playoffs for the third-straight season. They were 7-9 as well against the spread with a 5-3 ATS record on the road. The total went OVER in 10 of 16 games. Look for Rivers to get a full half of playing time against the Bears on Thursday night as most of the starters should remain on the field for the better part of the first two quarters. Also look for McCoy to test Chicago’s secondary with a couple a deep shots at the end zone.
The Bears are another team with a new skipper after Marc Trestman was brought in to replace Lovie Smith, who spent the last nine seasons at the helm in Chicago. They opened-up their preseason schedule with a 24-17 loss to Carolina as three-point road underdogs. The total went OVER the 34.5-point line. In last Friday night’s game, Jay Cutler looked sharp throwing the ball as well with six completions on eight attempts for 56 yards, but he was intercepted once and brought down for a sack. These were the same problems that have plagued Cutler in the past but it is way too early to panic if you are a Bears’ fan.
Chicago was 10-6 SU last season but in the competitive NFC that record was not good enough to earn a spot in the playoffs. It went 7-8-1 ATS and the total went OVER in nine of its 16 games. Trestman will most likely give his starters the entire first half to work out some of the kinks on both sides of the ball.
Free NFL Pick
The second and third games of the four-game preseason schedule should better resemble what we can expect to see from a team once the games start counting for real. The Bears would have the edge when both team’s starters are on the field and a deeper roster should be just enough to get the win at home and cover the 5.5 points.
Chicago 23 San Diego 17
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.