On Sunday (12/24/23), the Chicago Bears host the Arizona Cardinals in an NFC showdown between two teams looking to bounce back from losses. In this article, find the latest betting odds for the game and a full matchup preview. In addition, find our Cardinals vs. Bears best bet which is the Bears -4.5.
Arizona Cardinals Vs. Chicago Bears Prediction
Justin Fields continues to be one of the most polarizing quarterbacks in the league. A few times per game, he makes a play that virtually no other quarterback in the NFL can make. He also still holds onto the ball too long, hesitates on pulling the trigger when receivers get open, and makes boneheaded decisions at times. It was all on display on Sunday against the Browns.
This week, I’m expecting a signature Fields game against a haphazard Cardinals defense. Arizona ranks dead last in pass rush win rate, so Fields will have time in the pocket, and the Cardinals’ cornerbacks simply have no shot of covering D.J. Moore, who now has 80 receptions for 1,123 yards and seven touchdowns. The Bears should also be able to run the ball at will behind their second-ranked offensive line by run block win rate.
Kyler Murray’s return to the lineup has given the Cardinals some new life on offense, while James Conner’s return from injury has helped the run game regain some productivity. However, Chicago is playing elite defensive football as they rank 3rd in EPA since Week 8. Improved health and the trade acquisition of star pass rusher Montez Sweat have completely turned the fortune of the Bears’ defense.
The Bears are a much better team than their 5-9 record indicates, and they were a couple of crucial drops away from a big win over the Browns last week. I bet this at the open at Bears -3.5, and while we’re past the key number of 4 here, I still like the Bears at this number. I’d recommend either parlaying their ML with either the Chiefs or Eagles ML or waiting to see if we get back to -3.5 before pulling the trigger.
Arizona Cardinals Vs. Chicago Bears Prediction: Bears -4.5
Arizona Cardinals Vs. Chicago Bears Best Odds
After this game opened with the Bears as 3.5-point favorites on Sunday night, the market backed Chicago as it has done for two consecutive weeks. The spread has moved to -4.5 in favor of the home Bears. The over/under currently sits at 44.5 points as there doesn’t appear to be prohibitive weather at the time of writing. The current numbers imply a final score of around 24-20 in favor of the Bears.
Arizona Cardinals Vs. Chicago Bears Key Injuries
It’s crucial to monitor injuries at this time of year when handicapping NFL games, and this one is no different. Marquise Brown is the big name to watch for the Cardinals as he has been dealing with a heel injury for the past few weeks and is listed as questionable. The Bears have enjoyed great health in recent weeks after a ton of injuries earlier in the year, but the status of offensive lineman Teven Jenkins is worth monitoring after he entered concussion protocol on Sunday.
Arizona Cardinals Vs. Chicago Bears Key Matchups
In this game between these two NFC teams, there are some fascinating individual matchups to take stock of. In this section, I’ll break down two players who have been catching my eye for these offenses.
Trey McBride Vs. Bears’ Secondary
Trey McBride has continued to evolve into one of the best tight ends in the NFL, and he’s impressed me week after week. His 2.30 yards per route run rank first at the position despite the Cardinals’ quarterback inconsistency, and he has just two drops all year on 84 targets per PFF. His chemistry with Kyler Murray has grown every week since the quarterback returned from injury – he has nine targets per game with Murray.
The Bears have allowed 58.1 receiving yards per game to tight ends, the eighth-most in the NFL, and this is another matchup that McBride can exploit after he caught ten passes for 102 yards last week. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson is PFF’s highest graded player at his position, but it’s unlikely the Bears will use him on McBride due to the size mismatch.
D.J. Moore Vs. Cardinals’ Secondary
Justin Fields has continued to progress as a passer this season, and D.J. Moore has been a huge reason why. The former Panthers’ wide receiver has been transformative for the passing offense, and he has put his faith in Justin Fields, saying he’s better than any prospect in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. The duo is blossoming into one of the best in the NFL.
The Cardinals’ roster has a ton of issues after years of malpractice under prior management, and the secondary is lacking in dependability. The trio of Kei’Trel Clark, Starling Thomas, and Marco Wilson all rank outside the top 100 qualified cornerbacks in PFF coverage grades, so Moore could be in for a massive game this week.