Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions Preview (1/1/23): Betting Odds, Prediction, Depth Chart

In all my years as a diehard Lions fan, last week was one of the most embarrassing defensive performances that I have ever witnessed. Especially in a crucial game to put us in a position to control our own destiny for the playoffs. The Carolina Panthers were averaging 11.1 yards per carry midway through the third quarter. Not all hope is lost as they now get the Bears at home. Can the Lions save their season with a must win against Chicago?

Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions Betting Odds

Oddsmakers think so as they currently have the Lions as a -6 favorite. This is a drastic change from the lookahead line, a line that was once in Chicago’s favor with the Bears as a -1.5 favorite. Even after a gross performance against the Panthers, the Lions come into this one as the better overall unit as the Bears’ production have fallen off a cliff. In the last five weeks, the Bears have ranked dead last in Overall DVOA.

As for the total, points are expected to be scored in bunches as oddsmakers opened the total as high as 48.5. Bettors are in agreement, taking the over up to as high as 52. The Lions offense should easily bounce back against an inferior defensive unit, especially with Jared Goff being back at home. His splits heavily favor home games, playing at a far more productive rate. The Bears offense should find some life with the dual threat ability of Justin Fields being on full display.

Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions Prediction

The Pick: Lions 1H -3.5

With that said, this game serves nicely as a bounce back opportunity for the Lions in what is a must win game. While I debated taking them on the full game line, I will take the first half instead as the Lions have gone 11-4 ATS in the first half this season. This also eliminates late game variance, as well as avoiding the Lions second half defensive collapses per their splits.

The Lions rush defense will need to round back into form and fast should they want to comfortably cruise to a victory. While nearly everything about the Bears have been gross, their ground game has been the lone bright spot by ranking ninth in Off Rush DVOA. As for the Lions, this was a unit once ranked near dead last but have slowly crept back up the metrics leaderboard with a top-20 Def Rush DVOA.

Containing Justin Fields dual threat ability will be crucial as Fields has asserted himself as one of the most dangerous runners in football. Should the linebackers successfully contain him by spying across the middle, the Bears offense will crumble as their pass game has been non-existent. Relying on one man’s production can only take you so far.

Betting Trends

  • Lions are 8-0 ATS in their last eight games against NFC North rivals
  • Bears are 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a SU loss

Key Injuries

Chicago Bears Injuries: Trevon Wesco (Q), Chase Claypool (Q), Equanimeous St. Brown (Q)

Detroit Lions Injuries: Jamaal Williams (Q)

Key Matchups

Can Jared Goff find success against the weak Bears secondary?

Jared Goff vs Bears secondary

Jared Goff’s differential in production from when he is home in comparison to on the road is alarming. Especially in the cold, playing as a shell of his former self. Now he is home and against one of the worst secondaries in football.

The Lions pass attack has formed into one of the most lethal units in football with the ability to burn you at every level. Especially with the addition of Jameson Williams, giving the Lions a much needed vertical threat when secondaries start to shadow the middle.

Look for Goff to have a nice bounce back game, spreading the ball around and picking apart an anemic second level. Should the offensive line continue to play at an elite rate, then Goff will have plenty of time to make the right read and move the ball down the field.

Verdict

In a do or die situation for their playoff hopes, I will back the Lions to pull this one out. Instead of a full game number, I will back them on the first half spread as they have covered an elite rate and can eliminate full game variance.

Chicago Bears Depth Chart

QB: Justin Fields
RB1: David Montgomery
RB2: Khalil Herbert
LWR: Chase Claypool
RWR: N’Keal Harry
SWR: Dante Pettis
TE1: Cole Kmet

Detroit Lions Depth Chart

QB: Jared Goff
RB1: D’Andre Swift
RB2: Jamaal Williams
LWR: DJ Chark
RWR: Josh Reynolds
SWR: Amon-Ra St Brown
TE1: Brock Wright

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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