The Atlanta Falcons are heading North to face a resurgent Chicago Bears team this Sunday (12/31/23). Get Falcons vs. Bears odds, picks and predictions below as our best bet is Bears -3.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Chicago Bears Prediction
If you’re a part of the Chicago Bears organization- everyone from quarterback Justin Fields and head coach Matt Eberflus to the last man on the roster and every film analyst- the rest of this season is an audition. With Chicago set to control a tremendous amount of capital in the upcoming draft, everyone needs to prove that they’re more valuable than someone new as the franchise looks to catapult itself into its next era. Of course, nobody has more to prove than Fields himself, who needs to convince Ryan Poles that sticking with him is worth passing up the chance to draft generational prospect Caleb Williams.
However, if you’ve watched the Bears this year, you know that by far the biggest culprit behind their inconsistency is offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who refuses to leverage either Fields’s athleticism or his ability to connect on big plays with superstar wideout DJ Moore. Week after week, Getsy has succumbed to his addictions to screen passes and inexplicable third down play calls- it’s going to be hard for him to change that perception in just two games, but he has to try.
If there’s been a worse offensive play caller than Getsy in this year’s NFL, there’s an argument that it’s Falcons head coach Arthur Smith. He’s been given a ridiculous array of offensive talent, including stud rookie running back Bijan Robinson, big wideout Drake London and athletic tight end Kyle Pitts, and has been unable to maximize any of them. Sure, it’s hard when your quarterbacks are Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke, but it shouldn’t look this ugly.
Atlanta is hanging on by a thread in the NFC South race, and they’re officially out if the Buccaneers beat the Saints this week. Smith still has to pick up two more wins, and hope that whatever happens is enough for him to keep his job. These teams will both be fascinating to follow throughout the offseason- a blockbuster trade to send Fields home to Atlanta is very possible- but this Sunday, it should be a no-contest.
The Bears should be able to absolutely clamp the Falcons run-first offense, while Fields should victimize a pass defense that has completely bottomed out after a strong start. These two teams have both been letdowns this year, but while the Bears had some awful injury luck early on and have looked totally different when fully intact, the Falcons have absolutely nobody to blame other than themselves- namely Smith. Three points at Soldier Field, where the Bears haven’t lost since October 15th, is a low bar, which Eberflus’s squad will cover without breaking a sweat.
Falcons vs Bears Prediction: Bears -3
Falcons vs Bears Best Odds
The Bears are favored by exactly a field goal, with their spread set at -3 and their moneyline set at -150 odds. The Falcons are narrow underdogs, with a moneyline of +125, while the total is set at 38.5 with -110 odds on both sides.
Falcons vs Bears Key Injuries
Offensive lineman Kaleb McGary and linebacker Bud Dupree are among the most important banged-up players on a fairly injured Falcons team, while key tight end Cole Kmet picked up a knock against the Cardinals on Christmas Eve.
Atlanta Falcons vs Chicago Bears Key Matchups
The Bears’ revitalized passing game will look to take advantage of a floundering Falcons pass defense. Meanwhile the Falcons will have to find a way to establish the run against an improving Bears run defense.
Bears Pass Offense vs. Falcons Air Defense
Outside of a pair of Hail Mary interceptions in a game against the NFL’s best defense, Justin Fields has been showing signs of steady improvement since returning from injury. In his last game against the Cardinals, he was pressured 14 times and took just one sack, a major improvement in what has been one of his most problematic areas. He’s established quite the rapport with stud wideout DJ Moore, who had a quiet game against the Cardinals but has consistently been able to help Fields generate some big plays. It also must be noted how far the Bears’ o-line has come since getting healthy; Fields should have plenty of time to pick apart the Atlanta defense.
After a promising start to the season, that gave many bettors and fans hope that the Falcons had turned around their pass defense woes, things are worse than ever by some metrics. Atlanta is right around the bottom of the whole league in DVOA against the pass, as the d-line has failed to generate a push and the secondary outside of Jessie Bates has had a really tough time all year.
Falcons Rushing Offense vs. Bears Ground Defense
The Falcons’ ground game hasn’t been particularly strong this year, ranking below average by essentially every metric, but they have plenty of talent and potential in that area. The o-line hasn’t been fantastic, but even if his number haven’t jumped off of the sheet, due in enormous part to his situation, rookie runner Bijan Robinson is as talented as any back in the NFL. Tyler Allgeier is a very capable second back, coming off of a nice game in a vital win against the Colts.
Shockingly, the Bears have pulled together one of the best ground defenses in the NFL, and should give Robinson and company a really tough time. Newcomer TJ Edwards has been a real anchor for the unit at linebacker, while local Chicagolander and second-year Bear Jack Sanborn has had a breakout year alongside him. Deadline acquisition Montez Sweat has been transformative to the entire defense, and has helped lift the team to the top five by EPA, DVOA, success rate, and even adjusted defensive line yards.