By Ian S. Palmer
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The Denver Broncos will try to halt a two-game losing skid when they head to the Windy City to battle it out with the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday, November 22. Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning struggled last week in Denver’s 29-13 defeat by the Kansas City Chiefs, but are still sitting on top of the AFC West at 7-2. The Bears are 4-5 on the season and third in the NFC North. They upset the St. Louis Rams 37-13 in St. Louis on Monday in their last outing.
Broncos vs Bears – BOVADA NFL BETTING LINE:
- Bovada currently lists the Bears as 1-point favorites versus the Broncos, while the game’s total is sitting at 41.
Broncos vs Bears – Betting Trends:
- Team record: 7-2 straight up, 5-3-1 against the spread
- Denver is 2-3-1 against the spread in their last 6 games
- Denver is 7-2 straight up in their last 9 games
- Denver is 4-1 straight up in its last 5 games on the road
- Team record: 4-5 straight up, 5-4 against the spread
- Chicago is 5-1 against the spread in their last 6 games
- Chicago is 4-2 straight up in their last 6 games
- Chicago is 4-10 straight up in its last 14 games
- Denver home to New England Sunday, November 29
- Chicago at Green Bay Thursday, November 26
Manning may have passed Brett Favre’s career passing record last week against Kansas City, but there’s no hiding the fact that the future hall of famer didn’t have a good game. Manning was picked off four times and gained just 35 yards in the air while completing five of his 20 pass attempts. His passer rating was zero for the contest and he was duly benched and replaced by back up QB Brock Osweiler. However, it seems Manning was dealing with a couple of nagging injuries and he may sit out against the Bears while Osweiler takes over again. Osweiler threw a touchdown pass and an interception against the and completed 14 of his 24 passing attempts for 146 yards.
The Broncos could also be without receiver Emmanuel Sanders against the Bears as he left in the third quarter against Kansas City due to a head injury. In addition, he’s also been having ankle problems. If Sanders is out then somebody will need to pick up the slack and it could be Jordan Norwood or Bennie Fowler. The Bears’ pass defense is pretty good as it concedes only 217 yards against in the air each week. Chicago’s run defense isn’t as good though and the Broncos’ backfield including C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman may thrive against it as Chicago allows an average of 118.6 yards against on the ground. The Broncos are expecting cornerback Aqib Talib to return this week after sitting out a game suspension. Denver has gone 3-1-1 against the spread on their past five road trips as well as 4-1 straight up.
With their victory in St. Louis, the Bears are 5-1 against the spread in their past half dozen contests and 4-2 straight up. Running back Jeremy Langford ran for 73 yards and a touchdown and also added another touchdown and 109 yards in the air on his seven receptions. He delivered the goods while the Rams concentrated on stopping Alshon Jeffery, who caught three passes. Chicago’s offense averages 22.1 points and 352.7 yards per contest and with Langford playing well and Matt Forte expected to return, could be tough for Denver to handle. In addition, quarterback Jay Cutler has also being playing well.
In his past two games, Cutler has racked up five touchdown passes and 603 yards in the air. He was sacked twice by the Rams, but Cutler threw three touchdown passes and gained 258 yards in the air. He needs to be aware that the Broncos currently lead the NFL with 32 sacks and will need to be protected. The team has done a good job of it so far as they’ve allowed just 16 sacks this season. The Bears allow 335.6 yards and 26 points against per game this season, but if they can cut down on those numbers on Sunday don’t be surprised to see them grind out a close win.