Bears-Saints Betting Preview: Trends, Props, Pick For NFC Wild Card Game

Can Chicago pull off the upset in New Orleans?


January 8, 2021

The Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints each enter the 2020 NFL playoffs having had an interesting regular season journey.

The Bears benched their starting quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, and lost six straight games at one point, only to win three of their final four contests and squeak into the postseason as the NFC’s No. 7 seed.

The Saints lost their starting quarterback, Drew Brees, to injury for four games but won three of them en route to a 12-4 record and the conference’s No. 2 seed behind the Green Bay Packers.

Now, they’ll square off on Super Wild Card Weekend, with kickoff scheduled for 4:40 p.m. ET on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Here’s our betting preview for the opening-round postseason matchup, with the lines and total via consensus data and the props provided by Draftkings.

Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-10)
Total: 47.5

These teams met in Week 8, with the Saints earning a 26-23 overtime win in Chicago. The Saints failed to cover as 5.5-point favorites, but they’ve otherwise performed fairly well against the spread, going 9-6-1 ATS this season. The Bears went 8-8 ATS.

New Orleans’ ATS mark includes a 7-1-1 stretch over its final nine games. Chicago won three of its final four — straight up and against the spread — but ended the season with a 35-16 loss to Green Bay. (The Bears needed the Arizona Cardinals to lose to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 17 to make the playoffs.)

The Over hit in 10 of the Saints’ 16 games this season, so there could be value in the point total, especially with the Bears’ offense hitting its stride down the stretch with Trubisky back under center. The Over hit in five of Chicago’s final six regular season games.

New Orleans enters Sunday’s clash on a six-game SU winning streak in head-to-head matchups with Chicago.

First-half line, total
Saints -6.5, 24.5

First touchdown scorer
Alvin Kamara +400
Latavius Murray +600
Michael Thomas +650
David Montgomery +900
Allen Robinson II +1200
Jared Cook +1300
Taysom Hill +1400
Emmanuel Sanders +1500
Jimmy Graham +1800
Cole Kmet +1800

Passing yards
Mitchell Trubisky over/under 244.5 yards
Drew Brees over/under 267.5 yards

Rushing yards
David Montgomery over/under 62.5 yards

Receiving yards
Allen Robinson II over/under 70.5 yards
Michael Thomas over/under 69.5 yards
David Montgomery over/under 27.5 yards

Saints -10

This is a big spread, sure. But signs point toward running back Alvin Kamara (reserve/COVID-19 list) and wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) both returning for New Orleans, further stacking the deck against Chicago in what looks like a mismatch on paper.

New Orleans’ defense — ranked No. 2 in Football Outsiders’ total DVOA — is stout against both the pass and the run, so Trubisky and Co. will have their work cut out for them.

While Chicago’s offense performed better late in the regular season, it’s worth noting much of that success came against the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars. Detroit, Jacksonville and Houston were the three worst defenses in the NFL in terms of total DVOA. Minnesota ranked 18th.

The Saints are prone to hiccups. Look no further than last season’s wild-card round loss to the Vikings. But perhaps that’ll serve as a cautionary tale to not take the Bears lightly this Sunday.

Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images

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