Lions vs. Bears NFL Week 10 Betting Preview: If It’s Cold, Bet the Over

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Cole Kmet #85 and Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears celebrate a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP.

The Chicago Bears host the Detroit Lions this Sunday at chilly Soldier Field – which means the Over belongs in your Week 10 NFL picks.

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Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears

Sunday, November 13, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Soldier Field

Well well, another perfect week of NFL picks here at the home office. Okay, we only made one pick in Week 9, but it was a good one; the Detroit Lions were an easy call as 3.5-point home dogs versus the Green Bay Packers, and not only did the Lions cover, they won 15-9.

It’s tempting to keep hammering the Lions (2-6 SU, 4-4 ATS) this Sunday when they visit the Chicago Bears. But we’re not seeing as much value on Detroit as 2.5-point road dogs at the NFL odds, and the consensus reports at press time show 99% of early bettors on Chicago (3-6 SU, 4-4-1 ATS). Yikes.

On the other hand, there’s a 48-point total on the NFL odds board at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review), and the Over looks like it has some legs, especially at 97% on the consensus reports. It’s all about one of our favorite old-school betting angles: Take the Over when it’s cold outside.

Isn’t Cold Weather Bad for Offense?

Only if it’s really, really frickin’ cold. Temperature itself isn’t nearly as much a detriment to offense as wind and rain; even snow isn’t all that imposing unless it’s a lot of snow.

This is something that casual bettors get wrong on a consistent basis. They equate cold with the Under, then the totals get set too low, and the Over cashes in about 55% of the time (dating back to 2003) when the temperature hits the freezing mark, which it’s supposed to do this Sunday.

The long-range forecast for Soldier Field: mostly cloudy, and exactly 32 degrees at kick-off. Having said that, crosswinds of 10-15 mph are also in the forecast, but that’s not strong enough to make us change our pick. A smaller bet size, perhaps, but that’s about it.

Isn’t Justin Fields the Worst Quarterback in the NFL?

Maybe not. Fields is still dead last among qualifying starters on the passing DYAR charts at Football Outsiders, but as you may have noticed recently, he’s getting better – slowly but surely. Fields has been especially good these past two weeks:

  • Week 8: two TDs, zero INTs, 120.0 passer rating
  • Week 9: three TDs, zero INTs, 106.7 passer rating

The first game was a 49-27 loss to the Dallas Cowboys (Over 42.5), while the second was a 35-32 loss to the Miami Dolphins (Over 46). Dallas leads the league in defensive DVOA heading into Week 10; Miami is way down the list at No. 28, but still.

Isn’t Chase Claypool Supposed to Be Garbage?

Don’t be hatin’. Claypool did regress in his last season-plus with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but that was partly due to the decrepitude and eventual retirement of QB Ben Roethlisberger. Claypool is a deep threat running deep routes; he needs a quarterback with enough arm to deliver the pigskin.

Fields is that quarterback. Most of his value thus far has come from scrambling, but Fields also has a cannon for a right arm, and the Bears did him a solid by acquiring Claypool at the trade deadline for a second-round pick – even if Claypool only had two catches for 13 yards against Miami on six targets. Get the thing done and let the Yinzers howl.

What About Chappaquiddick – I Mean, Ford Field?

Yes, the Lions are an indoor team, which is part of the reason QB Jared Goff has rebounded all the way to No. 8 on the passing DVOA charts. But now that Goff has been in the NFC North for a little while, outdoor games like this one shouldn’t be too difficult for him.

That goes double when you consider the defense he’ll be facing. On October 26, the Bears sent DE Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round pick. That trade happened four days before the Cowboys game; the Claypool deal happened five days before the Dolphins game.

But wait, there’s more. One day before the Claypool trade, LB Roquan Smith was shipped off to the Baltimore Ravens for a pair of picks and linebacker A.J. Klein. Smith led the league with 83 tackles when that deal was done.

It was a bit strange to see the Bears add Claypool at the deadline after jettisoning two of their best players, but no matter; their defense now ranks No. 31 according to DVOA, ahead of only the Las Vegas Raiders. And did we mention Detroit’s defense ranks No. 26 overall?

Bet accordingly at the best sportsbooks, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

NFL Pick: Over 48 (-110) at Bookmaker

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Over 48 (-110)
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