CHICAGO BEARS AT DETROIT LIONS (+2.5, 39)
The Bears have been pathetic on offense this season but they still have more going for them than Detroit. One of the Lions few bright spots this year (and most of this decade) had been the play of quarterback Matt Stafford, but due to fractured bones in his back he's been out of the lineup since just before the Lions Week 10 matchup with the Bears.
In Stafford's absence, Detroit's offense has floundered with backup Jeff Driskel under center. They will also likely be without one of their best blockers in second-year center Frank Ragnow who has yet to pass concussion protocol for Thursday.
The Bears allow a league-low 1.6 points per game in the first half but score just 2.2 ppg of their own in that frame. We like the first 15 minutes to go by without a touchdown.
PICK: First quarter touchdowns - Under 0.5 (+125)
FIRST HALF BET
In the three games that the Lions have played without Stafford, they have averaged 8.4 points per game in the opening half.
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That said, Chicago's offense has been even worse in the first 30 minutes. The Bears score 6.7 ppg in the first half and over their last three contests that number has dipped to just 3.3.
With how poorly both offenses have performed lately, take the 1H Under.
PICK: First half Under 19 (-110)
Chicago running back David Montgomery was expected to be a front-runner for Rookie of the Year accolades this season but he's been mostly unimpressive rushing for 519 yards and 3.3 yards per carry. However, Thursday could be a get-right spot for him as he is now at 100 percent after being bothered by a rolled ankle last week.
The Lions allow 120.7 rushing yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry and could be missing their best run-stopper in Damon Harrison and their prize off-season acquisition in edge defender Trey Flowers (both listed as quesionable).
Montgomery's rushing total is set at a reasonable 52.5 yards and the last time he eclipsed that number was against Detroit less than three weeks ago. Bet the Over.
PICK: David Montgomery Over 52.5 rushing yards
FULL GAME TOTAL
The Over/Under has been set a very low 39 for this game but it might not be low enough. The Lions have been terrible on offense with Driskel under center and they might not even have him for this matchup.
Driskel was limited in practice earlier in the week due to a tweaked hamstring so the Lions might have to make do with undrafted rookie free agent David Blough at QB. Either signal-caller will have a rough time on Thursday against a Bears Defense that allows just 17.1 ppg.
Unfortunately for Chicago, they have been awful on the offensive side of the ball scoring an identical 17.1 ppg. While Detroit has been vulnerable to passing attacks, Trubisky and Chicago likely won't be able to take advantage of that given that they throw for just 190.7 passing yards per game, the third-lowest number in the league.
If you think this total looks too low, keep in mind that the Bears have had an O/U of 41 or less in each of their last 5 games and have cashed the Under every time. Take the Under again.
PICK: Under 39 (-110)
FULL GAME SIDE
This bet will likely just come down to how well Chicago's defense plays and despite their 5-6 record this season, the Bears stop-unit is still one of the best in the league against both the run and the pass. They allow just 6.1 yards per attempt to opposing QBs while giving up 3.7 yards per rush attempt, both numbers good for fourth-best in the league.
Chicago's offense certainly isn't good but they should be more effective than the Lions under Driskel or Blough. Expect them do enough against a Lions Defense (that ranks 25th in the league in defensive DVOA according to Football Outsiders) to get the win and cover.
PICK: Chicago -2.5 (-110)