Can the Bears grab another win as they chase their first NFC North title since 2010? Matthew Crist looks ahead to all the week 13 action in the NFL...
"The Rams have had a week to recover after their record-breaking shoot-out with the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11 and all eyes will be on how they follow-up that astonishing performance."
Bears have NFC North title ambitions
The Chicago Bears haven't won the NFC North Division since 2010 but could take a big step towards changing that with a win on Sunday against the struggling New York Giants.
The Bears currently hold a 1.5 game lead over Minnesota in the division, though that's essentially 2.5 due to the fact that they currently hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against their mid-west rivals, meaning a win here and that race could be all but over.
Chicago may have just played three games in 12 days following their 23-16 Thanksgiving victory in Detroit but they say winning is a habit and they certainly won't feel any fatigue coming off five straight overall.
The strength for the Bears this season has been their defence, who were pretty solid in Michigan as they picked-off Matthew Stafford twice in the fourth quarter, as Eddie Jackson ran 41 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and Kyle Fuller snatched another in his own end zone to clinch the win.
Starting QB Mitchell Trubisky was side-lined with a shoulder injury that night and Chase Daniel did well in a rare NFL start for the backup, completing 27 of 37 for 230 yards and two scores. Trubisky was expected to return this weekend, which would only add to the Bears' arsenal, but another start for Daniel shouldn't raise too many concerns either.
As for the Giants, they aren't playing for much either, other than pride and maybe the number one overall pick in the 2019 draft, and are coming off a disappointing loss to the Eagles in week 12 courtesy of a field goal with 22 seconds remaining having surrendered a 19-3 second-quarter lead.
The last time these two met was November 2016 as Eli Manning threw for 227 yards and two scores in a 22-16 Giants win but Jay Cutler was still Chicago's quarterback then and that Bears team was pretty poor to say the least.
Two years on and the roles have all but been reversed and a one score Bears win looks more likely this time around.
Lions to the slaughter against the Rams
The Rams have had a week to recover after their record-breaking shoot-out with the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11 and all eyes will be on how they follow-up that astonishing performance against a Lions team who are surely for the slaughter.
The Los Angeles offence is second in the league with an average of 448.6 yards per game thanks mostly to Jared Goff who, after struggling badly as a rookie, has taken huge strides and now triggers the Los Angeles passing game.
Meanwhile, Todd Gurley may be the best running back in the league with 1043 yards to date, and the Rams have two excellent receivers in Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods who, so when they get going, few sides are unable to prevent them running wild.
At the other end of the scale The Lions have fallen back on offence under Head Coach Matt Patricia, of whom a lot was expected at the start of the season, with Kerryon Johnson offering just 641 yards for the season while the defence has done little to back them up.
There looks to be only one winner in this matchup and we all know who that will be, the only real question is by how many and a 14+ margin has to be the bet.
Acca of the Week
It's a four-fold this week, with the choices being: the Dolphins (-5.5), Texans (-4.5) Colts (-3.5) and Ravens (-2) currently available at 14.08 on the Sportsbook.
The Dolphins have been unlucky recently, as illustrated by a last-second field goal to the Colts in Week 12 to take them to 5-6, and will look to take revenge on their old divisional foes while it's been a Short week for Houston after playing Monday but they should have enough to see off a rejuvenated Cleveland.
At 4-7 Atlanta's season is already over while the Ravens have won back-to-back games without regular QB Joe Flacco, who could return this week. When it comes to form you'd do well to better Colts QB Andrew Luck who looks to continue his incredible run of touchdown throws against a Jags side who are all but on the beach.
The Broncos have caused an upset in their last two outings, overturning the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-17 as recently as last Sunday, and with Bengals looking like they have downed-tools already in their 35-20 at home to Cleveland another win could be on the cards.
They say that things come in threes, and the fact that recent success leaves them very much in the mix at 5-6, it might just be worth taking a punt on Denver to complete the hat trick at 7/5 on the Moneyline to win by 1-13 points.
Long shot of the Week
This anytime touchdown scorer five-fold is priced at 20.5 at the time of writing and features four players who have every chance of getting on the board this weekend. My selections are: Saquon Barkley, Davante Adams, Brandin Cooks, Sony Michel and Tevin Coleman.
If you fancy another slugfest this weekend then why not back both teams to score 4 touchdowns or more in each half in the game between the Colts and the Ravens which is priced at 275/1.
A syndicate has been set up for those who want to win more and you can join here and play for £100,000 as seven games are picked with a variety of score margins to choose from.
My picks this week are as follows:
Broncos by 1-6, 7-12 or Bengals by 1-6
Vikings by 1-6 or Patriots by 1-6, 7-12
Redskins by 1-6 or Eagles by 1-6, 7-12
Bears by 1-6, 7-12
Chargers by 1-6 or Steelers by 1-6
Seahawks by 7-12
Ravens by 7-12
I've picked every game bar the Thursday game according to their handicap on the SBK at the time of writing (home team in caps):
Baltimore (-2) over ATLANTA
Denver (-1.5) over CINCINNATI
LA RAMS (-10) over DETROIT
Green Bay (-14.5) over DETROIT
HOUSTON (-4.5) over Cleveland
Indianapolis (3.5) over JACKSONVILLE
MIAMI (-5.5) over Buffalo
Chicago (-3.5) over GIANTS
Carolina (-3.5) over TAMPA BAY
Kansas City (-15.5) over OAKLAND
TENNESSEE (-8) over NY Jets
NEW ENGLAND (-5.5) over Vikings
SEATTLE (-10) over San Francisco
Back the Chicago Bears to win by 1-13 points at 6/4 on the Sportsbook
Back the LA Rams to win by 14+ points against the Detroit Lions at 5/4 on the Sportsbook
Back Denver to beat Cincinatti by 1-13 points at 7/5 on the Sportsbook
Back the Dolphins (-5.5), Texans (-4.5) Colts (-3.5) and Ravens (-2) currently available at 14.08 on the Sportsbook.
Back each team to score 4TDs in each half in Indianapolis @ Jacksonville at 275/1 on Sportsbook