NFL Wildcard Weekend: New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears Preview, Odds, and Predictions!
This may be the largest blowout on Wildcard weekend, but it's the NFL playoffs... anything can happen! The Chicago Bears will look to prove everyone wrong as they are set to travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints.
New Orleans Saints (-600) vs. Chicago Bears (+400)... Spread: Saints (-10.5)
The Bears squeaked into the postseason with an 8-8 record as they finished off the season 3-1, which propelled them into the last playoff spot in the NFC. They lost in week 17 to the Green Bay Packers, but an Arizona Cardinals loss against the Los Angeles Rams assured the Bears their playoff spot. The late-season resurgence from the Bears was led by QB Mitch Trubisky, who came in relief of QB Nick Foles to reclaim his starting spot in 2020-2021... and maybe beyond. Also, the dominant play of RB David Montgomery has enabled the offense to reach new heights with consistent production on the ground. However, despite the improvements on the offense, the Bears defense will be the x-factor in this game because of the loaded Saints offense. Trubisky won't be able to keep pace with Brees and the weapons on the Saints' offense if it turns into a shootout, so LB Khalil Mack and company need to have a big performance. The Bears will look to avenge their loss to the Saints as they dropped a close game in overtime by the score of 26-23 earlier in the year.
There's no need to fear Saints fans... RB Alvin Kamara is here! Their all-star RB is ready to suit up this weekend as he was forced to sit out last game due to Covid safety precautions.
Also, the Saints WR Micheal Thomas has returned to practice this week on a limited basis and is expected to play on Sunday barring any setbacks. If the Saints have both Kamara and Thomas healthy, and their defense plays lights out like they have all season, they can make a run at the Super Bowl. The Saints had an impressive 12-4 record this season but failed to claim that top spot in the NFC. So, now they have to earn their way to the Super Bowl by competing in every round in the playoffs. Their defense is among the best in the league and is a turnover forcing machine. Add in that Trubisky is prone to turnovers and making bonehead mistakes and I think the Saints' defense will come up huge in this game. The Saints have had a lot of heartbreak in the playoffs in recent years, but this squad has a legitimate shot to win it all.
As for this game is concerned, if the Saints were playing in Chicago, I'd give the Bears a slim chance to win, but the Saints playing in the Dome is a completely different story. I believe they'll be able to pull away against the Bears in this game as they are the most favored team to win on Wildcard weekend. Also, the playoff experience in this game is unmatched as the Saints are seemingly in the post-season every year compared to the Bears who lack 'big game' experience. I see the Saints taking the lead early and cruising to a comfortable victory at home. Hammer the Saints at -10.5 in this spot at home in the dome.
Prediction: Saints -10.5 (-110)