|2009 NFL Betting Preview: Steelers at Bears Trends, Injuries & Picks|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Sunday, 20 September 2009 08:30|
Steelers-Bears Free Pick
The defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers head to the Windy City this weekend to take on the Chicago Bears at 4:15PM ET on Sunday.
The Steelers beat the Titans in the opening night of the season, but failed to cover the 6.5-point spread as a favorite. In Pittsburgh’s 13-10 victory, Santonio Holmes had nine catches for 131 yards and a touchdown, while Ben Roethlisberger threw for 363 yards and a TD.
The Bears stumbled in their opener, losing to the Packers 21-15 and failing to cover the spread as a 5-point underdog. Jay Cutler was brutal, throwing four interceptions in his Chicago debut, although he did pass for 277 yards and a touchdown. Devin Hester was also productive, catching four passes for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made the Steelers 3-point road favorites over the Bears on Sunday. The over/under total for this game has been set at 37.5.
The last time these teams met was back in December of 2005 when the Steelers knocked off the Bears 21-9 in Pittsburgh to cover the 6.5-point spread as favorites.
The Steelers have injury concerns on defense as safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker Lawrence Timmons are expected to miss this Sunday’s game. Polamalu is a game-changer, so him not playing is an advantage for Chicago.
That said, Pittsburgh’s defense is so good that it can overcome the injury of an individual player – even if that player is Polamalu. The front seven will look to fluster Culter just as Green Bay’s defense did last Sunday night and once that happens, the Bear QB has proven in the past that he can’t overcome mistakes.
We expect the Bears to keep things close in their home opener, but we like the Steelers’ defense to set things up once again for the offense. Chicago lost middle linebacker Brian Urlacher to season-ending surgery, so Ben Roethlisberger should find open passing lanes up the seams of the Bears’ defense. Chicago’s secondary is a major weakness, so Big Ben could have a big day, even though Pittsburgh’s running game is nowhere to be found.
Along with Pittsburgh –3, we also recommend taking the over. The total has gone over in 5 of Pittsburgh’s last 7 games on the road and in 7 of Chicago’s last 10 games at home.
Our NFL Free Picks for this Week 2 matchup are: PITTSBURGH STEELERS -3 and UNDER 37.5.
231 Pittsburgh Steelers –3 Over 37.5
232 Chicago Bears +3 Under 37.5
Pittsburgh is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games
Troy Polamalu, S, Out Week 2 (knee)
Limas Sweed, WR, Out Week 2 (foot)
Ike Taylor, CB, Probable Week 2 (not injury related)
Lawrence Timmons, LB, Probable Week 2 (ankle)
Desmond Clark, TE, Doubtful Week 2 (rib)
Pisa Tinoisamoa, LB, Doubtful Week 2 (knee)
Al Afalava, S, Probable Week 2 (shoulder)
Mark Anderson, DE, Probable Week 2 (toe)
Tommie Harris, DT, Probable Week 2 (knee)
Danieal Manning, S, Probable Week 2 (back)
Frank Omiyale, G, Probable Week 2 (ankle)
Posted: 9/20/09 1:30PM ET