NFL Free Pick: CHI/HOU

The Chicago Bears put their playoff lives on the line Sunday in Houston when they take on an improved Texans team at Reliant Stadium.

Will we take the Bears to cover in this free pick?

Our team of writers and handicappers break down the matchup and hand out a Free NFL Pick for Week 17.

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Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Texans -3 point spread favorite. The over/under for this game has been set at 46.5 total points.

Key Trend: The Bears are just 2-5-1 against the spread in their last eight games while the Texans are 5-1 against the number in their last six games.

Key Stat: The Bears have allowed 235.4 passing yards per game this year, while the Texans are averaging 262.6 passing YPG. Houston is also averaging 114.6 rushing yards per game, while Chicago has managed just 91.3 YPG on the ground.

Game Outlook: The Bears are lucky they’re still playing for the division right now after being dominated by the Packers on Monday night, yet still coming away with an overtime victory. Houston is a better team than Chicago is right now and its going to prove it on Sunday. The Bears won’t have an answer for Andre Johnson in the passing game and Matt Schaub should play loose and have some success against a thin Chicago secondary. The Texans defense has been inconsistent all season, but they should produce a turnover or two, especially considering Bears’ quarterback Kyle Orton has thrown eight interceptions in his last four games. Even if the Vikings lose to the Giants at home on Sunday, the Bears won’t survive in Houston. The Texans were over hyped and got bit hard last week in Oakland, but they’ll send their hometown fans happy with a win on Sunday and a respectable 8-8 finish to the season. For the rest of our NFL Free Pick, see below.

Our Free NFL Pick for the Week 17 matchup between the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans is

HOUSTON TEXANS -3

TheSpread.com Projected Final Score

Houston Texans 23

Chicago Bears 16

We also predict that this game will GO UNDER THE TOTAL (46.5 Sports Interaction.com) SET BY ODDSMAKERS

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Posted: 12/28/08 8:30AM ET

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