Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers : NFL Week 2 Free Pick


Santa Clara construction crews had to hurry up and finish the brand new Levi’s stadium because if it was left out in the sun too long it was going to shrink (cringe). Well it’s done and ready to rock for the official opener Sunday night and the only 501 might be the yardage put up by the 49ers as they welcome the bruised Chicago Bears to town. San Francisco was able to go into Dallas last Sunday and hold off the home underdogs despite not scoring in the second half and killing ‘over’ bettors 28-17. They were helped by 3 Tony Romo specials and an efficient offensive attack against the weltering Dallas defense in holding onto a 28-3 halftime lead.

Chicago knows a thing or two about crucial quarterback turnovers as multiple Jay Cutler interceptions were devastating in their 20-23 OT loss to the Bills as -7 home favorites. Cutler actually had a decent numbers day going 34/49 for 349 and 2TD with the 2 INT but it was a game Chicago needed to have. The Bears took two concerning things from the game – 1) they gave up 193 yards on the ground despite spending almost all of their offseason resources on fixing the defensive line and getting their starting linebackers back to full health 2)injuries knocked starting guard Matt Slauson, center Roberto Garza, and receiver Alshon Jeffery out of the game and also limited Brandon Marshall’s effectiveness. Slauson and Garza are expected to miss up to a month and Jeffery and Marshall should play but their effectiveness will be questionable.

Free Pick

goreMost of the numbers point to San Francisco winning a high scoring affair. First off the Bears totals have gone over 12 of 16 times in road games over the last 3 seasons including 4 of the last 5 times the total has been between 46 and 49. As long as Chicago can score, the over looks like a great play because San Francisco should be able to have success on the ground with Frank Gore and impressive rookie Carlos Hyde. The total for this game being set at 48.5 is very telling for the Bears, considering they’re just 5-18 ATS in road games with totals that high since 1992. On the San Francisco side, the 49ers are 5-1 ATS against NFC North opponents in the past 3 years as well as 6-3 in September and 4-2 as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points.

Colin Kaepernick could be in for a big game running the ball for San Francisco. The Bears can create some good outside pressure with Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, and Willie Young but all that does is open up running lanes for Kaepernick to outrun an extremely slow linebacking core of D.J. Williams, Lance Briggs, and Shea Mclellin. Jay Cutler is 0-2 and has thrown just 1TD compared to 6INT against San Francisco and will be without 2 starting lineman and will have 2 possibly gimpy wide receivers. When you consider the electric atmosphere for a Sunday night game at the new stadium, it’s easy to believe Chicago gets stonewashed here.

Pick: San Francisco -7 @

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