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Thursday Night Football Betting: Saints vs. Bears

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
Dec/11/2008
Saints vs. Bears

Two teams with two identical records in divisions so tight, every game from here on in counts despite being just slightly over .500.

The line on this game opened at -3 Chicago and has remained there all week long. 

he Bears routed the Saints 39-14 two years ago at Soldier Field in the NFC championship game and ended New Orleans' postseason chances with a 33-25 victory in the finale last season.

"They came here twice, and we beat them, so I'm going to say we're probably going to have the advantage," Chicago nickel back Danieal Manning said. "But we have to go to work and study."

New Orleans has been a contender largely due to quarterback Drew Brees and coach Sean Payton's pass-heavy offense. But in Chicago, the Saints might have to rely more on the run if the weather makes passing tough.

On Sunday, New Orleans rushed for a season-high 184 yards in a 29-25 win over Atlanta.

With Reggie Bush trying to work his way back from knee surgery, and Deuce McAllister showing his age and embroiled in a battle with the NFL over a doping suspension, Thomas has done an outstanding job of keeping the Saints' running game on track.

Thomas, undrafted after a solid career at Illinois, has rushed for 311 yards and four touchdowns in his last four games, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. He's coming off perhaps the best game of his two-year career, rushing for 102 yards and a touchdown to go with a seven-yard reception for another score and an 88-yard kickoff return.

Bush added 80 yards on 10 carries, but it's likely he'll be used more in the passing game down the stretch as he continues to strengthen his left knee, leaving Thomas as the primary ball carrier.

"He catches people off balance because you see him in the backfield and he doesn't look like a big, massive physical running back, but that's exactly how he plays," Saints wide receiver Lance Moore said of Thomas. "He just makes plays, and that's a credit to how hard he's worked."

The Bears have dominated this series over the last 3 but prior to this New Orleans had won 6 of 7.  Outside of the playoff game in 2007 that ultimately landed the Bears in the Super Bowl and what could be considered a meaningless game last season, New Orleans lost one of the last three games in this series within a field goal.

The Bears are 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a Straight Up win.

Gambling911.com likes New Orleans to cover the +3 at Sportsbook.com

Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com

 

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