NFL Betting Odds and Picks on Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys
Monday, October 01, 2012
by Nick Orlando
Chicago (2-1) at Dallas (2-1)
Two of the NFL's marquee teams meet on Monday night when Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears take the trip down to North Texas to face off with Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys.
Each club is 2-1 and has sandwiched a tepid performance with two wins.
The Bears got back on right track last Sunday thanks in large part to their defense, which held the St. Louis Rams without a touchdown and scored one of their own en route to a 23-6 victory at Soldier Field.
Major Wright came up with the 45-yard interception return for a touchdown, while Michael Bush added a 3-yard scoring run and Robbie Gould kicked three field goals for the Bears.
"This was a bounce back game for us," Chicago coach Lovie Smith said. "We needed to come out strong. The defense really came out ready to play. Our defensive line has played outstanding ball all year and they set the tone."
Cutler finished 17-of-31 passing for 183 yards with an interception for the Bears, who played without star running back Matt Forte. Bush rushed for 55 yards on 18 carries in place of Forte, while Brandon Marshall had five catches for 71 yards.
Forte, who sprained his right ankle during Chicago's Week 2 loss at Green Bay back on Sept. 13, was back on the practice field participating in individual drills on Wednesday, a positive sign in regards to his availability for Monday's contest.
"It wasn't a very long practice, so I just wanted to see how I felt today," he said. "I went through all the routes and everything. I can sprint, so I think I'll be good to go."
Forte, who signed a four-year deal with Chicago during the offseason, rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown while adding 89 receiving yards on seven receptions prior to getting hurt. The 2011 Pro Bowl selection amassed 997 rushing yards, 52 catches and scored four touchdowns over 12 games last season.
If healthy Forte will meet a Cowboys team that rode kicker Dan Bailey, who made three field goals, to a 16-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week.
Romo completed 25-of-39 passes for 283 yards and an interception against the Bucs as the Cowboys bounced back from an ugly 27-7 loss to Seattle.
DeMarco Murray carried the ball 18 times for 38 yards and a score vs. Tampa Bay while Miles Austin caught five passes for 107 yards in a game where the Dallas offense struggled mightily, committing three turnovers and allowing Romo to get sacked four times.
The defense, however, allowed the Buccaneers to gain just 166 yards.
"I can't give our defense enough credit," Romo said. "That was as good a performance as I've ever been around."
The Cowboys lead the all-time series between the two clubs 11-9 and have taken two of the past three matchups.
These two teams are very similar. The quarterbacks are lightning rods and both offensive lines are big problems. Chicago looks to have the more well-rounded defense but the Cowboys have more playmakers around Romo offensively. Call home field the difference in this one.
Vegas Online Sports Betting's NFL Football Prediction: Cowboys 20, Bears 14