American Football

Betting the Bears: Freezing game vs. Bills

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Betting the Bears: Freezing game vs. Bills
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Can the Bears cover at a frigid Soldier Field against another cold-weather team?

Bear weather.

Is it real, is it a myth? Does it matter when the opponent also comes from a cold weather city?

It is expected to be a particularly frigid Christmas Eve game for the Chicago Bears and visiting Buffalo Bills. The Bills have played their share of snow and cold games already this season and should be quite prepared for the weather.

Bear weather has long been talked about as a difference maker. But I don’t know that it actually is.

Let’s review the leagues before we get into it more.

Over in the survivor pool, there are still five alive; no one took a strike last week. It’s going to get tougher from here though as it looks like most of those remaining have burned up the truly elite teams like the Eagles, Chiefs and Buffalo.

In the pick ‘ems, .Eberflus. took the lead back from Bill Swerski’s Superfans, as the two have gone back and forth all season. UrlacherOwnsYou was the high-scorer with a 14-point week and tiebreakers last week. I managed to move up to seventh with a nice 12-point week.

With all that out of the way, let’s look at the game.

Buffalo Bills (-8) at Chicago Bears (O/U 40.5)

Once again the Bears are big home underdogs against a team with one of the better records in the league.

This week the weather is expected to be a factor though, with high winds and low temperatures.

Passing should be difficult.

The Bills are 3-3-1 against the spread on the road this year. They have played in some cold games this year, with snow too, but this will be by far the coldest game of the year for Buffalo.

The air temperature at Soldier Field will be somewhere around 10 degrees with wind chills below -5, likely into the -10s.

Using Stathead, I went back as far as I could to get the Bears’ home record in games (regular season only) with temperatures below 20 degrees.

They are 15-6 against the spread in such games, including 6-0 as an underdog. Since 2000, they’re 7-2 ATS in such games.

Their record outright is 16-5, which is better than I thought it would be. That’s 6-3 since 2000. However, they have lost their last two games outright, while covering, in cold temperatures (in 2016 to the Packers and last week to the Eagles).

In the 16 listed games with the total data, the over gets the lean 9-7 but most of those have comically low totals in the 30s. Games with at least a 40-point total are 3-3 to each side.

With all this in mind, I am taking the Bears +8 and the under. Sure, it’s possible that the total burns me like last week, but I think it’s only going to take 21 to 23 points to win this one.

Were I alive in survivor, I would take the Lions. I think that the Panthers defense is playing inspired right now and will cover the spread, but I don’t think they’ll outright beat the Lions. But, anything can happen.

My picks: Bears +8, under 40.5, Lions (survivor)

2022 record: 13-13-1 overall, 8-5-1 ATS


Join us for a special Saturday edition of The Gambler’s Den on December 24 at 10 a.m. (CT) on our 2nd City Gridiron YouTube channel, where Jeff Berckes, Ross Read, and Erik Smith talk prop bets, make game picks (spread and over/under), and go over all the essential fantasy football decisions too.

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