Two members of the NFC's upper class clash on Sunday as the 4-2 New Orleans Saints blow into Chicago for a showdown with the 5-2 Bears inside Soldier Field as part of the Week 8 slate in the NFL. A Bears win would tie the all-time series, which New Orleans leads 16-15 (including two postseason tilts).
The Saints have won five straight in the series, including a 36-25 outcome in Chicago in Week 7 last season. In fact, the Bears haven't marched through the Saints since 2008, which was the last of four straight over New Orleans in that stretch.
A Brees Blows Through The Windy City
Last year's matchup between the two teams featured neither Drew Brees nor Alvin Kamara. But Teddy Bridgewater (now in Carolina) and Latavius Murray held their own in a convincing victory, the final game Brees missed before returning from a thumb injury.
He and the Saints are currently riding a three-game winning streak, but those wins have come by a combined 12 points. Once again, they were hoping for the return of wide receiver Michael Thomas, who hasn't played since Week 1 due to ankle and hamstring injuries, as well as disciplinary reasons, but he'll be sidelined again.
Emmanuel Sanders will miss his second straight game due to the coronavirus, experiencing severe symptoms, including a fever of 102. The Saints will again rely on Kamara, who leads the team in both rushing and receiving yards and has seven total touchdowns.
At 5-2, the Bears are second in the NFC North, behind only the Packers, but they've only beaten one team with a record above .500 (Buccaneers). They were completely bottled up in front of a national audience by the Rams this past Monday night, as Nick Foles threw two interceptions and was sacked four times.
David Montgomery rushed for just 48 yards, while Allen Robinson led the team with just 70 receiving yards. And much like their opponent, Chicago could be without their top target on the outside, as Robinson remains in concussion protocol and is unlikely to play Sunday.
Linebacker Khalil Mack also hasn't practiced this week, and it would be a major blow to the defense if he weren't able to suit up.
Betting Line and Pick
The Saints are instilled as the road favorite in this one, laying 4.5 points to the home Bears, with an over/under set at 43.5. The Saints are 1-1 ATS on the road (favored on both occasions), while the Bears are 1-2 ATS at home (won as a dog), so we have to give the slight edge to Chicago there.
The last time Foles faced the Saints, while with Philadelphia, Alshon Jeffery let a pass slip through his hands, ultimately up as an interception and ruining a second straight Super Bowl run for Foles and the Eagles in 2018. He'll play with a little chip on his shoulder in this one.
The Bears are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 home games against a team with a winning road record, but Wil Lutz will pull it out with a 4th-quarter field goal for the Saints straight-up win.
Pick: Bears +4.5