The Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys each share identical 6-6 records as they get ready for a crucial Thursday night showdown at Soldier Field. The record is the only thing these two teams have in common as Dallas has a much more realistic chance of making the postseason due to the struggles of the NFC East. The Cowboys have a one-game lead over the Philadelphia Eagles with four games to play. Meanwhile, the Bears are two games back of the Vikings for the final wild card spot in the NFC and three back of the Green Bay Packers for first place in the division.
Dallas has had a week off since their embarrassing 26-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Thanksgiving Day. The Bears also played on Thanksgiving and came from behind to defeat the Detroit Lions 24-20. If the Cowboys win out, they will be the NFC East champions for the third time in the last four years. The Bears need to win out and hope the Vikings and Packers stumble down the stretch in order to sneak into the postseason.
For those not interested in betting on the spread, we break down the odds and offer our best prop bets and analysis for Thursday’s matchup between the Cowboys and Bears.
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Cowboys vs. Bears Game Details
Date: Thursday, December 5
Time: 8:20 pm
Location: Soldier Field (Chicago, Illinois)
Spread: Cowboys -3
Analysis & Props
This is a real exotic one, but I think it has a ton of value. It’s based on the underperforming Dallas special teams unit, which is allowing the worst field position against in the NFL. Cordarrelle Patterson already has a kick return for a touchdown this season and has gotten a few looks on offense as well. His anytime touchdown prop is currently +1400 on FanDuel. I expect him to make at least one game-breaking play in what should be a tight matchup between two solid defenses. Special teams could be the difference, and if Patterson gets loose, this dog could hunt.
PICK: Cordarrelle Patterson anytime TD (+1400)
Tarik Cohen has had no fewer than 4 targets in the passing game in each of his last 4 weeks, he’s also found the end zone in two of those games. The scoring prop doesn’t have much value at +260, but the receptions prop looks just right at 3.5 on FanDuel. What I like most about it is most of Cohen’s targets come near the line of scrimmage. Cohen had 4 receptions on 4 targets in the win over the Lions last Thursday. Expect Cohen to continue to catch passes and for this prop to go over.
PICK: Tarik Cohen over 3.5 receptions (-126)
Ezekiel Elliot has struggled of late. In the last four games, his high-water mark rushing total has been just 86 yards. Granted, Dallas had to abandon the run last week after falling behind to the Bills. But Elliot’s inflated rushing total of 84.5 on FanDuel has my eye, especially this week against a very good rushing defense. If the Bears take an early lead, this one should definitely stay under. Even if Dallas is ahead I expect the Bears front to keep Zeek in check just enough for this to shade under.
PICK: Ezekiel Elliot under 84.5 rushing yards (-112)
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith