Saints vs. Bears: Wild Card Playoff Round NFL Betting Preview – January 10, 2021

Posted By Staff on January 10, 2021

The NFC Wild Card round of the 2020 NFL Playoffs features the Chicago Bears (8-8), who are underdogs against the New Orleans Saints (12-4) on January 10, 2021 at 4:40 PM ET on CBS. The point total is set at for the contest.

New Orleans dropped the division rival Carolina Panthers 33-7 on the road Sunday of Week 17. They won back-to-back games to secure the division title and second seed in the conference. The Bears suffered a 35-16 loss to the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers Sunday but still snuck into the playoffs for the second time in three years under head coach Matt Nagy. They had previously won three straight games after a six-game losing skid followed a 5-1 start to the 2020 campaign.

The betting insights in this article reflect betting data from DraftKings as of January 5, 2021, 1:41 AM ET. See table below for current betting odds and CLICK HERE to bet at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Saints vs Bears Betting Odds

Saints vs Bears Props

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Betting breakdown

The Saints are the biggest moneyline favorites of Wild Card Weekend at both DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. That hasn’t done anything to stop bettors at DraftKings; 79% of ML tickets and 72% of the ML betting handle were on the hosts early in the week. A slightly more even 57% of point-spread tickets and 60% of the handle were on the Saints (-9.5) to win by at least 10 points. The two teams met in Chicago in Week 8 with the Saints pulling out a 26-23 win in overtime.

The Over/Under of 47.5 points at both books is the third-highest projected total of the weekend. Seventy-seven percent of bets and 63% of the money wagered are on the Over. New Orleans went 10-6 against the Over/Under in the regular season and topped the number by an average of 3.3 points per game. Chicago was 8-8 against projected totals and played 1.6 PPG above the line.

The Saints covered the spread in nine of 16 games and did so by an average of 4.0 PPG. They were 4-4 ATS at home, and 8-6 ATS as favorites. The Bears 8-8 ATS but covered by an average of 2.3 PPG; they were 5-3 ATS on the road, and 7-6 ATS as underdogs. Chicago covered the spread as a 5.5-point underdog against New Orleans in Week 8 and the Over (41) connected with 49 points scored.

The Bears finished the season going 3-1 straight up and ATS. They played to the Over in each of their final three games on totals of 47, 47, and 48.5. The Saints went 2-2 straight up and 2-1-1 ATS over their final four games. They were 3-1 against the O/U.

The Bears share the longest odds to win Super Bowl LV with the Washington Football Team at +10000 (DraftKings). The Saints are fourth by the odds at +750 (both FanDuel and DraftKings).

Bears at Saints game matchup

Chicago held a 13-10 halftime lead over the Saints in Week 8 and forced overtime with a 51-yard field goal from PK Cairo Santos with 13 seconds remaining. Saints PK Will Lutz kicked a 35-yard game-winning field goal with 1:36 left in OT. Saints QB Drew Brees went 31-for-41 with 280 yards and two touchdowns, RB Alvin Kamara ran 12 times for 67 yards and had nine catches for another 96 yards, and Brees’ touchdowns went to TE Jared Cook and QB/TE Taysom Hill. QB Nick Foles started for the Bears and went 28-for-41 for 272 yards with two scores and an interception. RB David Montgomery ran 21 times for 89 yards, and WR Allen Robinson had six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.

The reigns of the Bears offense have since been handed to fourth-year pro Mitchell Trubisky, and the former second-overall pick may have saved his starting job for at least 2021. He finished the regular season with a 67.0 completion percentage, 2,055 yards, and 16 TDs against eight INTs in nine starts and a relief appearance. Montgomery, a third-round pick in the 2019 draft, finished with 1,508 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns in 15 games. Robinson had a team-high 1,250 yards while TE Jimmy Graham led with eight TDs.

Bears LB Roquan Smith, the team’s leading tackler, could miss Sunday’s game due to an elbow injury. It would represent a huge mismatch in favor of the pass-catching Kamara. Otherwise, the Bears are relatively healthy. The Saints were without Kamara and backup RB Latavius Murray in Week 17 due to COVID-19 protocols but could return in time for Sunday’s game. WR Michael Thomas (ankle) is expected to be activated from the Reserve/Injured list this week.

The potential absence of any star player for New Orleans may not be as significant as one would think. The Saints ranked second by Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA. They were fourth in yards per play allowed. The Bears were eighth by defensive DVOA and 11th by yards per play allowed. Both teams were in the bottom half of the league in both ESPN’s Team Pass Rush Win Rate and Run Stop Win Rate.

The Saints finished the 16-game regular season with 45 sacks to the Bears’ 35. New Orleans had a turnover differential of plus-9 to Chicago’s minus-4. The time of possession battle goes to the Saints, who had the ball for 31:32 on average while Chicago averaged 30:16 of possession to rank 16th.

Betting the Total (Over/Under)

  • Saints games average 51.2 total points per game this season, equal to the over/under for this matchup.
  • Bears games average 46.4 total points, 1.1 fewer than the total for this matchup.
  • New Orleans and its opponents have combined to score more than 47.5 in nine games (56.2% of matchups).
  • Chicago’s contests have gone over 47.5 points on eight occasions (50% of games).
  • These two teams score a combined average of 53.3 points per game, higher than the total for this matchup by 5.8 points.
  • The Saints are the fifth-highest scoring team in the NFL this year. The Bears have scored the 22nd-most points.
  • These teams surrender a combined 44.2 points per game, 3.3 fewer points than this matchup’s total.
  • This matchup features the league’s 14th-ranked (Chicago) and fifth-ranked (New Orleans) scoring defenses.
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Saints Betting Insights

  • New Orleans is 9-7 against the spread.
  • The Saints have an ATS record of 2-0 when playing as at least 9.5-point favorites.
  • Most of New Orleans’ games this year — 10 out of 16 — have gone over the point total (62.5%).

Bears Betting Insights

  • Chicago is 8-8 against the spread.
  • The Bears are 1-0 ATS when playing as at least 9.5-point underdogs.
  • Half of Chicago’s games this year — eight out of 16 — have gone over the point total.

Saints vs Bears: Head to Head

Saints vs Bears: Last 2 Meetings
Date Favorite Home Team Spread Total Favorite Moneyline Underdog Moneyline Total Yards Result
11/1/2020 Saints Bears -5.5 41 -245 +210 394-329 NO 26-23 NO
10/20/2019 Bears Bears -4 37 -195 +170 424-252 NO 36-25 NO

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When the Saints Have the Ball

  • The Saints, on average, score seven more points per game this season (30.1) than the Bears allow (23.1).
  • When they meet or go over their scoring average this season, New Orleans is 6-0 and 6-0 against the spread.
  • When the Chicago defense allows 23.1 points or fewer this year, the Bears have accumulated a 6-2 overall record and a 5-3 record against the spread.
  • The Bears defense has allowed an average of 344.9 yards per game so far this season, 31.7 yards fewer than the 376.6-yard average from the Saints offense. On average, the Saints pick up 5.8 yards per play and the Bears allow 5.4.
  • In contests where the New Orleans offense totals at least their average yard output this season, they are 5-5 against the spread and 8-2 overall.
  • When Chicago allows fewer total yards to opposing offenses than their season average, they are 4-4 against the spread and 5-3 overall this season.
  • The Bears have allowed opposing rushing attacks to average 113.4 yards per game in 2020 compared to the 141.7 yards the Saints offense has averaged on the ground per contest.
  • When New Orleans rushers gain at least a combined 141.7 yards this season, they are 6-0 overall and 6-0 against the spread.
  • This season, when the Chicago defense allows opponents to pick up less than 113.4 yards on the ground, they are 4-6 against the spread and 5-5 overall.
  • This season, the Bears have forced an average of 1.1 turnovers per game compared to the 1.1 times Saints have turned the football over in each contest.
  • In games where they turn the football over 1.1 times or fewer this season, New Orleans is 9-3 overall and 6-6 against the spread.
  • Chicago is 3-2 against the spread and 4-1 overall this season when they force at least 1.1 turnovers in a game.

When the Bears Have the Ball

  • The Bears rack up 23.2 points per game, comparable to the 21.1 per outing the Saints allow.
  • Chicago is 5-2 against the spread and 5-2 overall a season ago when the team puts up at least 23.2 points.
  • New Orleans has a 6-0 record against the spread and a 6-0 record overall in games when it allows 30.1 points or less.
  • The Bears collect 20.6 more yards per game (331.4), than the Saints allow per contest (310.8). The Bears average 5.1 yards per play, while the Saints give up 5 per play.
  • When the New Orleans offense put together a game with at least their 2019 average in yardage, they were 8-1 overall and 6-3 against the spread last season.
  • In games New Orleans holds its opponents to 310.8 or fewer yards, it has a 6-1 record ATS and a 7-0 record overall.
  • The Bears rush for 103 yards per game, just 9.1 more yards per game than the 93.9 the Saints allow per contest.
  • When Chicago rushes for at least 103 yards, it recorded a 5-4 ATS record and a 6-3 overall record.
  • This season, New Orleans is 8-1 against the spread and 9-0 overall when holding opponents to no more than 93.9 yards on the ground.
  • This year, the Bears turn the ball over 1.4 times per game, just 0.2 fewer turnovers per game than the 1.6 the Saints force on average.
  • Chicago is 7-2 against the spread and 6-3 overall when it turns the ball over 1.4 or fewer times.
  • This season, New Orleans has a 6-0 record against the spread and a 6-0 record overall when it forces at least 1.6 turnovers.

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Saints Players to Watch

  • Drew Brees leads the team with 2,942 passing yards (245.2 yards per game) and has a 70.5% completion percentage this year (275-of-390) while throwing 24 touchdowns and six interceptions in 12 games.
  • Taysom Hill has rushed for a team-leading 459 yards on 87 carries (28.7 yards per game) while scoring eight touchdowns in 16 games.
  • In six games in 2020, Ty Montgomery has run for 101 yards on 19 carries (16.8 ypg), with zero rushing touchdowns.
  • This season, Emmanuel Sanders has 61 catches (on 82 targets) to lead the team with 726 yards (45.4 per game) while scoring five touchdowns in 16 games.
  • Jared Cook’s statline this year shows 37 grabs for 504 yards and seven touchdowns over 15 games. He puts up 33.6 receiving yards per game and has been targeted 60 times.
  • Marquez Callaway has caught 21 passes on 27 targets for 213 yards and zero touchdowns, averaging 19.4 yards per game in 11 contests in 2020.
  • Trey Hendrickson has notched a team-leading 13.5 sacks, while adding 12.0 TFL and 25 tackles over 15 games.
  • In 16 games over the course of the 2020 campaign, Demario Davis has collected 118 tackles, 10.0 TFL, and four sacks and leads the team in tackles.
  • Malcolm Jenkins has a team-high three interceptions and has tacked on 91 tackles, 7.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks, and 10 passes defended 16 in games this season.

Bears Players to Watch

  • Mitchell Trubisky has thrown for 2,055 yards while completing 67% of his passes (199-of-297), with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 10 games this year (205.5 yards per game). He’s also carried the ball 33 times for 196 yards and one touchdown, averaging 19.6 yards per game.
  • David Montgomery has picked up a team-high 1,070 rushing yards (71.3 yards per game) and scored eight touchdowns in 15 games. He has tacked on 54 catches for 438 yards (29.2 receiving yards per game) with two receiving touchdowns.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson has 232 yards on 64 carries (14.5 ypg), with one rushing touchdown over the course of 16 games.
  • This season, Allen Robinson II has 102 catches (on 151 targets) to lead the team with 1,250 yards (78.1 per game) while scoring six touchdowns in 16 games.
  • Darnell Mooney’s statline this year shows 61 catches for 631 yards and four touchdowns over the course of 16 games. He puts up 39.4 receiving yards per game and has been targeted 98 times.
  • Anthony Miller has caught 49 passes on 76 targets for 485 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 30.3 yards per game in 16 contests in 2020.
  • Khalil Mack has registered a team-leading 9.0 sacks, while adding 11.0 TFL, 50 tackles, and one interception over 16 games.
  • In 16 games over the course of the 2020 campaign, Roquan Smith has totaled 140 tackles, 18.0 TFL, four sacks, and two interceptions and leads the team in tackles.
  • This season, Tashaun Gipson leads the team with two interceptions and has added 66 tackles and five passes defended 16 in games.

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