Houston Texans vs. Chicago Bears Betting Odds Preview - NFL Week 10

Houston at Chicago on Sunday Night Football will probably be the most anticipated game of Week 10. Houston is 7-1, Chicago is 7-1; Houston is undefeated on the road, Chicago is undefeated at home. Both teams were given their only loss by Green Bay and both teams beat Jacksonville and Tennessee.

Looking first at similar matchups Green Bay beat Houston 42-24 and beat Chicago 23-10. Houston beat Jacksonville 27-7 and Chicago beat Jacksonville 41-3. Chicago beat Tennessee 51-20 and Houston won 38-14. Chicago comes out of this comparison looking very good relative to Houston.

Thus it is not such a surprise that Chicago is the favorite to win this game. What is slightly surprising is the spread at 1 point. The over/under is 41 points. On average Houston has scored 29.6 points a game and Chicago has scored an average of 29.5 points. On average Houston has allowed an average of 17.1 points per game and Chicago 15 points per game. By those numbers it should be a close game, maybe even a 1 point game.

Each team has played and beat two good teams and played a number of mediocre teams so schedule strength is comparable. Therefore it is worth noting that by rankings Houston has the better team. Houston has the 16th best passing offense and the 8th best run offense. Chicago has the 29th best passing offense and the 11th best run offense. Houston has the 4th best passing defense and the 2nd best run defense. Chicago has the 16th best passing defense and the 6th best run defense.

Another interesting way of looking at this is to compare QB ratings. Chicago’s Jay Cutler has a lower rating than Houston’s Matt Schaub. Both teams depend more on the run game than the passing game but when looking at their second strength Houston should have the edge. But when thinking about defense, Packers’ Aaron Rodgers is the second highest rated QB in the league, he ripped Houston’s defense for 42 points and Chicago’s for 23. Perhaps Houston is more vulnerable to pass than Chicago. That Chicago firmly beat the Cowboys, another strong passing team, also adds weight to Chicago’s strength against the pass.

But when you consider run defense it is hard to find a winner. So perhaps it is better to ask who has more productive RBs. Adrian Foster of the Texans has 770 yards this season with 10 TDs. Matt Forte of the Bears has 539 yards for 3 TDs. So Houston wins the run game on offensive strength and Chicago has a better chance of winning the passing game on defensive strength.

Looking at the over/under it seems as if going with the over makes sense. Houston has never scored less than 21 points this season. If one assumes a close game with Chicago winning, as favored, then that’s a 22-21 score and a good over pick. This makes a lot of sense as Chicago has never allowed more than 22 points against. Houston has allowed up to 25 points. Choosing a winner to cover the 1 point spread is rarely a bad choice in football.

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