The Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears will be fighting for their playoff lives on Monday night. The Cowboys are 7-5 and holding off the streaking 7-5 Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East thanks to a superior division record. The Bears are 6-6 and will have to make up two games if they hope to catch the 7-5 Detroit Lions, who swept the Bears this season to take a comfortable (at the moment) lead in the NFC North.
The Bears will be at home, but they will be missing Jay Cutler yet again, giving veteran Josh McCown the start. McCown has played well in Cutler's absence this season, but he is just 1-2 in three straight games as the full-time starter. The Cowboys are 2-1 over their last three games. Perhaps as a result, NFL experts are resoundingly siding with the Cowboys to win Monday's matchup.
Across SB Nation's panel of six experts, only Jason Chilton and Matt Ufford were willing to take the Bears. At CBS Sports and ESPN, the ratio of Bears backers dropped to 2-of-9 and 2-of-14, respectively. At Yahoo!, Frank Schwab picked Chicago, but a poll of users once again sided with Dallas.
Given that the game is currently a pick 'em on sports books according to Odds Shark, it's somewhat surprising that public opinion is particularly bullish on the Cowboys. What does Vegas know that talking heads don't?