The Baltimore Ravens travel to Chicago to face the Bears in a Week 11 matchup with playoff implications on the line. Both teams need to a win to stay in the race in their respective divisions, but uneven offenses makes this a difficult one to predict.
Lines currently have Chicago as four-point favorites at home, with the margin being as low as 2.5 points from some outlets. Jay Cutler will miss the game with a high ankle sprain, forcing the Bears to turn to Josh McCown. This seems like it would be reason to tip the scales in favor of Baltimore, but McCown has been surprisingly reliable this season -- passing for 538 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Baltimore has been up-and-down in 2013 with wins over Cincinnati and Miami, but losses to Buffalo and Pittsburgh. One area this team is reliable stems from its inability to play away from home. The Ravens have just one win on the road this season and are 1-4 against the spread when not playing at M&T Bank Stadium.
The story isn't any better in Chicago, where the Bears are one of the league's worst teams at home against the spread. They hold a 1-5-2 record in their last eight home games and 1-8-1 against the spread over the last ten. It's a case of two teams that routinely lose against the spread facing off, with questions at quarterback and searching for reliable running.
Over/under is set a 45.0 points, which could be a touch high. Chicago is one of the NFL's highest-scoring offenses at 28.8 points per game, but the Ravens are much less worse -- averaging 20.9 points and scoring a total of 54 points in the last three games. It all depends on whether Joe Flacco can throw deep, or whether he will be stonewalled once again.
Chicago are poised to win the matchup with a reliable ground game and better offensive weapons. The Ravens could have the better pass rush, but McCown has been good enough this season to win at home.