The Chicago Bears will try to go 3-0 against the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs when the two teams collide in a NFC Wild Card matchup on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The teams first met in a Wild Card game after the 1990 season with the Bears winning 16-10. Sixteen years later the teams collided in the NFC Championship Game, and Chicago routed New Orleans, 39-14, en route to Super Bowl XLI. Sunday's showdown will be the first playoff meeting between the teams in New Orleans. Earlier this season the Saints edged the Bears, 26-23, in overtime.
Kickoff is set for 4:40 p.m. ET. New Orleans is a 10.5-point favorite in the latest Saints vs. Bears odds from William Hill Sportsbook, while the over-under is 48.5. Before making any Bears vs. Saints picks or NFL playoff predictions, you need to see what SportsLine's resident Saints expert, Hammerin' Hank Goldberg, has to say.
A beloved national treasure, Hammer enters the wild card round on an extended heater: Over the final 10 weeks of the 2019 season and through the 2020 regular season, he is an incredible 47-30-1 on his NFL best bets, a 60 percent cash rate. He's 9-6-1 on his best bets the past six weeks.
Hammer, who has inside sources throughout the league, knows the Saints especially well. In fact, he is a sparkling 19-6-1 in his last 26 NFL picks against-the-spread involving New Orleans.
This is the same handicapper who enjoyed 15 winning seasons in his 17-year ESPN run. In 2017, Hammer competed against 10 top handicappers in the Las Vegas Review-Journal's NFL Challenge and beat them all, finishing 50-29-6 on NFL picks against-the-spread. Anybody who has followed him is way up.
- Saints vs. Bears spread: New Orleans -10.5
- Saints vs. Bears Over-Under: 48.5 points
- Saints vs. Bears money line: New Orleans -600, Chicago +450
- NO: RB Alvin Kamara ranks second in the league in rushing touchdowns (16)
- CHI: LB Khalil Mack leads the Bears with nine sacks
Why the Saints can cover
Taysom Hill is the ultimate multipurpose weapon. The versatile player has passed for four touchdowns, rushed for 457 yards and eight touchdowns, and caught eight passes for 98 yards and a score this season. His versatility helped the Saints score touchdowns on 72.1 percent of their red zone trips during the regular season, which ranked fifth in the league.
In addition, New Orleans has been winning the turnover battle all season. The Saints had a plus-nine turnover margin during the regular season, which was tied for third in the league. That bodes well against a Bears team that had a minus-four margin.
Why the Bears can cover
Chicago's defense has been excellent when it needs to be. During the regular season, the Bears allowed opponents to score touchdowns on just 54.7 percent of their red zone possessions, which ranked fifth in the league. The defense also allowed teams to convert just 36.5 percent of third downs on the road this season, which ranked eighth.
In addition, wide receiver Allen Robinson has had success in his career against three-time Pro Bowler Marshon Lattimore and the Saints. In Week 7 of 2019, Robinson had 10 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown against New Orleans. Then, in the matchup between the teams earlier this season, Robinson recorded six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.
How to make Saints vs. Bears picks
Goldberg is leaning Under the total, but his much stronger play is on the spread. In fact, he's found a critical x-factor that makes one side of the spread hit hard on Sunday. He's only sharing what it is, and who to back, here.
So who wins Bears vs. Saints in the NFL Playoffs 2021? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Bears vs. Saints spread you should jump on Sunday, all from the legendary handicapper who's 19-6-1 on picks involving New Orleans.