The San Francisco 49ers host the Chicago Bears in Week 16 of the 2018 NFL regular season. Niner Noise previews the matchup, including key stats, players to watch, X-factors, odds, injury news and how to watch the game live.
A week removed from clinching the NFC North, the Chicago Bears travel to the Bay Area to face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16. Although each team boasts a two-game winning streak, and is coming off of an emotional victory over their fiercest rival, Sunday’s matchup holds a different meaning for the Bears, who have a potential first-round bye on the line.
While San Francisco will be playing for little more than pride in Week 16, Chicago hopes to extend their winning streak in order to secure a week off in the first round of the playoffs. The 10-win Bears hold the tiebreaker over the 11-3 Los Angeles Rams after defeating the NFC West champs in Week 14. If Chicago can pick up a game over the Rams in the final two weeks of the regular season, the Bears will enter January as the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
But even with playoff seeding on the line, Sunday’s showdown has all the makings of a trap game for Chicago.
After defeating the Rams, the Bears played to a perfect outcome in Week 15. Not only did they clinch a playoff spot — thus ending their seven-year playoff drought — and the division title with a victory over the Green Bay Packers, they also knocked their hated rivals out of playoff contention in the process. With another divisional matchup with the Minnesota Vikings looming in Week 17, it would be easy for Chicago to look past the lowly Niners on Sunday.
However, San Francisco has embraced the spoiler role in recent weeks, as they essentially ended the Denver Broncos’ playoff hopes in Week 14, and kept the Seattle Seahawks from clinching a playoff berth the following week. And despite the two team’s “opposite” records, Las Vegas doesn’t expect the 10-4 Bears to cruise to an easy victory over the 4-10 49ers.
Although San Francisco hasn’t seen reverse line movement like the previous two weeks, “sharp” betters have held the line steady throughout the week despite nearly all small-money players throwing their money down on Chicago. The 49ers hope the sharps are correct once again, as the home team finds themselves just four-point underdogs to the playoff-bound Bears, per OddsShark.
Let’s break down the important statistics you need to know about the San Francisco 49ers’ Week 16 opponent, the Chicago Bears: