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Cowboys @ Bears Expert Picks: A Monday Night Shootout?

A sampling of picks made for Monday's Cowboys @ Bears game has the Cowboys as slight favorites, but will the game live up to its high-scoring expectations?

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Ronald Martinez

If the weather forecast is anything to go by, it will be a very, very cold night in Chicago on Monday (check out the forecast for Soldier Field right here).

But if Vegas is anything to go by, it could be a hot night in Chicago: The over/under for the game currently sits at 49.5, the second highest value of Week 15 behind only the game between the Lions and Eagles, where the over/under sits at 54.

So should we expect a shootout in spite of the inclement weather? Or perhaps precisely because of the weather?

Both teams have trended toward the over this season with Dallas at 7-5 and Chicago at 8-4. Additionally, their last three games have all gone over the total. Of note: the road team has won each of the last three games.

The eleven experts we poll below aren't so sure. Six are taking the over, five are taking the under for the game. Here's what our panel thinks will happen in the game:

Name (Cowboys accuracy)
Pick Score Comment
Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk
Chi_medium 34-31 The Bears are running out of time to catch the Lions in the NFC North. Chicago’s offense should have a big day against the Dallas D, and the Bears will snap their two-game losing streak.
Peter Schrager, Foxsports
Dal_medium 31-21 Sean Lee should be back in the lineup, Tony Romo should be able to light up the Bears defense, and the Cowboys always seem to win big games in November and the start of December. They'll beat Chicago, get everyone talking about a run through the playoffs, and well, have to win in Week 17 to get in like every other year.
Don Banks,
Chi_medium 24-20 I wanted to pick Dallas in this game, given the Cowboys are getting middle linebacker Sean Lee back after he missed more than 2 1/2 games with a bad hamstring pull. But it's going to be frosty and windy at Solider Field, and those big Bears receivers are going to have a field day against that Dallas secondary.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
Dal_medium 27-17 Like each of the past two years, the Cowboys get to eight wins. The real question is whether they can get a ninth. At least the Bears won’t miss the playoffs this year with 10 wins.
The Other ESPN Guy (9-3) Dal_medium 27-23 I've been burned twice in a row now by the Bears, who have lost two straight to lesser teams than Dallas. Even though the Cowboys aren't running the ball well, the Bears will make DeMarco Murray look like the second coming of Barry Sanders. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery will have a field day against Dallas' secondary. But I don't think Chicago can keep up.
Sam Farmer, L.A. Times (8-4) Chi_medium 24-21 Although the Cowboys have won two in a row, and the Bears have lost two in a row, Tony Romo has struggled in cold-weather games, on Monday nights, and against Chicago. A bad combination.
Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas (8-4) Chi_medium 23-20 I know the Cowboys went on the road and beat the New York Giants two weeks ago, but I still don't trust this team yet. The offense must do more, and on a cold night I can't see them putting up a ton of points or getting special-teams help.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
Dal_medium 33-21 The Bears have big problems on defense, which could mean a big game for DeMarco Murray and Tony Romo. But the Cowboys aren't exactly good on defense either. This has the makings of a Monday night shootout. Dallas takes it in a close one.
Elliot Harrison,
Dal_medium 24-14 Dallas wins on the road. Don't be so shocked. The Cowboys are playing better, especially on defense. For the Bears to get back into the NFC North hunt, they need to do a better job stopping the run, something they've stunk at since injuries struck the middle of the defense weeks ago. Now, DeMarco Murray and Dallas' run blocking have both been maddeningly inconsistent this year. No, we're not referring to John Madden, who would likely internally vomit at the sight of what the Cowboys' ground game has been for much of the year. Lance Dunbar's season-ending injury hasn't helped. Still, with Tony Romo operating at a high level, Chicago's defense will be forced to play nickel and will not always be able to assist a soft middle missing Henry Melton and D.J. Williams. Murray will have a productive day, and Dallas will win.
Vinny Iyer, Sporting News
Chi_medium 34-31 It’s weird to think these proud, popular franchises would have so many problems playing defense. But given the firepower around Tony Romo and (likely) Josh McCown, this should be a high-scoring thriller to end the week. The receivers, led by Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall, are off the hook, but in a battle of shaky run defenses, the Bears have the more versatile back in Matt Forte over DeMarco Murray
Greg Cote, Miami Herald
Dal_medium 27-24 Bears hoped Jay Cutler might return here after three games out, but ruled Thursday Josh McCown would start again. That's OK. McCown's been fine. What really steers this Monday pick, for me, is DeMarco Murray vs. a Chitown run-D allowing 205.2 yards and 5.9 per the past six games. Cows also should get LB Sean Lee back. Did I mention Bears are 2-9-1 against the spread?

Read more here:

Well, those picks are all over the place, let's see if our pick'em panels have a little more direction for us.

Rank (LW) Site Cowboys Bears Cowboys Season
Pick Accuracy
1 (1) Yahoosports 1 1 .833 (20-4)
2 (2) USA Today 6 1 .786 (66-18)
3 (3) Pro Football Focus 3 5 .758 (73-23)
4 (4) ESPN 12 2 .749 (125-42)
5 (5) Dallas Morning News 4 4 .732 (71-26)
6 (6) Foxsports 5 0 .702 (33-14)
7 (8) CBSSports 7 2 .686 (72-33)
8 (7) NFL Around The League 4 1 .683 (41-19)
9 (9) Inside the NFL 1 2 .577 (15-11)
- - SB Nation 4 2 - -
Total 47 20 .730 (515-190)

The pick'em panels like the Cowboys for the Monday Night game. What's your expectation: will this turn into a wild shootout, or will it be a game where one team grinds out the win the old-fashioned way?

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