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Cowboys @ Bears Expert Picks: Thursday Night Shootout?

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

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It's nothing compared to the temperatures at last year's game in Chicago, but the weather in Chicago for the game tonight is still going to be a bit chilly at 32° (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 51, the second highest value of Week 15 behind only the game between the packers and the Falcons, where the over/under sits at 56.

So should we expect a shootout in Chicago?

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

(Cowboys accuracy)
Pick Score Comment
Greg Cote, Miami Herald (8-4)
Chi_medium 30-27 NFL Week 14 sets sails with what looks to be a big-scoring NFC match between teams trying to rebound from indigestion-causing Thanksgiving defeats. Bears have plainly disappointed and Cowboys suddenly are bumped off the playoff grid and desperate. Dallas would be the pick if incentive and desperation were everything, but I have a gut feeling about Chicago here. Bears have won three in a row over ’Boys, including 45-28 at the Soldier last December. Tony Romo’s guys carry in a 5-0 road mark, but that just means the law of averages are due. I think Matt Forte and Chitown’s underperforming ground game could get a needed goose from a Cows run-D beaten for 256 yards by Eagles last week. Dallas also faces a wandering eye here, with division rival Philly on its schedule again Dec. 14.
Sam Farmer, LA Times (8-4)
Dal_medium 28-21
Tony Romo has been at his best in road games this season, and the Cowboys have the running attack to control the clock in this one. Bears are giving up 28.1 points per game.
Vinny Iyer, Sporting News (8-4)
Chi_medium 31-30 The Cowboys are staring at missing the playoffs for yet another season under Jason Garrett. They’re still 8-4, but everyone knows about their December woes. A Thursday game like this, where both teams get a full week off, doesn’t help them. On paper, the Bears should have little trouble making big plays against their defense, and should go back to a lot of Matt Forte to take advantage of Dallas’ crumbling front. The Cowboys will try their best to control the game by pounding DeMarco Murray, and once again, it will leave them chasing points against a higher-powered offense.
Peter Schrager, Foxsports (7-4)
Dal_medium 27-23 The Thanksgiving Day debacle for the Cowboys was more than just an eyesore over turkey, gravy, and yams. The 33-10 loss to Philadelphia not only knocked the 'Boys out of first place in the division, but also from playoff position in the conference. A loss to the Bears -- a week in advance of a rematch with the Eagles in Philadelphia -- could be catastrophic. This is as "must win" as it gets for Week 14.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports (7-5)
Dal_medium 31-21 Both of these teams will have a week of rest before a Thursday game, which is rare. Both teams were blown out on Thanksgiving Day, so they need a bounce-back. The Cowboys are the better team. I think an offense that struggled against the Eagles will get it cranked up here against a bad Bears defense. Cowboys get back on track.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk (7-5)
Dal_medium 30-20 Last year, the Bears blew out the Cowboys in prime time at Soldier Field.  This year, the Bears are having a harder time scoring points — and the Cowboys desperately need to get their ninth win, avoiding yet another possible 8-8 finish to the season.  With Tony Romo rested and the Bears simply not very good, it’s time for the Cowboys to ensure a winning season.  Finally.
Elliot Harrison, (5-7)
Dal_medium 29-23 It's Mr. Everyone-cares-when-he-falters vs. Mr. Does-he-really-care-at-all? Tony Romo against Jay Cutler presents a fun matchup, but this game really comes down to whether the Bears are going to get mauled by the Cowboys' offensive line and the bearclaw in DeMarco Murray. Meanwhile, Matt Forte presents certifiable matchup problems for a Cowboys LB corps -- minus Justin Durant -- that won't be able to cover him out of the backfield. Expect at least seven catches for No. 22 in blue.
Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk (5-7)
Dal_medium 24-21 Are the Cowboys going into a late-season collapse?  Despite their ugly showing on Thanksgiving, I don’t think so.  Dallas’s offensive line should control this game against a mediocre Chicago defensive front, and the Cowboys will get back on track.
Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Dal_medium 37-23
Dallas has gone five straight games in which it has not converted on better than 50 percent of its third-down chances. If the Cowboys don’t convert on third down, then the defense gets exposed. The Bears have the third-worst pass defense in the NFL (270.7 yards per game) and have given up 27 touchdown passes. It’s time for Dez Bryant and Tony Romo to take over the way Jeffery and Marshall did in last year’s meeting.

Our selection of pick 'em panels doesn't provide any indication of scoring totals, but does come down strongly in favor of the Cowboys:

Site Cowboys Bears Cowboys Season
Pick Accuracy
USA Today 7 0 .600 (51-34)
NFL Around The League 4 1 .583 (35-25)
ESPN 7 3
.551 (86-70)
CBSSports 6 2 .531 (52-46)
SB Nation 6 1 .524 (44-40)
Foxsports 2 2 .523 (23-21)
Yahoosports 2 0 .500 (12-12)
Pro Football Focus 5 3 .485 (48-51)
Total 39 12 .545 (407-340)

The pundits above seem to be pretty confident in a Cowboys win tonight. Are you?

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