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Rested Bears in top shape to face Lions.

DETROIT at CHICAGO BBC interactive, 1.30am THERE'S no hiding place in the fierce fight for the NFC North title this season and Chicago look more capable of keeping up with the pace than tonight's opponents Detroit, whom they meet at Soldier Field, writes Phil Agius.

While it's an intriguing battle between two decent sides it's not a game to set the pulse racing for a bet but the Bears are certainly the more trustworthy outfit.

With Green Bay and Minnesota looking play-off contenders too, the kind of mistakes Detroit have been making this year are going to make their life very hard and they will probably have been grateful to be only two wins behind the divisional lead before last night's games.

Both wins were somewhat fortunate - they scrambled home late against a St Louis team they were fancied to brush aside in their opener and pulled out a second win at Philadelphia last week after trailing by ten points with just over five minutes left.

Defeats to the 49ers and Vikings are no disgrace but the Lions were terrible at Tennesee and with their high-powered offence not always hitting top gear straight away and facing a predatory Bears unit who have feasted on defensive touchdowns, this is no easy mission.

The mood in Chicago should be positive after an opening stanza of four clear-cut wins and a 23-10 defeat to the Packers that was closer than the score suggests.

Lovie Smith's side also have a largely clean bill of health after their bye week, which contrasts with the defensive injury problems the Lions are facing.

This is one of their tougher games so far but the Bears may just be facing the men from the Motor City at the right time and will have a loud crowd on their side.

The teams split their series last year, but Chicago have won seven of the last eight head-to-heads and with star Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson having been limited to one TD catch this season, the Bears should be fancied to break clear.

Recommendation Chicago -6 1pt 10-11 Blue Sq, Hills, Ladbrokes


Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler has been in form this year
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Oct 22, 2012
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