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Bet on the NFLThe Indianapolis Colts will stampede a short distance north to battle a group of Bears and open the NFL season in Chicago on Sunday afternoon. The first kick of the 2012 campaign is scheduled in Soldier Field at 1ET. The game will be broadcast regionally on CBS.

Indianapolis (2-14 in 2011) ended the preseason with a record of 2-2. They beat the Bengals 20-16 in their last warmup session. QB Andrew Luck played sparingly in that one and he will now make his NFL debut in games that count against the Bears. Chicago's secondary was a bit shaky during the exhibition schedule, so Luck may have opportunities to make some plays. WR Austin Collie is expected to play and may become Luck's favorite target.

Chicago (8-8 in 2011) went 3-1 in their practice games. They finished out the preseason with an irrelevant 28-20 win vs. Cleveland. Third string QB Josh McCown threw 2 TD passes in the game and then was promptly cut from the squad. Bears QB Jay Cutler will be looking early and often to connect with new WR Brandon Marshall in this one. LB Brian Urlacher who missed the preseason with knee issues is expected to start against Indy.

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These two teams have not met since opening day of the 2008 season with the Bears winning that one in Chicago 29-13. Prior to that, they had met in February of 2007 for Super Bowl XLI with the Colts being crowned the champs 29-17.

The Colts come into this one with an almost entirely new team, especially on defense. Last year, they went on a 4-1 run ATS, with that one miss coming by 2 ½ points. On the road, however, they were outscored 31-13 on average in 2011.

After this game, the Bears take on the Packers. Last year, Chicago could only manage 13 ppg in their last five games of the season. They lost their last home game by 27 ½ points ATS.

Chicago is favored by 9.5 points from our football betting odds at a -$110. Another $110 wager will be required for the over/under of 43.5 points.

Podcast for this game preview:

Read here to see what we wrote about the Bears in Week 2 of the exhibition schedule.


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