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Three hometown favorites—President Obama, the Bears, and the Northwestern Wildcats—are whelming their opponents right now.
On the political betting site Intrade, Obama's chance of reelection this morning is 49.8 percent. The statistician Nate Silver sliced and diced Obama's odds in yesterday's New York Times magazine. Silver runs the NYT's political stats blog FiveThirtyEight. He called the presidential winner in 49 states out of 50 in 2008, and the winner in all 35 senate races. For his magazine story, Silver considered four scenarios Obama could face: running against Mitt Romney or Rick Perry, with the economy improving or stagnant. "Average these four scenarios together and the probabilities come out to almost exactly 50-50," Silver wrote. (More on Silver's article and Obama's odds later today.)
The Bears play the Eagles tonight in Philadelphia. It's the So-So Bowl: the Bears are 4-3, the Eagles 3-4, the temperatures will be lukewarm. Since the game's in Philly, and because the Eagles crushed the Cowboys last week, they're favored by a touchdown. Expect lots of scoring. The Bears' Matt Forte will run and catch, and might pass and kick as well to prove he's no slacker. Unless he also plays safety the Bears will have trouble stopping Eagles' QB Michael Vick. If the Bears lose, they'll have the ideal whelming record.
Will the Cats rally for a bowl bid? Will the Bears make the playoffs? Will Obama be reelected? Yes, they might.