Week 7 of the NFL season concludes Monday night with the New England Patriots (-7.5, 40) hosting the Chicago Bears at Gillette Stadium (ESPN, 8:15 ET).
After an exciting Sunday of action, we have one more chance to bet on pro football if we want to. So which games do our analysts like the most?
Betting Analyst Joe FortenbaughESPN Analyst Set WalderFantasy and sports betting analysts Andre Snellings and Eric Moodyplus Football Outsiders Aaron honey offer their top games.
Note: Lines from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.
Chicago Bears with New England Patriots (-7.5, 40)
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, Gillette Stadium
With Mac Jones returning for the Patriots, what are your thoughts on the spread and total for this game? who do you take
Fortenbaugh: A one-dimensional offense (which includes Chicago thanks to a vile pass attack) is a recipe for disaster against a team coached by Bill Belichick because he’s a master at getting opponents to play left-handed. So you must be asking yourself, “Do I trust Justin Fields, who is ranked 32nd in the NFL QB with a 72.7, to go out and win me this bet?” My answer to that question is a resounding “no”. I hooked a handful of 6 point teasers in New England on Monday night and would also put a half unit on it patriots at -7.5, not to mention one under bet too.
Snellings: If Jones actually does come back, I’ll go with him under. In three games before he was injured, Jones led the Patriots to just 15.7 points per game, and they, along with their opponents, went below that line in two of those three games. Similarly, Fields has led the Bears to an average of 15.5 points per game, and they have teamed with their opponents to go below that line in four of six games. These are two teams that are better on defense than offense and struggle to score.
Treasure: The Bears are just a very bad team, currently ranked 31st in DVOA and 30th in ESPN’s FPI. The Patriots have played very well over the past few weeks. Yes, they’re returning to Jones from Bailey Zappe, but the larger sample of Jones’ career (21 games total versus just the three games from earlier this year) suggests Jones is the better quarterback. I trust Belichick to build a Patriots defense that completely knocks out Fields and the entire Bears offense. Meanwhile, the Patriots will run over a Bears defense that ranks 27th in run defense DVOA. patriotsAll the Way.
Walder: FPI has very little faith in Chicago, which ranks them as the third-worst team in the NFL, ahead only of the Panthers and the Brett Rypien-led Broncos. Sacks are a serious problem for Fields. I contend they’re mostly on him, but that’s really neither here nor there in predicting this game. The Patriots’ defense is legitimate, ranking fifth in efficiency this season. Put it all together and the model thinks New England should be the favorite at 9.9 points. I’ll take that patriots.
Rhamondre Stevenson has rushed for 200 yards in the last two games. The Bears have one of the best pass defenses in the NFL, but one of the worst against the run. What are your thoughts on Stevenson, who will end the season with the most rushing yards (30-1) and his Monday night props?
Snellings: After Damien Harris returned to full practice Thursday, I’m expecting Stevenson to see rapid production in the 60-70 yards range and production in the low 20s as opposed to the 266 total yards he’s been producing over the past two weeks got Harris out. In other words, Stevenson could still have a solid game, especially through the air, in a timeshare with Harris, and I could still see him as a likely candidate for a touchdown.
Fortenbaugh: I love Stevenson but the return of Harris makes this a pass for me. He just won’t record enough touches.
Treasure: Here I agree with Fortenbaugh. Bill Belichick loves His RB committees are too much for Stevenson to lead the league in the season. The question of how much Harris will play puts me off either over or under on Stevenson’s props on Monday night.
The Bears have thrown the ball just 35% of the time, with 141 attempts in 402 games – the lowest in the league. However, Fields’ rushing yardstick has missed in five of his last six away games. It’s at 43.5 for Monday night. What do you think of Chicago’s player props? Would you take one of them for Monday night?
Fortenbaugh: I would try to play under, especially when it comes to Chicago’s rushing attack. I think Belichick will stack the box and challenge Fields to hit New England with his arm, something the sophomore quarterback couldn’t do during his short stint in the NFL.
Snellings: I would take Fields Above 43.5 rushing yards. He has surpassed that mark in each of the last four games, averaging 58.5 yards. I could see Belichick daring to throw Fields and try to limit the run, but Fields is electric enough with his legs that I still like it when he does some damage.
Treasure: I’ll take that Above on Fields’ rushing yards because the Patriots have historically had problems with scrambling quarterbacks, in part because they play a lot of man coverage. I agree the Patriots will try to box box and force Fields to throw, but he’ll come out of the pocket for a couple of big runs against that defense.
Walder: I will go Above for the same reason. The Patriots have achieved 56% men’s coverage this season, which is the fifth-highest in the NFL. This generally results in more scrambling opportunities for opposing quarterbacks. The bears should try to get Fields to use his legs as much as possible.
What’s your best bet for Monday night’s game?
Fortenbaugh: I like it when the bears score under 15.5 total points (+100). There’s a looong night ahead of this offense in Chicago.
Walder: I’ll take Darnell Mooney for Above 3.5 receptions (+100). I’m a bit nervous because my model, which is forecasting 4.3 receptions for Mooney on Monday, is having trouble forecasting success rates as low as the bears because they are such outliers. Still, Mooney is coming off a 12-goal, seven-hit game that I think carries a signal. Also, the bears will stay behind and will have to happen even if they don’t want it to. Mooney is the obvious target.
Moody: Mooney has gained more than 50 yards in three straight games. During this period he has accumulated 22 goals. Though the Bears face Bill Belichick and the Patriots, Mooney is Chicago’s top playmaker. Against the Patriots cornerbacks, he’s talented enough to win. There should be more than enough target volume for Mooney Above 45.5 receiving yards.
https://www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/34859971/bears-vs-patriots-monday-night-nfl-betting-odds-picks-tips Betting tips for Monday Night Football: Bears vs. Patriots