Seahawks-Bears Betting Preview & Pick: Will Improved Bears Cover Spread?
Yesterday marked the second-straight profitable Sunday for 4for4.com picks, as I posted a 2-1 record. My two victories were never in doubt, as the Chiefs and Steelers easily combined to go over the total of 53.5, while the Giants and Cowboys sputtered offensively to hit the under 42.5.
Unfortunately, my one loss never came close to cashing. I had the Saints -9 against visiting Cleveland (the spread climbed to 9.5 by Sunday morning) and credit the Browns, they showed up. They actually out-gained the Saints 327–275 and won the turnover battle 2–1 but still found a way to lose in the most Browns-way ever. After Tyrod Taylor completed an improbable 47-yard touchdown pass to rookie Antonio Callaway on a fourth-and-long play with just over a minute remaining, Zane Gonzalez naturally missed the extra point. With the game tied at 18-all, the Saints drove into field goal range in the waning seconds and won 21-18 on Wil Lutz’s 44-yard field goal.
On the season, I am now 7–2 with my picks. Tonight, the much-improved Chicago Bears will host the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football. With the Bears listed as a slight home favorite, is there value in the point spread? Let’s break it down.
289 Seattle Seahawks at 290 Chicago Bears
- Point Spread: Bears -4.5
- O/U: 43
- Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
The Bears opened as 2.5-point home favorites for this matchup but the spread has climbed two full points to 4.5. The total has also moved, dropping from the opening number for 43.5 down to 43.
As of Monday morning, 57 percent of the betting tickets wagered at online sportsbooks are on the Seahawks to cover the spread, with 57 percent of the money wagered on this game also on Seattle. Both the betting tickets (56 percent) and money (61percent), is on the over.
Linebackers KJ Wright (knee) and Bobby Wagner (groin) are both out for the Seahawks tonight. Receiver Doug Baldwin (knee) is also out while cornerbacks Trequlle Flowers (hamstring, doubtful) and Shaquill Griffin (thigh, questionable) are both banged-up as well.
In the last nine meetings between these two teams, the over is 8–1. In the last six meetings between these two teams when the game is played at Soldier Field, the over is a perfect 6–0.
The injuries to the Seahawks have opened a great opportunity for bettors to take the home team in tonight’s matchup. The Seahawks offensive line is one of the worst in football and now Russell Wilson won’t even have his best weapon in the passing game (Baldwin). Khalil Mack disappeared in the second half last week in Green Bay but both he and rookie Roquan Smith should play larger roles in Week 2 now that their conditioning is improving. After routinely beating a good Green Bay offensive line in the first half last week, Mack should have Wilson on the run consistently tonight.
This Seattle defense is also a shell of its former self. This unit surrendered 470 total yards and 6.5 yards per play to the Broncos last week in Denver, and that was with Wagner in the lineup. With both Wagner and Wright out tonight, I expect Matt Nagy to attack the middle of Seattle’s defense with plenty of passes to both of his running backs, especially on early downs. This will allow Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears offense to pick up key yards on first and second to set up makeable conversions on third down. When the Bears do need to run, they should have no problem moving the ball on the ground against a Seattle front seven that surrendered 146 yards to the Broncos a week ago.
Granted, it hasn’t been profitable to bet against Wilson and Pete Carroll in primetime games. But how many times have the Seahawks played in primetime spots with one of the best defenses in the NFL? That’s not the case tonight. Plus, think of the traveling the Seahawks have done over the past week. They flew to Denver, played in high altitude, traveled back to Seattle for a week of practice and are now in the Midwest. That’s a lot for the first two weeks of the season.
This offseason, I said Chicago would have one of the most improved teams in the league. Through the first two quarters last week, that looked to be the case. Now, they did collapse in the second half, but that was at Lambeau and against Aaron Rodgers (hobbled or not he’s still incredible). I like the Bears to recover tonight, give Nagy his first career victory as head coach, and to cash for bettors willing to lay the points.
Pick: Bears -4.5
- Week 1: 5–0
- Week 2: 2–2
- Overall: 7–2
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.