Chicago Bears (4-1 3-2 ATS) at Carolina Panthers (3-2 3-2 ATS)
The Bears are off to a legit 4-1 start and they head down south to take on the surprising Panthers, who have reeled off three straight wins. The Panthers are the 2.5-point favorites at home with the total sitting at 44.5.
The public has slightly backed the Bears in this NFC matchup, as they opened as a 3-point underdog, and as of Wednesday are a 2.5-point dog.
The Bears followed their lone loss of the season with a solid 20-19 Thursday night win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The offense has not been there for the team, but the defense has.
After starting the season 0-2 the Panthers are back in the playoff picture winning three in a row. The defense has been legit in their win streak and Teddy Bridgewater is back as a starter and leads a Carolina aerial attack that ranks fifth in the league in passing yards per game.
These teams have not met since 2017 when the Bears beat the Panthers 17-3.
The underdog has covered the spread in six of the last seven games between these teams.
Little Luck Never Hurts
In their last game, the Bears beat the Bucs 20-10 where the GOAT Tom Brady seemed to forget what down it was on the last play of the game. Chicago held Tampa Bay to only six points in the second half and they got the W even though they were outgained 339 yards to 235 yards and only rushed for 35 yards.
Nick Foles got over his bad season-debut with a pretty good game against the Bucs passing for 243 yards with a TD and a pick. Allen Robinson II was his main target with 90 receiving yards and he had over 100 of them in his previous two games.
David Montgomery led the Bears with only 29 rushing yards in the win over Tampa Bay. He leads the Bears in rushing yards (247), but in his last two games has totaled 57 rushing yards and averaged 2.9 yards per carry and 2.7 yards per carry respectively.
The Bears do not have a dynamic WR corps and in this game and in this game face a good and young Carolina secondary.
Bridgewater Has Stepped Up
After Teddy Bridgewater had one TD and two INT in his first two games he has five TD and only one pick in the last three games. In the Panthers 23-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons in their last game, he passed for 313 yards with two TD and no INT and was not sacked for a second straight game.
Robbie Anderson is one of the league leaders in receiving yards and had 112 receiving yards in the Atlanta game.
What is really surprising is that Carolina has won three in a row without their best player in do-it-all RB Christian McCaffery. He is still out with an ankle injury and the team’s leading rusher is Miles Davis, who has rushed for 89 yards and 84 yards, respectively, in his last two games where he averaged at least 5.3 yards per carry in each.
The Panthers’ offensive line has not given up a sack in their last two games. They have a tall task in this game facing the duo of Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack, who each have 3.5 sacks.
The Bears are only 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games and the Panthers are only 1-4-1 ATS in their last six home games.
The Bears beat a team with a winning record for the first time this season in their last game at home and can they do it on the road this Sunday? The Panthers are riding high but I think Chicago is still the better team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Their D will play well in this game in a low scoring affair and I am not only picking the Bears to cover but to get the win as well.
PICK: Bears +2.5