WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (1-4) at CHICAGO BEARS (2-3)
After several premier Thursday night NFL matchups in a row, we finally get a clunker tonight when the Commanders (1-4) visit the Bears (2-3).
Washington has lost four in a row since holding on to beat Jacksonville in their season opener. Worse, they've looked bad in those games, getting outscored 106-62. Chicago hasn't played well either and ranks horribly in most offensive categories -- including dead last in passing and 31st out of 32 teams overall.
Nonetheless, if it's the NFL, that means a betting opportunity and we expect just as much interest in this game from a betting perspective as the premier games. Chicago is favoured by -1. Given the two weak offenses, the total is the lowest of the season, so far -- at 38.
The Bears have shown life in multiple games -- including come-from-behind wins versus San Francisco and Chicago, both at home. They also roared back and made a game of it last week at Minnesota before losing. The Commanders' recent performance looks far worse: Carson Wentz has been sacked 20 times (second most in the NFL) and the Washington defense has forced just one turnover this season, dead last in the league.
RECORDS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Commanders 1-4, Bears 2-2-1.
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: Commanders lead 26-24-1.
LAST MEETING: Bears beat Commanders 31-15, Sept. 23, 2019, in Washington.
LAST WEEK: Commanders lost to Titans 21-17; Bears lost to Vikings 29-22.
COMMANDERS OFFENSE RANKING: OVERALL (19), RUSH (28), PASS (10), SCORING (26).
COMMANDERS DEFENSE RANKING: OVERALL (17), RUSH (14), PASS (19), SCORING (25).
BEARS OFFENSE RANKING: OVERALL (31), RUSH (5), PASS (32), SCORING (27).
BEARS DEFENSE: OVERALL RANKING: (22), RUSH (31), PASS (9), SCORING (15).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Commanders minus-7; Bears even.
Kickoff at Soldier Field in Chicago takes place at 7:15 CT.
Spreads.ca shows these updated odds as of Thursday morning:
Prediction (powered by Pointspreads.ca):
The Bears have been the more consistent team this season, which isn't saying much. However, there's probably some value in taking the small favourite in tonight's matchup. A few reasons why include:
(1) The Commanders have only scored 62 points over their last 4 games.
(2) The Bears have at least cracked 20 points 3 times this season.
(3) The Commanders are winless on the road at 0-2 while the Bears are 2-0 at home.
(4) Finally, we think the intangible is Carson Wentz who isn't getting pass protection (sacked 20 times). Look for the Bears' defense to make a big play or two and the hometown team from Chicago gets the win and cover.
THE PICK: CHICAGO -1