Rich Hribar and Raymond Summerlin bring you their best bets every Friday of the NFL season as well as a preview of Sunday Night Football. The preview is free, but the bets can only be found in the Rotoworld Season Pass. Don’t miss out on the action.
Rich: 33-30-1 season record (last week: 1-4)
Raymond: 27-33-3 season record (last week: 0-3-1)
All lines taken from the VI Consensus at VegasInsider.com Friday morning.
Sunday Night Football – Rams @ Bears (+3) – 51.5-point total
Rich: Sunday Night is a major opportunity for the Bears to prove that they belong to be mentioned along with the best teams in the NFC as they host the 11-1 Rams. Chicago is off to their best start since 2012 when they closed that season at 10-6. While Chicago is off to a great start, they certainly haven’t been challenged often, facing just three teams with a winning record all season to this point in Seattle, Minnesota and New England.
For their 11 wins, the Rams have played a good amount of close games. Six of their wins are by seven or fewer points while four of those wins are by three points or less. Jared Goff has also been sacked five times or more in three games this season, giving the stout Chicago pass rush a road to get to the quarterback.
Unfortunately for the Bears, they are on the wrong side of a poor trend this season, coming off an overtime game the week before versus the Giants. So far this season, teams coming off an overtime game are just 6-14 against the spread and since the league changed overtimes rules in 2016, teams coming off an overtime game are just 28-45 versus the spread. All in all, I find the Rams Offense to be a challenge for this Bears Defense that has really only played one strong team in New England and the overtime trend too strong to go against.
Pick: Rams -3
Ray: My current betting run can be best explained by Charles Clay dropping a touchdown in the end zone after Stephen Hauschka missed his first two kicks of the season. Clipping along at well over 60 percent not too long ago, the goal now is just to get back to even. That run will hopefully be helped on Sunday night.
As Rich notes, teams coming off overtime games usually struggle against the spread, and that is especially true of home teams, who are just 53-89-6 against the spread (37.3 percent) since 2008. Home dogs are even worse, going 17-33-3 (34 percent) over that same time period. Chicago was in the exact same situation in Week 7, and they lost 38-31 to the Patriots, a team which does not seem to be on the same level as the Rams this season.
I also just think the Bears are a bit overvalued here. They are certainly a good team, but the Rams are in another tier. Chicago playing at home certainly narrows the margin, but I expect the Rams to take care of business and will, reluctantly, bet the short-road favorite.
Pick: Rams -3
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