Rookie quarterback Justin Fields will get his first start on national television as the Chicago Bears head to Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. A road win against a storied franchise like the Steelers would be the biggest of his young career. Will Fields lead the team to victory in his first start in prime time, or will veteran Ben Roethlisberger outplay the youngster?
The Bears have lost three consecutive games. Three of their last four matchups have come against division leaders and Chicago is 1-3 against the spread in that span. Last week's game against the San Francisco 49ers was the first time the Over cashed in the previous seven Bears games.
The Steelers enter this week on a three-game winning streak after starting the season 1-3. However, they are 3-4 ATS and have covered the spread in just one of their previous five home games.
Here are my picks and predictions for the NFL Week 9 matchup between the Bears and the Steelers. (Odds via DraftKings; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Bears vs. Steelers Game Info
Date/Time: Monday, November 8, 8:15 p.m. ETTV: ESPNLocation: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PAWeather: Low of 42 degrees, partly cloudy
Bears vs. Steelers Odds Analysis
There has been no movement in this -6.5-point spread yet this week, as it has held firm since opening. All sportsbooks seem in unison with the 40-point Over/Under, the lowest of any total on the Week 9 slate.
Bears vs. Steelers Betting Picks
Steelers -6.5 (-110) ???Over 40 (-110) ??
SEE ALSO: Packers vs. Chiefs Week 9 Picks
Bears vs. Steelers Predictions
Steelers -6.5 (-110) ???
The formula during Pittsburgh's three-game winning streak has been a simple one: run the football. The Steelers have rushed for 100 or more yards in all three wins and the offensive line issues that plagued them during their 1-3 start are no longer much of a problem. The interior of their offensive line has gotten tremendous push over the last few weeks, and the running game has taken a lot of pressure off Roethlisberger.
Chicago's vaunted defense looked lost last week against San Francisco without Khalil Mack. The Bears have allowed 33 or more points for two consecutive weeks, and the 49ers scored on their final seven possessions (three touchdowns, four field goals) before a kneel down on their last series.
Lastly, one cannot overstate the experience of playing on Monday Night Football. This is Roethlisberger's 23rd career start on MNF, where he is 16-6 straight up. Pittsburgh is also 11-6 ATS in their last 17 MNF home games. Bet on the raucous crowd at Heinz Field and Pittsburgh's pressure defense to expose Fields' inexperience.
Over 40 (-110) ??
The Bears have scored just 13 points per game during their three-game losing streak. They rank dead-last in the league in yards per game and are 31st in scoring, averaging 15.4 PPG on the season. However, Fields is coming off his best career game statistically in the loss to San Francisco, as he completed 70.4 percent of his passes while rushing for 103 yards and a touchdown.
The Bears and Steelers are two of the most profitable teams to the Under, with a combined O/U record of 3-12. However, sportsbooks are likely to use that knowledge against bettors and we feel this 40-point total is a tad too low.
The Steelers entered last week with the fifth-ranked pass-rush win rate in the league. However, Fields is one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the NFL and will use his legs to extend plays when under duress.
In addition, the Bears may once again rest Mack with an eye towards their bye week next week, thus giving him three weeks off to heal a nagging foot injury. Without Mack, Chicago's defense is not nearly as intimidating.
SEE ALSO: Early NFL Week 9 Parlay Picks
Picks made 11/02/2021 at 9:29 p.m. ET