Monday Night Football NFL Picks for Bears vs. Jets

Nikki Adams

Thursday, September 18, 2014 8:30 PM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014 8:30 PM GMT

After seizing victory in Levi Stadium, the Chicago Bears hit the road for a second straight week, looking to extend their winning form to two in a row at the expense of the New York Jets who are coming off a huge letdown against the Green Bay Packers. So in the battle of 1-1 teams, where’s the value NFL pick for this Monday Night football affair.

 

Chicago Bears (1-1, 1-0 away)
Two weeks into the season and the NFC North appears fiercely competitive; all four teams are level 1-1, tied for first place. Can the Chicago Bears snatch another road win as the underdogs (matched at +130 NFL odds) for a second straight week in order to improve to 2-1 this season?

That’s what the Bears will hope to accomplish after stunning the Niners 28-20 last Sunday, all while covering as the 7-point underdogs. To say few expected the Bears to come up trumps in the win column and ATS is an understatement. They were blindsided. After losing their home opener to the Buffalo Bills as the 7-point favourites, there was a feeling the Chicago Bears had been overestimated by overenthusiastic reviews and unrealistic lines. What’s more, the San Francisco 49ers were utterly dominant against the Cowboys in week 1 and with the debut of their new stadium providing a backdrop to their week 2 date with the Bears, the betting public’s confidence in the 49ers was high.

The San Francisco 49ers got off to a strong start, racing to a 20-7 lead through three quarters. In the fourth quarter, however, the wheels came undone for the Niners as Kaepernick threw costly turnovers and the team incurred unnecessary penalties of which the Bears were huge beneficiaries. On the flipside, Jay Cutler kept his poise and rallied the Bears to victory, going 23-of-34 passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns when all was said and done.

Oddsmakers opened this game on more realistic lines, with the Bears matched as the 1-point underdogs. Since opening the market the lines have moved to within field goal range, with the Bears now touching as the 3-point underdogs. Is the betting public therefore not buying what the Bears are selling, not entirely convinced by the upset win over the Niners?

 

New York Jets (1-1, 1-0 home)
The New York Jets very nearly masterminded a huge upset in week 2 when they built a significant 21-3 lead in Green Bay. But they blew it courtesy of mistake-prone Geno Smith, who couldn’t hold on to the lead, and a shaky secondary, which Aaron Rodgers eventually exposed. Tale told, Jets allowed 390 total yards – 310 passing and 80 rushing and three touchdowns in the 31-24 defeat to the Packers. 

The key to the Jets’ early success was a brilliant run defense that limited the Packers to 80 yards all while on the flipside they ran for 146 yards. Indeed, they are top of the league with 179.0 rushing yards per game as well as top of the league defending against the rush with 52.5 yards allowed. Where they fall short of the mark is in passing offense that is 29th in the league with an average of 178. Indeed, Smith was averaging less than 5-yards per pass against the Green Bay Packers. Defending against the pass, they are a modest 17th in the league with 221.5 yards allowed.

Clearly, the Jets are able to score points and have a potent running game that can do damage. But a shaky quarterback – even shakier back-up in Michael Vick (in a blink of an eye he was knocked down in his brief stint against the Packers) and a suspect secondary, which plays right into Bears’ strengths,  makes the Jets a less than certain NFL pick.

 

NFL Betting Verdict
The Jets return home to MetLife Stadium where they opened the season with a 19-14 win over Oakland Raiders, pushing as the 5-point favourites. They are 1-1 SU and 0-1-1 ATS therefore ahead of week 3, matched as the 3-point favourites with a potent Bears’ offense coming to town. That the Jets are favoured is largely down to home advantage and a Bears’ defense that leaves much to be desired. Jets’ O-line can score points against suspect defenses – the points against both Raiders and Packers are proof-positive of such. What’s more, Jets are 3-1 ATS as home favourites since 2013. Undoubtedly, Bears’ offense can score points as well – they are averaging 24 points to the Jets’ 21.5 points per game.  And they are ninth in the league with in passing offense with an average of 255.5 yards per game.

But, frankly, there is just too much uncertainty about both these teams in order to deliver a sound sports pick in straight up betting and on the spread.  Consider neither side has been particularly convincing through two rounds of NFL betting. Neither the Jets nor Bears have deposited a complete performance from beginning to end. Both have been susceptible to second half letdowns as well as complete d-line breakdowns through two halves. The way things stand, both sides look capable of putting up the points but neither side looks good enough to defend it to the end, which means this game could go either way. That leaves us with just one recommended free picks: that is, to go for the Over 45.5 (-110) in total betting markets. The total seems too low given how volatile and combustible both teams are on the field.

NFL Picks: Over 45.5 (-110)

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