Monday Night Football Picks – Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago Bears

Eagles QB Carson Wentz in action

Nikki Adams

Monday, September 19, 2016 1:55 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 19, 2016 1:55 PM UTC

Eagles and Bears collide on MNF, wrapping up the second week of the NFL. Can the Eagles go up 2-0 or do the Bears finally get into the win column? Here’s our preview complete with NFL picks.

Primetime Football Betting
Last Monday was a total snore. Well, the Steelers and Redskins served up an entertaining enough clash so all was not lost. The final game on the day’s card between the Niners and Rams was awful. Some of the most excruciatingly unwatchable football seen in recent memory. Kudos to those troopers who decided to suffer through the entire game, all aching four quarters of the 28-0 victory by Chip Kelly’s side. Uuufff.

In any event, let’s hope the Eagles vs. Bears lives up to the Monday Night Football slot, although, admittedly, there’s reasonable cause for concern that it might not. Well, the nation is gasping to see the No.2 overall draft pick Carson Wentz parade his football wares at Soldier Field, especially after making the grade in his debut in the 29-10 win over Cleveland. As far as the Bears are concerned, the enthusiasm they are generating this season is tepid at best. A slug racing through the garden is more riveting than a Bears football game. (Too harsh?)

Of course, Carson Wentz did catch a huge break in week 1 with an opening game against the uninspiring Browns. By that same token, one can also argue week 2’s clash against the Bears is also catching a break, even if it is on MNF. Boy, did the NFL schedule makers do Philly favours or what? Things do get markedly tougher in week 3 before an early week 4 bye, but that’s not the subject of this article anyway.

It’s important not to get carried away with what happened in the first week of the season. Often, it can be an anomaly. For instance, the Niners opened the 2015 season with a bang on MNF beating Minnesota Vikings 20-3 to the surprise of the national audience. Then the wheels came undone and the ricocheted from week to week, one abysmal result after another before eventually ending the season with a feeble 5-11 SU mark.

One win doesn’t a winner make. The most important thing Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles must do in week 2 is to back up their opening win that saw them cover as the closing 3.5 point home faves. Prove it wasn’t a one-off win down to a team that is simply bad.

Now the Bears aren’t a good team either so a win in Chicago isn’t going to raise too many eyebrows. But the Bears are definitely a step up from the Browns in the context of NFL market estimation even though they’re not expected to contend meaningfully this season or, for that matter, finish with a winning season.

For instance, in the many football betting markets trotted out across sports betting platforms one stands out: team to finish with the worst record in the regular season. No guess to which team rides heads and shoulders above the rest of the field – Cleveland Browns, priced at +225 with bet365 to clinch this dubious honour. Where are the Chicago Bears, you may be wondering? Well, in the mix but priced at +1600 to win this market they are seventh overall favourites and jointly so with the Miami Dolphins.

The Chicago Bears are coming off 23-14 loss to the Houston Texans in Sunday’s early smattering of football games trading at the exchange. Although the Bears got up to a quick lead and, even led by a point going into the fourth quarter, they fritted it away and allowed Brock Osweiler to make the big plays the ultimately led the Texans to the come-from-behind victory.

Worryingly, Jay Cutler, who threw for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception, was sacked five times. Granted the Houston defense is renowned but clearly, the protection around Cutler is questionable. Defensively, the Bears were atrocious as they allowed the Texans to convert on 12 of 20 third-down opportunities. Overall, the Bears conceded 344 yards – 188 yards against the pass and 129 yards against the rush. Consider the Eagles defense sacked RGIII three times and forced an interception to boot and a safety.


Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago Bears
Despite the contrasting starts to the season, the Chicago Bears enter this game as the considerable home favourites. Well, they get the standard field goal advantage allotted to a home side. NFL bettors will find the Bears hanging on -3 in spread betting markets across the board and, somewhat surprisingly, in many cases favoured to cover with juice ranging anywhere from -118 (Pinnacle) to -120 (5Dimes, Bet Cris, Just Bet, to name a few).

If you shop around the market and various top-rated sportsbooks, you may still even find the Bears trading as high as -3.5 (Heritage), but that NFL betting line will appeal, probably, more to those looking to back the Eagles to cover on their Monday Night Football Picks. The extra half point could make a difference.

The Bears haven’t enjoyed home field advantage in forever. The last term, they went 1-7 SU at home. They year prior they went 2-6 SU at Soldier Field. That’s a whopping 3 wins in their last 16 home games. Moreover, in 2015 they went just 2-6-0 ATS with a - 6.1 losing margin and a -5.2 differential versus the spread. The year prior they went 3-5-0 ATS with a -7.0 losing margin on average and a -6.7 differential versus the spread. To sum it all up, in their last 16 home games, they are 5-11-0 ATS with a -6.6 losing margin on average and a -6.0 differential versus the spread.

If that’s not enough the Chicago Bears went 0-2-0 ATS last season as home favourites versus the spread, which included a -4.5 point losing margin on average and a whopping -9.5 differential versus the spread.

The Eagles are coming off a forgettable 2015 season but this is a revamped side with a new head coach and a new quarterback. So, one could trot out their stats as well but they don’t technically apply as they reflect Chip Kelly’s experiment in 2015 rather than Doug Pederson’s instalment.

Suppose we only do have the one winning account by Pederson’s revamped Eagles and it makes sense therefore not to put too much stock into a victory that was acquired at home and against a team that is expected to be the worst this season. In a way, the Eagles might be the correct underdogs.

That said, we simply cannot buy what the Bears are selling just yet. Until proven otherwise their home field advantage is a moot point. Three wins in 16 home games, one win in seven home games under John Fox doesn’t endorse what is a rather significant spread in their favour. All indications point towards the Eagles, if not to win straight up at the very least to cover. Although we’d wager they’re worth the tickle in SU betting markets as well.


Free NFL Picks: Eagles +151 & Eagles +3.5 -110
Best Line Offered: Eagles +151 at Pinnacle & Eagles +3.5 -110 at Heritage 

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