NFL Opening Odds Report for Bears vs. 49ers in Week 2

Jason Lake

Tuesday, September 9, 2014 2:54 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 9, 2014 2:54 PM UTC

After destroying the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1, the San Francisco 49ers have opened as 7-point home favorites on the NFL odds against the Chicago Bears in Week 2. Looks like the Niners are getting lots of love, too.


Maybe Aldon Smith should get in trouble every year. It seems to light a fire under the San Francisco 49ers; last year, they won 11 games at 10-3 ATS after their Pro Bowl linebacker went on an indefinite leave of absence. This year, Smith has been suspended for the first nine games of the season, yet San Francisco has already burst out of the gate with a big 28-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys (+3.5 at home). That guaranteed $12 million still on Smith’s contract? Give the man a raise.

Maybe the Chicago Bears should rent a party boat or something. They lost their season-opener 23-20 to the Buffalo Bills (+7 away) in overtime, just another in a long line upsets on the Week 1 football betting calendar, as home favorites went 5-5 SU and 2-8 ATS on Sunday. Can the 49ers avoid falling into the same hole when they host the Bears in Week 2? Our NFL odds have San Fran opening as a 7-point chalk (+100), with the early consensus reports showing 54 percent support for the Niners at press time.

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Heavy Denim
Before you mash that BET button, you might be interested in one of the lesser-known NFL betting trends out there: Since 1997, teams playing their first home game in a new stadium are 8-8 SU and 6-10 ATS, with home faves checking in at 7-6 SU and 4-9 ATS. San Francisco will unveil shiny new Levi’s Stadium, aka The Field of Jeans, to the world on Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC). Okay, the stadium’s really in Santa Clara, but let’s not split hairs. It’s not like the Cowboys actually play in Dallas. Don’t get us started about the New York teams.

It’s entirely possible this 6-10 ATS record is just dumb luck. Or maybe it takes a team a little while to get used to its new surroundings. According to Walter Cherepinksy, once they got the season opener out of the way, these same teams finished the year at a combined 53-42-1 ATS. You can also logically expect casual fans to buy into the hype and overbet the home side in these gala openers.


Dr. Geiger to Radiology, Please
Then again, we have to tread carefully when we try to retrofit football betting logic onto these situations. It would also be logical to assume the public overreacts to the events of Week 1, but as we recently pointed out, since 2009, teams who beat the spread in their season openers are 25-19-1 ATS in Week 2 against teams coming off an ATS loss. That’s not a good sign for the Bears.

Neither was the way Chicago’s run blockers gave up 193 rushing yards to Buffalo. But most of the consternation in the Windy City is being saved for the usual suspect: QB Jay Cutler. He threw a pair of interceptions and generally looked a bit off against the Bills. Chicago supporters are right to be concerned, but perhaps they should pay closer attention to the Bears offensive line, where LG Matt Slauson and center Roberto Garza both left the game with ankle injuries.

Good news: Slauson’s injury doesn’t appear serious, although we’re still waiting for official word on the results of Monday’s MRI. Bad news: “sources” say Garza has a high ankle sprain, which would presumably force him out of the lineup. We’ll definitely want to get more information about these injuries before placing our NFL picks. Don’t forget about stud WR Alshon Jeffery and his strained hamstring; he made five catches against Buffalo for 71 yards before missing the fourth quarter and overtime. Kind of important to have him on the field.

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