NFL Picks: Bet On Plenty Of Points In Patriots-Bears Clash On Thursday

Jay Pryce

Monday, August 15, 2016 6:21 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 6:21 PM UTC

The Chicago Bears trek to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts to face off against the New England Patriots in Week 2 of the NFL preseason. Get our free pick with betting analysis here.

Chicago Bears vs New England Patriots
NFL odds opened New England a 4-point favorite on Monday morning, tied for the largest spread of the week.


Chicago Bears (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
The Bears were walloped 22-0 by the defending Super Bowl Champion Broncos in their opener last Thursday. Unable to move the ball against a defense that allowed just 4.5 yards per play last season, tops in the NFL, the offense never advanced beyond Denver's 44-yard line and finished with only eight first downs and 130 total yards.

It was the ground game where Chicago suffered the most. It gained just 48 yards on 17 carries. No player accrued more than 15 rushing yards, and a seven-yard scamper by quarterback Connor Shaw was the longest run.

Defensively, the Bears struggled to defend the pass, allowing the trio of Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian, and rookie Paxton Lynch to go 23-for-32 combined with 261 yards through the air. Sanchez recorded the lone TD and INT.


New England Patriots (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
It was the Jimmy Garoppolo show in Foxborough last Thursday. The third-year pro tossed for 168 yards on 11-of-18 passes, placing him third in the league behind Seattle’s Trevone Boykin (188) and Atlanta’s Matt Schaub (168) for most production through the air in Week 1. Bettors have to imagine head coach Bill Belichick is going to play the back up extendedly again versus Chicago, as Garoppolo is slated to start New England’s first four regular-season games with Tom Brady serving his Deflategate suspension.

Although the offense soared in the team’s 34-22 win over the Saints in the opener, the first-team O-line was suspect against the Saints. Their run blocking was average, Garoppolo took a beating in the game’s opening series, and it lacked toughness overall. Belichick will likely want a longer look this week.

Patriots beat writers suggest this is Belichick’s deepest crop of players in years. He has made zero transactions through the first two weeks of camp, a first. Typically, he’s penciled in double-digit moves by now.This is evidence of a healthy squad, and less urgency on coach’s part to solidify the bottom end of the roster, i.e. Belichick likes his personnel and what he sees. It shouldn’t be surprising then that the Pats dominated the Saint 17-6 in the second half. Will bettors see more of the same against Chicago? We’re guessing so.


Final Analysis
Armed with a bevy of pass rushers, the Pats’ defense looks to be a top-10 unit again this season. Despite this, don’t expect the Bears to lay another egg on Thursday night. Chicago flew out to Foxborough on Sunday, and both teams are conducting three days of joint practices leading up to the game. This should aid in the team’s development, quickly. “You get to see different looks, different players, different pass rush moves, different run schemes,” Bears guard Kyle Long told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Although we like the Pats in this spot, the total may hold better value. In Week 2 of the preseason, New England averages 21.75 points under Belichick, cracking 20 points in 11 of 16 games overall. The team has really picked up scoring in recent years in this situation, averaging 28.2 points over the last six preseasons. With Belichick high on his reserves and rookies, back-to-back, 30-point outings is not out of the question. OVER is the play for my NFL pick.


Free NFL Picks: Over 40.5 -107
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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