We’ve got an interesting matchup between the 5-1 Chicago Bears against the Los Angeles Rams. Despite the Bears’ impressive record, they’re pretty big underdogs at the top sportsbooks in this one. This is a big game for a lot of different reasons and we will get a better idea as to which of these teams can make a playoff run this year.
Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Rams
Monday, October 26, 2020 – 8:20 PM EDT at NRG Sofi Stadium
Bears Are Getting No Respect
For a 5-1 and team, the Bears are not getting too much respect. On the SBR odds page, the line for the game opened at Rams -7 despite them having an inferior record. It's not just that the Rams have an inferior record, when you take a closer look at who they've beat, they really have no quality wins. The only wins the Rams have this season are against the NFC East, which is clearly the worst division in football.
With that in mind, the Bears have a chance to show that they are for real, although I'm not exactly sure what to make of them. Nick Foles took the starting job from Mitchell Trubisky, and the team has done better, but to say that it's because of Foles would be a stretch. The truth about Foles lays somewhere in between the two.
Chicago's ceiling is higher with Foles, but he also makes really bad decisions that can cost them games. I choose to look at it from a different angle entirely; how hard is it to be better than Trubisky? When you see how low the bar is in the first place, it's easier to judge Foles from that lens.
Rams Need This Win for Confidence Reasons
Last week the Rams had the perfect opportunity to make headway in the NFC South against the 49ers, who have been up and down this season. Instead, they were very average, especially on offense, which was the difference in the game. When casual fans think of the Rams, they think of an offensive team led by one of the best play-callers in football, Sean McVay. That take seems to be more outdated with every passing week.
This team is led by their defense which ranks 5th in the league in points against per game. The offense meanwhile is ranked 19th in points per game and 15th in points per drive. I want to be careful about being too critical of Jared Goff because he actually is a good quarterback.
What I will say is he definitely is not an elite quarterback. Without getting into what I think makes someone elite, the number one reason I don't think Goff fits in that category is quite simple. If the Rams are down and they need Goff to make plays with his arm to get them back in the game, he doesn't seem capable of doing it.
If you've actually watched the Rams play, Goff looks pretty average. He doesn't look bad, but he doesn't look great either. While I do understand that the Rams offensive play calling has been quite conservative, the question is, why do you think that is? They have tons of weapons at their skill positions, so why would the coach not let Goff loose if he's elite?
In my opinion, McVay calls the plays that he does because he knows his quarterback's limitations. That is part of McVay's genius, he puts his franchise player in situations where he will be successful while limiting the risky plays.
I think we're going to see a very physical, low scoring game with a ton of rushing attempts. For the Rams to win this game, they'll need to establish the run and use play-action to fool this Bears defense. As conservative as the Rams have been this season, I don't think that they opened up the playbook against this Bears defense who, by the way, are getting Khalil Mack back for this game.
The defense has been down all over the NFL this season, but not in Chicago. The Bears defense is still the unit that leads this team, and I expect McVay to show them the proper respect. I also think this Rams defense has what it takes to slow down an average Bears offense. The total for this game opened at 47 and has been bet down to 45 at most of the best betting sites.
Last week, Foles threw one of the dumbest interceptions you'll ever see which he does from time to time. He takes risks and when they pay off, he can do things with his arm that Trubisky simply can't. That said, the dumb throws have appeared in every game that he's started. I'm willing to bet that Nagy gets a bit more conservative than usual with Aaron Donald having a huge advantage over the Bears guards in this game.
I think the Rams win this game, but the Bears defense will keep things close, which in my mind plays to the Under in this spot.
2 Team Parlay (Pays +270)