Rookie QB Fields The X Factor In Week 3 Bears-Browns Showdown

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Everyone seems to have a reason to be excited about Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields making his first NFL start Sunday when Chicago plays the Cleveland Browns on the road.

Bears fans throughout Illinois and beyond have been clamoring for Fields to be the starter to help accelerate Chicago’s “rebuild.” For Browns fans, facing a rookie quarterback usually provides a formula for a win.

And for bettors, multiple markets have some degree of chaos to potentially exploit as sportsbooks are trying to figure out how the Bears will function offensively under Fields, who replaces the injured Andy Dalton under center in a bid to help Chicago get over .500.

To hook or not to hook? That is the question for the books

The mobile sportsbooks across Illinois, Indiana, and elsewhere are split on offering the Bears at either +7 or +7.5 points. On the low side with a flat touchdown and standard extra point are PointsBet (-105/-115) and the Kambi-powered BetRivers and Barstool Sports (-107/-114). Offering the high-side hook are FanDuel (-110) and both DraftKings and Caesars (-115/-105).

The half-point is going to make a huge difference all the way until kickoff, so it is possible the better play may be waiting until kickoff to see if anything moves. It is also possible that FanDuel’s standard play with the hook may be the best offering at that number for Bears backers all the way to kickoff.

The moneyline has some range for Bears fans, with FanDuel offering the most bang for Bears bucks at +290, followed by DraftKings, Caesars, and Kambi books (+270), and PointsBet (+265).

Like the point spread, there is also some push and pull on the total. BetRivers and Barstool are offering a -108/-113 split for 45.5 points, while Caesars and PointsBet are -110 in each direction. DraftKings has -110 both ways at 45 points, while FanDuel has a -115/-105 split at that number.

Eagle eyes could make huge difference in prop plays

If ever there was a week where line-shopping can make a difference — at least for Bears fans — it is this one, considering the lack of uniformity for over/under yardage totals and varying values on those plays.

Of the four books offering yardage props as of early Friday morning, Fields could be had at either 207.5 or 212.5 passing yards. DraftKings (-115) and Caesars (-120/-110) were on the low side, with FanDuel (-114) and PointsBet (-115) tacking on the extra five yards.

There is a similar discrepancy in the rushing yards for Fields that can be worked. PointsBet has a +100/-130 split at 50.5 yards, while DraftKings and Caesars are offering 54.5 yards at -115 both ways. Listings on Fields scoring a touchdown — first or anytime — also have notable fluctuations in the earlier set of offerings as Caesars has +225 for an anytime TD compared to FanDuel’s +195, but FanDuel is offering +1100 for a first TD in contrast to +950 at Caesars.

The ripple effect of Fields at quarterback impacts nearly everyone on the Bears offense. Running back David Montgomery’s over/under for rushing yards ranges from 58.5 at PointsBet (-130/+100) to 61.5 at DraftKings and Caesars (-115). His over/under for receptions also has a notable divergence: Caesars has a -115/-145 split at 2.5 receptions, but DraftKings is offering +110/-135 for the same number. Both books, though, do offer -115 both ways at 80.5 yards for Montgomery’s combined rushing and receiving yards.

Another player with potential value for such a play is tight end Cole Kmet, who is a +110/-145 option at DraftKings for 2.5 receptions and a +100/130 play at Caesars. No. 1 wideout Allen Robinson II also has a notable swing for his receptions over/under: Caesars has a -150/+120 split for 4.5 catches, while PointsBet goes nearly the opposite (+120/-165) at 5.5 grabs.

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Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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