The Justin Fields era is officially underway, but oddsmakers do not seem overly optimistic about the Chicago Bears’ chances Sunday for their matchup against the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Embattled Bears coach Matt Nagy named Fields starting quarterback Wednesday over veteran Andy Dalton, placating a vocal fan base that has been clamoring for the 11th overall pick of the 2021 draft to be under center to help the Bears begin evolving into an elite team.
Chicago (2-2) has alternated losses and wins in its first four games and is coming off a 24-14 home victory over Detroit Sunday. Fields was more effective than flashy, completing 11 of 17 passes for 209 yards with an interception. He got plenty of help from the ground game as David Montgomery rushed for 106 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Montgomery, though, is unavailable for this contest after suffering a sprained left knee that could sideline him for at least a month. Damien Williams, who was the featured back late in the contest and totaled 55 yards on eight carries, is expected to start.
Las Vegas (3-1), looking to regroup from its first defeat, is on a short turnaround following a 28-14 road loss to the Los Angeles Chargers Monday night. The Raiders’ season-long tendency to start slow — they have scored just five first quarter points — finally caught up with them as they were unable to rally from a 21-0 halftime deficit.
Little variety in full-game offerings
New Bears story on SI: GamePlan: Matt Nagy Discusses How Justin Fields Earned the Starting QB Job https://t.co/CaGieKzwVL
The Bears' rookie showed growth in practice and during games that proved he was ready. Plus, the rest of our Week 5 preview.
There was a point in the Bear…
— Dan (@swinney23) October 8, 2021
Illinois mobile operators are working in near lock-step when it comes to the main full-game offerings. DraftKings is the standout at Bears +5, offering the play at -110. The other sportsbooks tick a half-point higher, all listing the Bears +5.5 at -110.
There is also some variety in the over/under, both in terms of value and range. The Kambi platform powering BetRivers and Barstool Sportsbook comes in on the high side at 45 points with a -107/-114 split. The other four are at 44.5 points, but they differ on value. FanDuel has a -115/-105 split, while DraftKings and PointsBet are split -105/-115. Caesars has opted for the standard -110 both ways at 44.5.
In terms of the team total, FanDuel is the outlier on the Bears at 20 with a -104/-116 split. For those confident Fields and company can hang 20 points on a Raiders defense that has yielded an average of 25 on the season, Caesars has the best value, offering 19.5 points with a -115/-105 split. DraftKings follows at -120/-110; PointsBet lurks right behind at -121/-110; and the Kambi platform has a stark split of -127/-103.
‘Playing the Fields’ and other assorted props
Darnell Mooney with a catch of the week contender 🖐
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 3, 2021
Unlike last week when there was uncertainty who would be under center for the Bears until late, operators have had a chance to establish prop markets for Fields for bettors. BetRivers and Barstool Sportsbook have the highest over/under for passing yards at 215.5, offering -114 in each direction, while DraftKings (-115), PointsBet (-115), and Caesars (-110/-120) check in at 213.5 yards.
BetRivers and Barstool are also high man for Fields’ rushing yards prop at 30.5 (-110/-118). DraftKings and PointsBet both offer 29.5 yards at -115 both ways, while Caesars has a -120/-110 split on that number. Caesars is the best play for Fields to throw two or more TD passes, offering +155 on the 1.5 over/under play. PointsBet’s split is +150/-200, followed by Kambi (+148/-195) and DraftKings (+145/-195).
Those expecting Fields to use his legs in the red zone as a scoring threat could find some solid returns for anytime touchdown scorer. The Kambi platform leads the way at +210, followed by Caesars (+205), DraftKings (+200) and PointsBet (+175).
One area of uniformity is the over/under on Williams’ rushing yards, established at 60.5 with an over ranging from -114 (BetRivers and Barstool) to -120 at Caesars. There is also consensus on a combined rushing/receiving total for Williams at 85.5 yards, with Caesars the best play there at -115.
After showing a connection with Fields and totaling five catches for 125 yards, Darnell Mooney could warrant some extra scrutiny at wide receiver. He can be grabbed as low as 47.5 yards with a -117/-112 split at BetRivers and Barstool, and that pair also offer the best value for an anytime touchdown by Mooney at +265.
Top wideout Allen Robinson is being offered at 53.5 yards for -115 both ways by DraftKings, but Caesars has the best anytime TD play at +220.
Oddsmakers look to be trying to draw Bears bettors with a first-half number of +3.5 everywhere except FanDuel, which is offering the flat field goal at even money. That half-point does come with a price, as DraftKings has the best value at -115, which then clicks higher to Caesars (-120), PointsBet (-121) and Kambi (-127).
Bears backers can grab a no-tie moneyline pick at +170 at PointsBet and Caesars, while FanDuel has the best three-way moneyline play at +185. The first-half over/under has the widest variety in terms of total, ranging from 21.5 at Caesars (-110) to 23 at FanDuel (+100/-120).
For Chicago’s first-half team total, some books are trying to woo bettors at 9.5 points, with DraftKings the best play at -115. FanDuel ticks a half-point higher to 10, but there is a notable risk/reward as it comes with a +110/-130 split.