While the jury is still out on the 3-0 Chicago Bears being contenders or pretenders, sports betting lines established by multiple operators in Illinois are leaning toward the latter ahead of their Week 4 showdown with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
The Bears are tied for first with the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North but have looked nowhere near as dominant as their eternal division rivals. Chicago has not exactly beaten a murderer’s row of opponents — Detroit, the New York Giants, and Atlanta are a combined 1-8 thus far — and Matt Nagy’s team had to rally from double-digit, fourth-quarter deficits against Detroit and Atlanta.
Additionally, the Bears are giving quarterback Nick Foles his first start of the season after the Super Bowl winner engineered last Sunday’s comeback versus the Falcons following Nagy’s benching of Mitch Trubisky. Foles threw three touchdown passes versus the Falcons but will be without all-purpose running back Tarik Cohen while facing a formidable Colts defense that had two pick-6 interceptions and contributed 16 points to a 36-7 demolition of the New York Jets last weekend.
Consistent spread and over/under but some moneyline variance
All five sportsbooks that offer mobile wagering — PointsBet, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, and William Hill — list the Bears as 2.5-point underdogs as of the time of writing at 10 a.m. CDT Friday. FanDuel is the only book deviating from the standard -110 offering on each side, making the Bears a slight favorite at -115 getting the 2.5 points and the Colts -105 to cover the slim margin.
The best value on the moneyline for taking the Bears to remain unbeaten is at William Hill, which is offering +125. FanDuel is offering +114 while the remaining three sportsbooks are +115. The Colts range anywhere from -130 (BetRivers, DraftKings) to -145 (William Hill) on the moneyline to record a third straight victory.
Everyone, though, is in lockstep with an over/under of 43 points at a -110 offering after it opened at 45. In terms of trends, the over is 2-1 with the Bears — 0-1 at home, and 1-2 with the Colts — 1-0 on the road.
— The Athletic Chicago (@TheAthleticCHI) October 2, 2020
Potential Bears players prop plays
The change in quarterback to Foles plus the season-ending injury to Cohen means the Bears’ offensive alignments could shift. The two players who offer the potential to be most affected are running back David Montgomery and tight end Jimmy Graham.
Montgomery has averaged 85 yards rushing and receiving in Chicago’s first three games, and Cohen’s absence could result in a handful more rushes and overall touches. PointsBet has an over/under of 62.5 rushing yards at -115 established for Montgomery.
Graham, who went practically unused in the Week 2 victory over the Giants with one reception on the lone pass thrown his way, emerged as a consistent target for Foles. Graham finished with six catches for 60 yards and two TDs versus Atlanta, and seven of his 10 targets were from Foles. PointsBet has set Graham’s over/under at 29.5 yards at -115.
Foles has an over/under of 231.5 passing yards and is a solid favorite to finish with more yards than Colts quarterback Philip Rivers, with PointsBet offering -130 for a head-to-head win in that category compared to Rivers’ -103.
For bettors confident in a Bears win, both DraftKings and BetRivers are offering the following lines for an anytime player touchdown and a victory: Allen Robinson (+275), Montgomery (+300), Graham (+425), Anthony Miller (+550), and Darnell Mooney (+700).