Bears vs Patriots Odds & Picks for Monday Night Football
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: David Montgomery (left) and Justin Fields.
- Week 7 in the NFL closes with Bears vs. Patriots on Monday Night Football.
- New England (-8) looks like it will have Mac Jones under center after he missed the last two games.
- Stuckey breaks down the game and makes a pick below.
Bears vs. Patriots Odds
Bailey Zappe or Mac Jones? That's the primary question many are asking ahead of Monday night's matchup between the Bears and Patriots. If the ankle is sturdy enough, Jones will get the nod under center, per reports. He did practice in full on Friday, but New England could take a cautious approach and hold Jones out for one more week to ensure his full health moving forward.
That approach might make even more sense against an inferior opponent with an important divisional game against the Jets on deck, especially since Zappe has filled in admirably in Jones' absence.
Bears +8.5 | Patriots -8.5
Regardless of which gets the start, this will be a matchup of young quarterbacks. Second-year pro Justin Fields will try to get the Bears back on track after a heartbreaking loss last Thursday night against the Commanders.
Can Chicago keep this close and potentially play spoiler in a game New England absolutely can't afford to drop in a loaded division and conference? Or will this be one-way traffic for the home team in primetime? Let's take a closer look.
Bears vs. Patriots Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Bears and Patriots match up statistically:
Bears vs. Patriots DVOA Breakdown
Bill Belichick is infamous for taking away an opponent's strength. One-dimensional offenses rarely have had success against the Patriots during his tenure.
That spells trouble for the Bears, who simply don't have any semblance of a passing offense — a problem in today's NFL. Through six weeks, Chicago averages a league-low in the following categories on a per-game basis:
- Attempts (19.2)
- Completions (10.5)
- Completion Percentage (54.8)
- Yards (122.8)
To put those numbers into context, these are the last times any team over the past 30 years had averages that low for a season:
No team has averaged fewer attempts or completions per game since 1992. This is a historically one-dimensional offense.
Quarterback Justin Fields has continued to struggle when dropping back. So far in 2022, he ranks 33rd of 34 quarterbacks (min. 100 plays) in EPA+CPOE composite. In fact, only he and Baker Mayfield are negative in that category.
In fairness, he doesn't have much help with one of the worst offensive lines and wide receiver corps in the league. However, there are still major accuracy issues. Once again, only Mayfield has a lower completion percentage vs. expectation.
Fields is at least taking shots, ranking sixth in the NFL in Air Yards at 9.2. He also brings an added dimension with his ability to run.
On a per dropback basis, New England's defense ranks first in the NFL in Success Rate (only team sub 40%) and fourth in EPA per Play.
However, the Patriots run defense has struggled at times this season. They actually rank in the bottom five of the league in many categories, but that came against the toughest schedule of opposing rush offenses in the NFL.
Expect New England to load up the box without much concern for the Bears' passing attack. That should completely suffocate the Chicago rushing attack.
Belichick can trust his corners on islands against these Bears receivers as they seemingly don't miss J.C. Jackson on the backend at all. Rookie cornerback Jack Jones has been a revelation in his first year as PFF actually has him graded as the No. 1 overall cornerback through six weeks. Meanwhile, Jonathan Jones also sits in the top 10.
It's hard to see a path for success for this Bears offense outside of Fields potentially making things happen with his legs.
It appears that Jones will get the start for New England. Zappe has better numbers across the board, although the sample size is small.
That said, I was as high as anybody on Zappe coming into the league, so I actually believe in those numbers. Therefore, I don't make any adjustments for Jones getting the start. We can assume he's fully healthy, but maybe there's some early rust.
Jones also hasn't been great this season, ranking 20th in EPA+CPOE Composite out of 36 quarterbacks with at least 75 plays. For what it's worth, Zappe ranks fourth, trailing only Tua Tagovailoa, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
Regardless, the Patriots can lean on their strong ground game against a weak Chicago run defense. They should move the ball efficiently while controlling the clock and eventually build a lead.
However, I think the line is pretty close to fair in what should be a low-scoring game. It's been very difficult for these touchdown-plus favorites to cover in 2022, which makes sense with scoring suppressed.
I did personally tease the Patriots under -3 last week, and I also will bet a rare player prop. As I mentioned, I think New England will focus on taking away the Chicago run game, so I'm playing David Montgomery's rushing under.
The game script should lead to less running, assuming the Bears are playing from behind. Plus, head coach Matt Eberflus hinted at more of a committee approach in the backfield moving forward. Talking with our player projection gurus, this number should be closer to 45.
Montgomery's rushing total is 52.5 at BetRivers, as of Sunday night, and 51.5 at most other books. Get the biggest number you can. I'd play this down to 50.