Bears vs. Bengals Odds & NFL Predictions For Week: How To Find Betting Value On Sunday’s Spread
Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Burrow.
|Bears Odds||-2.5 (-115)|
|Bengals Odds||+2.5 (-105)|
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
The Bengals started the season pulling off the upset at home and taking down the Vikings in overtime. Cincinnati did its best to blow a 14-point, third-quarter lead, but a Minnesota fumble in overtime sealed the Bengals’ victory. Now, they get the chance to pull off another upset against another member of the NFC North.
The Bears enter Week 2 after a disastrous start to the season. The defense was crushed all night and allowed two easy deep touchdown passes. Given that everything went wrong, the Bears may be better off burning that film and just moving on. The Bengals could present a good confidence booster though as Cincinnati’s worst unit, its offensive line, will face off against the Bears’ best, their defensive line.
Let’s take a deep dive and see if Cincinnati can win as an underdog again or if Chicago will bounce back from its blowout.
Young Bengals Offense Shows Promise
Cincinnati’s Week 1 victory likely left fans with a bag of mixed emotions. On one end, Joe Burrow’s connection with Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase looked on point and led to a 21-7 lead. On the other, the offense and defense stalled when playing from ahead and came a fumble away from losing. Figuring out how to play situational football will be key for this team to take it to the next level.
The first step the Bengals can take is up front on their offensive line. Per Pro Football Reference, the Bengals allowed Burrow to be pressured on 34.4% of his dropbacks, and he was sacked five times. On plays he stayed upright, Burrow was able to find his young receiving corps for big plays. He would end with a 153.3 passer rating when targeting Chase and 154.6 when targeting Higgins. If the offensive line can pull it together, this offense will pop thanks to the talent on the outside.
Defensively, Cincinnati played much better than expected. Up front, the Bengals’ many offseason moves paid off, as they pressured Kirk Cousins on 32.7% of snaps. This led to three sacks and Cousins being forced to get the ball out quickly. The Bengals defensive front will have a chance to recreate its success as the Bears offensive line graded 47.9 at pass blocking, per PFF.
Bears Defense Was M.I.A. In Opener
The opening drive would be the first and last time any hope existed for the Bears in Week 1. On the second play of the game, running back David Montgomery broke through on a 41-yard run. However, that positive energy quickly evaporated on the following third down as Andy Dalton threw an interception in the end zone. The rest was a long string of events Chicago would hope to soon forget.
The only true takeaway from their opening performance is that the Bears have the potential to not be that bad. The offense did struggle, but against a team as elite on defense as the Rams, that can be expected. The defensive struggles came as a shock though. Los Angeles did whatever it wanted against Chicago and even broke its coverage for two deep passing touchdowns.
The defense will have its hands full once again with Cincinnati’s young, talented playmakers. If the back seven fails to clean up its act this week, the Bengals will happily look for similar big chunk plays.
Fortunately, the coverage unit should have more help from the Bears defensive front in this game. In Week 1, the Rams halted all pressure from Khalil Mack and company as Matthew Stafford was pressured three times. Facing Cincinnati’s offensive line, which allowed the third-highest pressure rate, the Bears’ front should show why it is the strongest unit on the team.
Offensively, the Bears showed signs of life on the ground as David Montgomery scampered for 108 yards. Finding that success again may be difficult. The Bengals allowed a mere 3.0 yards per carry to Dalvin Cook.
A slow run game could force the ball into the hands of Dalton. The Bears utilized a quick-hit passing game in Week 1 to limit the impact of Aaron Donald’s pressure. This style is similar to what sparked the Vikings’ comeback against Cincinnati. However, the Bears will have to make it work with a much more limited receiving group.
Both the Bengals and Bears feature defenses that utilize pressure to protect their lack of talent on the backend. In this matchup, they will each have their chance to wreak havoc as the offensive lines they face struggle.
With both fronts set to create problems, the edge will lie with the offense that can make the one or two pop plays needed to swing momentum. In this case, the team more likely to do so is the Bengals. Their assortment of talented receivers is a mismatch for Chicago’s young defensive backs. We saw the Bears blow two plays and the Rams instantly make them pay with two touchdowns. Bengals coach Zac Taylor comes from Sean McVay’s coaching tree and should know how to replicate what gave the Bears troubles.
I think the Bengals can win this outright and start 2-0 for the first time since 2018. However, I still want to take the points to be safe.
Pick: Bengals +2.5 at DraftKings | Down to a pick’em