Bears-Dolphins Betting Preview: Believe in Chicago as Favorite in South Beach?

Bears-Dolphins Betting Preview: Believe in Chicago as Favorite in South Beach? article feature image

Joe Camporeale, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Mitchell Trubisky

Betting odds: Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins

  • Spread: Bears -3.5
  • Over/Under: 41.5
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • Channel: FOX

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: As a three-point home dog, the Dolphins received some sharp activity early in the week. Since then, however, it has been on the Bears and the line has moved to 3.5. (See live betting data here). —Mark Gallant

Trends to know: After a 3-0 start, Miami has lost consecutive games and is now listed as a home underdog.

While this might seem like a good contrarian spot to buy low on the Dolphins, history suggests otherwise. Since 2003, home underdogs coming off consecutive losses have gone 78-104-7 (43%) against the spread, according to our Bet Labs data. — John Ewing

Biggest mismatch: Bears run defense vs. Dolphins run offense

Chicago’s defense might not be on the level of the 1985 “Monsters of Midway” — at least not yet — but the Bears may look like they are against a Miami run game that has failed to clear 60 yards in two of its past three games.

The Dolphins are getting no push up front and rank fourth-worst in Pro Football Focus’ power run-blocking grades, while the Bears own PFF’s top overall grade on defense and No. 3 ranking against the run.

This could be especially problematic for Miami because its Ryan Tannehill-led offense isn’t built to come from behind: Miami ranks 29th in the league with a 30.9% third-down conversion rate. – Chris Raybon

Which team is healthier? Bears

The Bears are expected to welcome back rookie slot receiver Anthony Miller (shoulder), so Allen Robinson likely won’t have as many snaps available in the slot to escape ace-shadow corner Xavien Howard.

Chicago is mostly healthy otherwise, with the exception of No. 1 corner Prince Amukamara (hamstring), who was limited at practice Thursday.

The Dolphins aren’t so lucky, as left tackle Laremy Tunsil (concussion), linebacker Chase Allen (foot), defensive end Cameron Wake (knee), defensive end Andre Branch (knee), tight end A.J. Derby (foot) and cornerback Bobby McCain (knee) could ultimately be sidelined.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: The Dolphins’ fifth-ranked defense in overall and pass DVOA has largely clamped down each of its opponent’s offenses (with the exception of the Patriots).

Robinson leads the Bears in targets, air yards and red-zone targets, so he’s expected to draw the watchful eye of Howard.

The Dolphins’ No. 1 cornerback has made life exceptionally difficult for Amari Cooper (2-17-0), Julio Jones (6-72-0) and Brandin Cooks (1-38-0), but the team hasn’t asked him to shadow anyone else since the beginning of last season. — Hartitz

Bet to watch: Dolphins +4

Much like my Seahawks +7 pick last week, this is another game where I am not implying the wrong team is favored. I’m simply taking the value offered here.

Look, there are plenty of metrics that will show the Bears have a big advantage over the Dolphins this week (see above).

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here and say that four games of data is a pretty small sample size, so we should not be taking the numbers at face value.

Instead, I typically use them to update my priors to come up with a current power rating for each team.

I have come to the same conclusion that the Bears should be favored in this game, but have them at -2.5, which happened to be the opening line.

The hype around the Bears is well deserved, but it also let this line drift a bit too far, as it sailed past key numbers like -3 and -3.5 at one point.

This tells me it wasn’t met with much resistance from sharps, but it feels like some of them knew it would get all the way to -4.

Sure enough, when the Dolphins got up to +4, they were bet back down to +3.5. But it’s worth monitoring to see if it gets back up to 4 before kick. — Sean Koerner

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.