Colts vs. Bears Bettings Odds, Pick & Preview: Bet On Indy To Cover Sunday’s Spread
Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Jonathan Taylor (center) celebrates with teammates after scoring in Week 3.
Colts vs. Bears Odds
The Bears had a miraculous September. They got three fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Mitchell Trubisky in Week 1 to beat Detroit, then repeated the feat with three fourth-quarter TDs from Nick Foles in the final seven minutes to shock Atlanta in Week 3.
Foles was a mid-game substitution and has been announced as Chicago’s starter, and he has Bears fans believing as one of only seven 3-0 teams remaining.
Now Chicago hosts Indianapolis and has its eyes on a fourth straight win to start the season, but the Colts are favored and look like the better play.
The Colts threw many bettors off the scent with a disappointing Week 1 loss to the Jaguars. Many came into the season expecting Jacksonville to contend for the worst record in the league and quickly wrote Indianapolis off after the loss.
But the Colts were the far better team in that game and immediately became my favorite value play in the NFL, and the books still haven’t caught up. Indianapolis is still finding its footing on offense with the addition of Philip Rivers and the loss of Marlon Mack, but the Colts benefit from one of the best offensive lines in the league.
The story of this team so far has been on defense.
The addition of DeForest Buckner has pushed an already talented D to the top of the league. Indianapolis has the No. 1 defense in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. That probably flatters the Colts a bit after facing the Jaguars, Vikings and Jets, but it’s not that surprising in the end — the Colts were supposed to be good this season, and so far they look the part.
The Bears do not look the part.
Chicago may be 3-0, and in the end, the standings are all that matter. But if it were possible for an undefeated team to have a negative point differential, these Bears might have done it.
Indeed, Chicago has a -19 point differential through three quarters. They needed a dropped Lions TD in the final seconds of Week 1, a late-stalled Giants drive in Week 2 and a miraculous meltdown by the Falcons in Week 3 to avoid 0-3. The Bears, by any real measure, are the worst 3-0 team in football.
Chicago’s defense has been terrific, as usual. It’s the offense that has been the problem.
The run game has been non-existent, and Trubisky was mostly terrible. He’s out now, but Foles has been more mediocre than anything for most of his career, and the Bears also lost one of their best playmakers for the season with Tarik Cohen injured.
The Bears offense has more of a chance in this game with Foles than they would have had with Trubisky, but they’re still going to struggle to move the ball. Foles may throw the ball up to Allen Robinson and other Bears receivers to give them a chance, but outside of those occasional big plays, Chicago should struggle to move the ball.
This looks like an odd line at first, with the 2-1 Colts favored on the road against an undefeated Bears team. But the underlying metrics paint Indianapolis much closer to a 3-0 team while Chicago looks more like a 1-2 team struggling to find its way. And we know by now that home vs. road is not making much of a difference.
This feels like a game where the Colts should be favored by around a touchdown, and yet they’re not even getting a field goal.
How do the Bears win this game? It’s going to have to come the way most Chicago wins seem to come — with stout defense keeping the Bears in the game and forcing Rivers into a few characteristic mistakes, with Chicago’s offense doing just enough to capitalize. If you do like the Bears here, you should probably play the under, too — Chicago isn’t throwing three fourth-quarter TDs against Indy.
The Colts are the better play, especially while this line continues to sit at -2.5. They’re still a recommended play even at -3 or -3.5, which should tell you how much of a mismatch this is even around that key number. Indianapolis is better on offense, defense and in special teams, along with coaching. It’s a sweep.
With two strong defenses in play, don’t expect much scoring. A lower-scoring game typically favors the underdog since it’s closer and leaves more room for the upset. But I can’t get there, even with that logic.
I’d lean toward the under but I’m coming out strong on Indy -2.5 while it’s still on the board.
Pick: Colts -2.5