Colts vs. Bears Picks For Sunday: How To Bet This Spread & Total
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Foles, Anthony Miller
With the Patriots-Chiefs game postponed, the Colts-Bears matchup has been flexed into the 4:25 p.m. ET slot.
In preparation for this late afternoon showdown, our staff has weighed in on how they’re betting the Colts vs. Bears spread and total. You’ll also find Sean Koerner’s favorite player prop for the game below.
Colts vs. Bears Picks
Raheem Palmer: Bears +3.5 vs. Colts
Oddsmakers opened the Colts as 2.5-point road favorites over the Bears with the line sitting around 3.5 as of Sunday afternoon. Every line tells a story, and the minimal movement on this game paints an interesting one in regards to the perception of both these teams.
The Bears and Colts have played six teams with a combined 2-17 record, so what do we actually know about these two teams?
The Colts are first in run defense, fourth in pass defense, seventh in takeaways and first in Football Outsiders’ overall DVOA. For those reasons, you can see why the market is telling us the Colts are about 6 points better than the Bears on a neutral field.
Personally, I’m not buying it.
The Bears’ schedule isn’t anything to write home about, but the Colts have played quite possibly the easiest schedule in the league against the Jaguars, Vikings and Jets and sit at only 2-1. Against three of the worst defenses in the NFL, the Colts are dead last in third down conversions, going 10-33 (30.3%) and have three giveaways, all of which are Phillip Rivers interceptions.
Now the Colts head out on the road against the Bears, who are sixth in defensive DVOA, and will be without wide receivers Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman due to injury. Given T.Y. Hilton’s pedestrian start to the NFL season, these are significant losses.
The upgrade from Mitchel Trubisky to Nick Foles is massive and opens up the playbook for Matt Nagy to do more. One interesting caveat is that both head coaches are from the Doug Pederson tree as past assistants with the Eagles, so both teams should be familiar with what each wants to do.
In a defensive game where we don’t expect much scoring, I like the Bears +3.5 and think this is a good value play. Given the low total, the points are more valuable. This should also make a great six-point teaser leg to pair with the Buccaneers -1 (down from -7).
PJ Walsh: Colts-Bears Under 43
When it comes to offensive and defensive efficiency, these two teams are mirror images of each other — and the reflection shows a low-scoring matchup.
Indianapolis and Chicago rank 18th and 26th, respectively, in offensive efficiency per DVOA. Sure, it’s reasonable to expect the Bears to improve with Foles replacing Trubisky under center, but they’ll face a tough task against Indy’s defense.
The Colts are currently the top-ranked defense in the league according to DVOA with the Bears not far off at sixth overall.
And even if either team finds success moving the balls, neither has shown an interest to pick up the pace this season, with the Bears sitting 20th and the Colts 24th in situation-neutral pace.
The betting market agrees that the under is the valuable side of this total, evidenced by our new NFL PRO Report, with four of the five possible signals triggered:
Sign up for a FREE PRO Trial and track the biggest betting edges, including sharp action, large bets, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks, for every NFL Week 4 game!
As you can see above, sharp bettors have been dropping big bucks on this under, forcing oddsmakers to adjust for the influx of professional betting action by moving the number from 45 to 43.
This bet is good down to 43, but I’d be hesitant to play the under any lower.
Sean Koerner: Anthony Miller Over 26.5 Rec Yards
Miller is due for some positive regression in catch percentage as he’s currently second-worst with 43% (last season he was 61%). The Bears handing starting duties over to Nick Foles should help. It’s also encouraging to see Miller’s routes run per dropback jump up to 65% a week ago.
He could also inherit some of the targets Tarik Cohen (IR) is leaving behind.
I would bet this over to 30.5 yards.