How to Live Bet Bears-Patriots on Monday Night Football in NFL Week 7
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Mac Jones (left), Bailey Zappe (right).
It looked like we might have another ugly primetime game, with the Bears traveling to New England to take on the Patriots on Monday Night Football. Despite an uncertain quarterback situation for New England, the Patriots were still favored by eight points in a game with a total of just 40.
Then, Zappe-mania happened.
This was and is a tough game to approach from a live standpoint, but there have been a couple angles worth watching. We get into them both below as we break down how to live bet Bears-Patriots on Monday Night Football.
How We Approach Live Betting Generally
The NFL is perfect for live betting, with the pauses between plays providing plenty of time to get bets in. This season, I’ve built a model to project the pace of play under a variety of in-game scenarios. These include first vs. second half, as well as which team is leading or when the game is within a touchdown.
The primary benefit is for betting totals. If the game is going to be faster or slower than was assumed pregame, the application is obvious. Faster-paced games tend to produce more points.
Player props also present some interesting opportunities. Sportsbooks are offering a variety of live player props, and faster or slower than expected games create obvious opportunities.
Take a look around various books before placing bets, though. There tends to be more variation between shops in live markets than there is pregame.
The Monday Night Football Live Betting Scenario We Were Watching For in Bears-Patriots
Any Excuse To Bet Unders
This one was fairly straightforward. Both teams rank top-12 in points allowed on the season, and the Bears rank 30th in points scored.
While the Patriots are a respectable 11th in scoring, they averaged just under 17 points with Mac Jones at quarterback. With Bailey Zappe, they've averaged over 30. Of course, that's based on just a three-game sample size, as well as a softer defensive schedule for Zappe.
Still, with Jones expected to return today, offensive expectations were low. The only scenario that would theoretically speed up the pace of play here is if New England fell behind. They've shown a willingness to push the pace when needed this season — as well as some ability to do so successfully.
Chicago has shown neither, and both teams play fairly conservatively in close games. Therefore, any scenario where we see the total rise above the 40-point pregame line, we'll look to fire on the unders, unless the Bears take the lead.
Of course, a Bears lead is exactly what happened early, only for the Pats to turn to Bailey Zappe at quarterback. That shifted the dynamic considerably, which has us holding off on live bets in situations where we might otherwise have fired.
And at halftime, I've got nothing. With the Bears in the lead, the model would suggest that the over is the sharper bet. However, with the total jumping all the way up to 54 at halftime, that feels like a very poor play.
If I were forced to bet the total, I would lean to the over, though. The Bears get the ball to start the third quarter, so Chicago could end up leading by even more before New England regains possession. Additionally, The Patriots have scored two touchdowns on three Zappe-led drives.
On the other side of the coin, we wanted to look to Mac Jones unders if New England fell behind, with the thesis being that Jones could be pulled for Zappe. That analysis was spot on, but unfortunately, the benching came earlier than expected, and lines on Jones have long since been pulled.
Remember, though — we're not alone in live betting the NFL's biggest primetime games here at Action Network. At halftime of Monday and Thursday Night Football each and every week, join my predictive analytics colleague, Nick Giffen, for "Bet What Happens Live With Dr. Nick!"
Dr. Nick's first bet at half came with one condition: He'll be on Justin Fields over passing yards ifthe Bears don't score on their first possession of the second half, as a score would put Chicago into position to start to slow down and protect the lead.
Our second live bet with Dr. Nick — and this one comes with no caveats — was Tyquan Thornton under 25.5 receiving yards.