Steelers-Bears Odds, Picks, Predictions: An Expert Guide To Betting NFL Monday Night Football Spread
Getty Images. Pictured: Allen Robinson II, Justin Fields, Ben Roethlisberger and Najee Harris (left to right)
- Steelers-Bears odds have settled across the betting market, positioning Pittsburgh as a 7-point favorite for Monday Night Football.
- Is there any value in betting the spread? Our expert analyzes the Steelers-Bears odds and matchup below before revealing how to bet this matchup.
|Time||8:15 p.m. ET|
After a promising two-game winning streak at the beginning of October, the Bears have lost their last three, straight up and against the spread. The Steelers, meanwhile, have rebounded from a 1-3 start to win their last three games while covering in two of three. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is 16-4 straight up on Monday Night Football but has lost his last two.
Will the Steelers stay hot against the reeling Bears?
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Bears vs. Steelers Injury Report
- QB Nick Foles (person): Out
- RB Damien Williams (knee): Out
- TE J.P. Holtz (concussion): Out
- LB Khalil Mack (foot): Out
- S Eddie Jackson (hamstring): Doubtful
- WR Darnell Mooney (groin): Questionable
- LB Alec Ogletree (ankle): Questionable
- TE Eric Ebron (ankle): Out
- C B.J. Finney (back): Questionable
Bears vs. Steelers Matchup
|Bears Offense||DVOA Rank||Steelers Defense|
|Bears Defense||DVOA Rank||Steelers Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Fields Under Pressure Will Define Bears
Rookie Justin Fields is coming off his best game as a pro running the football, rushing 10 times for 103 yards and a touchdown in last week’s loss to the 49ers. But the Bears are still in a quarterback-sized pickle when it comes to throwing it — Fields is yet to pass for 210 yards in a game and is averaging just 4.3 net yards per drop back.
Among 33 quarterbacks with at least 125 attempts, Fields is ranked bottom-three in so many passing categories that I have to give you a bulleted list:
- Completion Pct.: 59.5% (31st)
- Yards Per Attempt: 6.3 (32nd)
- TD Rate: 1.9% (33rd)
- Interception Rate: 4.4% (32nd)
- Sack Rate: 14.1% (33rd)
- Passer Rating: 65.7 (32nd)
- QBR: 23.0 (33rd)
To combat this, offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has called the run-heaviest game plan in the NFL on early downs, running 58% of the time. As impressive as rookie Khalil Herbert has been, he is unlikely to have enough success on the ground to get the Bears offense in the end zone against the Steelers’ sixth-ranked run defense — similarly to when he went off for 100 yards on 23 carries against the Bucs’ fourth-rated unit and the Bears still managed to score all of three points in the contest. Opening-day starting running back David Montgomery (MCL) could also be back and give the running game a boost in tandem with Herbert.
Fields is getting a better feel for when to leave the pocket, scrambling on 16.8% of his 119 dropbacks over his past three games after doing so on only 6.5% of his first 93 dropbacks as a pro, according to PFF. This could help the Bears move the ball between the 20s, but eventually a Steelers defense that ranks ninth in third-down conversion rate (37.1%) and fifth in red-zone TD conversion rate (47.6%) is bound to stiffen against a Bears offense that ranks 26th on third downs (37.1%) and in the red zone (55.0%).
What is likely to doom Fields and the Bears offense in this game is pressure. The Steelers have generated pressure on 28.6% of opponents’ dropbacks this season, third-most, per Pro-Football-Reference Advanced Stats. Fields falls from a 65.9% completion rate, 6.9 yards per attempt, and an 80.7 passer rating when kept clean to a 41.5% completion rate, 4.5 yards per attempt, and a 23.9 passer rating under duress.
Steelers Run Game Has Advantage
Pittsburgh is ranked just 21st in offensive DVOA, but it is slowly rounding into form. After averaging just 301.8 total yards and 16.8 points during their 1-3 start, the Steelers are averaging 368.7 total yards and 21.7 points over their past three games, all of which were wins.
Three games ago, the Steelers switched to a man-blocking scheme in the run game, which has enabled Najee Harris to rush for 98.0 yards per game and 4.03 yards per carry after mustering only 46.3 yards per game and 3.36 yards per carry in his first four games.
While Khalil Mack’s absence obviously hurts the Bears when it comes to rushing the passer, it also hurts in the run game. Among Bears front-seven defenders that have played at least 50 snaps this season, Mack is second in PFF run defense grade (66.8). The Bears were already struggling against the run, ranking just 24th in DVOA — a huge drop-off from their fourth-ranked unit a year ago.
Letting the Steelers run on you is not the end of the world if you can get pressure on their statuesque, 39-year-old quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. This season, Roethlisberger is posting a 69.4% completion rate, 7.1 yards per attempt and 97.9 passer rating when kept clean but a 44.7% completion rate, 4.6 yards per attempt and a 38.9 passer rating under pressure. Unfortunately for the Bears, they have pressured opposing quarterbacks on just 19.6% of dropbacks, the second-lowest rate in the NFL. What’s more, Mack was responsible for a team-leading 22 pressures.
While at first glance this may seem like a spot to target the under with two below-average offenses, the market has caught on, leaving no margin for error or value in the sub-40 total.
The Steelers have the clear edge on both sides of the ball here — I make the line Steelers -7 — but covering a spread of -6 is tough in a game with this low of a point total. Despite the Steelers’ 4-3 straight-up record, they have won by seven points or more in only two of their seven games, and one of those was an eight-point win over Denver that could have ended differently if cornerback James Pierre hadn’t intercepted Teddy Bridgewater in the end zone to end the game. Therefore, I’m looking to invest in the Steelers by either targeting their moneyline or teasing them down six points to a pick ’em or -0.5.
As I alluded to in the intro, this is a spot where Tomlin’s team almost always ends up on the right side of the scoreboard.
Pick: Steelers -265, Steelers tease -6 to 0 | Bet to: -285, -7
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