Texans vs Bears NFL Week 3 Picks, Prediction
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Fields.
- The Bears are favored at home this week against the Texans.
- Houston is 0-1-1 after losing to Denver last week, while Chicago is 1-1.
- Phillip Kall breaks down how to bet this game below.
Texans vs. Bears Odds
The Houston Texans have been a pleasant surprise in their first two games this season. In Game 1, they pulled off a surprise tie against the favorites to win the AFC South, the Indianapolis Colts. Then, in Week 2, they led against the Broncos heading into the fourth quarter.
It may not have resulted in wins, but this team is playing well ahead of preseason expectations.
Chicago was another team that shocked the NFL in Week 1. The Bears' upset of the 49ers had Chicago fans questioning if this year could be different. However, a completely absent performance in Week 2 against the Packers showed the Bears are likely who we thought they were.
While both teams have flashed an ability to hold their own against tough competition, trusting either seems like a stretch. Instead, let’s see if we can find value on the total.
Texans vs. Bears Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Texans and Bears match up statistically:
Texans vs. Bears DVOA Breakdown
Why don’t we trust the Bears? Because not even the Bears trust themselves. Despite trailing the Packers by two touchdowns with 4:36 left in the second quarter, Chicago attempted a mere 11 passes. Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery were running the ball well, but that deficit was not being erased on the ground.
Electing not to pass likely comes from a lack of faith in their young quarterback. Justin Fields has just 191 passing yards and 28 attempts this year. Keeping the ball out of their quarterback’s hands is a clear sign they do not trust him.
Their lack of faith in the quarterback has led Chicago to be tied for last in the NFL in third-down conversions. If there are no changes, the phrase “tied for” will be removed from that sentence.
While the Bears' offense needs to do some soul searching, their defense has shown an ability to convert in leverage situations. This has helped the Bears rank 17th in points allowed per drive despite ranking 26th in yards allowed per drive. Those numbers are far from impressive but still capture their ability to execute.
The story for the Texans is fairly similar. On offense, they have not found a good way to sustain drives and move the chains. This has caused them to rank 30th in third-down conversion rate and dead last in yards per drive.
One bright spot for the Texans offense has been rookie Dameon Pierce. He was the buzz of the preseason, and after a quiet Week 1, he had 15 carries for 69 yards in Week 2. If he can continue to build on his respectable performance, he should help put Houston’s offense in third and manageable instead of third and long.
The Houston defense has pretty much done exactly what the Bears have. The classic “bend don’t break” mantra manifests itself once more. The Texans rank 25th in yards allowed per drive but seventh in points allowed per drive.
The cause, once again, is high-leverage plays. Houston ranks eighth in third-down defense and fourth in red zone defense. If they can keep converting in these key moments, they will continue to be in close, competitive games.
I wish there was more to this one, but it boils down to two awful offenses facing off.
After Week 1, prognosticators thought the Bears played conservatively due to the weather. After Week 2, it was very clear that the conservative style will be their bread and butter no matter the situation. Unfortunately, this conservative style has guided them to the second-fewest yards per drive.
While Chicago chooses to play conservatively, Houston has at least shown a willingness to trust its young quarterback. The team even has the 10th highest pass/run split in the NFL, per Team Rankings. The problem is they simply do not have the talent to move the ball effectively. This has left them as the only team with fewer yards per drive than the Bears.
Both of these teams have shown an ineptitude on offense and the ability to step up on defense when it matters most. The spread is under a field goal, so if you are confident in one team, that is an angle to take. However, I think it will be a tight ball game, and I will trust neither team to not make a mistake and blow the win and/or cover.
Instead, I will trust both teams to do what they have shown through the first two weeks: struggle to move the ball and force field goals instead of touchdowns. That is why I’m taking the under in this matchup.
FanDuel Quickslip: Under 39.5 | Bet to 38