Monday Night Football features the Chicago Bears playing host to the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field (8:15 p.m., ESPN). Both teams are looking to rebound off narrow losses in Week 1. Oddsmakers have installed the Bears as nominal three-point favorites, and the betting total has been set at 43.
The Bears appeared to have their opening Sunday clash with Green Bay in hand, but a furious comeback led by Aaron Rodgers sunk them by just one point, though they covered the seven-point spread. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen were able to run the ball effectively, as they amassed 107 rushing yards, but Mitchell Trubisky failed to make the big plays downfield to put the game on ice. The sophomore out of North Carolina threw for just 171 yards but was accurate enough, going 23-for-35.
The Seahawks’ defense was gashed both on the ground and through the air by Denver last week, as the Broncos’ rookie running backs tallied 146 rushing yards, while new quarterback Case Keenum amassed over 300 passing yards. Seattle’s defense is a shell of what it was just a few years ago when they were holding up the Lombardi Trophy, and the remnants of that championship core like K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner are currently dealing with injuries. So Chicago should be able to execute their offensive game plan.
Meanwhile, Seattle’s ground game was just as dreadful in Week 1 as it’s been since Marshawn Lynch left, as they put up only 64 yards in Denver last week. The Bears held Green Bay in check last week (69 yards) thanks to the menacing presence of Khalil Mack and Roquan Smith. Russell Wilson will be forced to drop back more times than is ideal, and those fearsome linebackers should be able to tear through Seattle’s flimsy offensive line too. Wilson, who was sacked six times in Denver, will be without one of his favorite targets, Doug Baldwin, as he deals with a partially-torn MCL.
The trends are on Chicago’s side as well, as they’ve covered in four of their last five games and are 9-3-1 against the spread in their last 13 home games, per oddsshark.com. Seattle’s trending poorly at the moment, as they’re 1-3-1 against the spread in their last five overall and 4-7-2 against the spread in their last 13 road tilts. And while the Seahawks have thrived in the underdog role under Pete Carroll (17-2-3 against the spread in their last 22 when getting three points or more), they’re just 1-12-1 against the spread as underdogs in the month of September, per oddshark.com.
Wilson can only do so much when the rest of his team is falling apart, so side with the Bears on Monday night.
Prediction: Bears win, 23-16
The play: Bears -3