Consider yourself warned: this may not be a primetime game to remember. The Chicago Bears have been one of the worst teams of 2022, according to Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus, while the Washington Commanders have lost four straight and have the second-worst point differential in the NFL. Nonetheless, this game must be played, so might as well point out a few bets that seem to have some merit.
The point spread in this game is Bears -1 or one pick, depending on the bettor, which essentially makes it a draw between two disappointing teams. I would refrain from taking a full game in this game and instead look to the total, which was 38 points Thursday morning.
At full strength, Chicago is scoring 1.7 points per practice (24th in the standings) and Washington is scoring 1.4 points per practice (28th), projecting a 37-point game if each team gets 12 practices Thursday night. Still, both teams played on Sunday, resulting in a quick turnaround that players have traditionally hated. These teams are unlikely to be anywhere near full strength on this schedule, which along with the already lackluster offenses would draw me to the bottom.
Yet our recommendations don’t focus on point spread or over/under. Those picks were made by odds Wednesday afternoon; the numbers may have since changed.
The Bears win the first quarter
Chicago is scoring 2.2 points per drive in the first quarter, nearly triple Washington’s (0.7) and above the NFL average. Commanders were also forced to do three-and-threes on more than half of their first-quarter practices (57%), compared to a third of the time for the Bears. Using this information, and assuming these trends continue, you have two options: take the Chicago Q1 moneyline at odds of -112 (bet $112 to win $100) or be a bit more aggressive and take Chicago-1 +145.
Darnell Mooney receiving yards
Choice: Over 42.5 receiving yards
Here’s a look at how Commanders rank in some pass defense stats:
And here’s a look at how each opponent’s best receiver, in terms of receptions throughout the season. did against the commanders
Of the five No. 1 receivers Washington has faced, four have had big games and Mooney is the clear number one. 1 option for the passing attack (admittedly limited) of the Bears. After collecting just five targets in the first two games of the season – and the first was played in monsoon conditions – Mooney was targeted 16 times in the three games that followed, his role increasing after the coach Matt Eberflus told reporters his offense needed to “highlight” his skill-position players.
Bears quarterback Justin Fields had his best game of the season on Sunday against a Vikings defense that also allows its share of deep balls, completing 71.3% of its passes and an adjusted average of 10.9 yards per attempt . Mooney caught just two passes, but he only needed one of them – a 39-yard second quarter – to get close to the 43 yards he’ll need on Thursday for that bet to pay off. . Take the Mooney.