Predictions, trends and more handicapping tips for Week 3’s Sunday nighter between the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers
The Chicago Bears opened the season with back-to-back wins at Soldier Field while the Steelers were being upset by the Titans and getting knocked around by the Bengals in Cinci. Going winless in the preseason was one thing but the Steelers haven’t opened 0-2 straight-up since 2002. Odds for this game opened at Chicago -1.5 and crept to -2.5 before turning back. The gameday action appears to be on the favorite but we’re focused more on the total.
WEEK 3 PICKS – SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
The Bears are 21-3 SU as a road favorite since 2005 including a pair of victories early in 2006 when they opened the season with a seven-game win streak. Chicago has scored 55 points in the first two weeks and the protection for QB Jay Cutler has been stellar. The combination of Marc Trestman (HC), O-Co Aaron Kromer and TE Martellus Bennett have made life in the pocket much better for Cutler and the direct beneficiary is RB Matt Forte who has racked up 250 all-purpose yards the first two weeks.
Chemistry is huge on Chicago right; they battled to a couple of close finishes and won but those were both at home. Tonight we see how group deals with adversity when the going gets tough on the road.
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The Bears are 16-2 O/U as a favorite when coming off a home fave win and that includes a mark of 6 overs and 1 under since 2005
Pittsburgh’s offense ranks 28th overall through the first two weeks and based on some of our top database team trends, they will have a hard time bouncing back this week but with their back against the wall we feel like HC Tomlin will find a way to get his team in gear. The Bears are not getting great pressure on QBs and Big Ben is as good as anyone at making something out of nothing when he has time.
With a trip to London to face Minnesota on-deck before a Week 5 bye there is no time for Pittsburgh to wait on its run game to heal. They need to make plays with the personnel on the field now or that divisional rematch with Cinci in Week 15 will be for nothing more than pride.
In the first-half of the season, home teams off a Monday nighter where they scored 10 or less points have played 14 overs and 4 unders since 2001 with games clearing the total by an average of 7.9 points per game. What we like about this setup is that Chicago does not seem content to rest on its laurels. They have the Lions on-deck and the Bears are 5-2 SU in their past seven divisional sandwich situations with all seven games going over the mark.
Pick: Take the Over 40.5 points