Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears (-3.5)
Mon. 9/17, 8:15 p.m. ET
Three things you need to know before betting on Seahawks–Bears:
1. The last time these NFC teams met was in 2015 when Seattle was a hefty 16-point favorite at home and blanked Chicago 26-0. That iteration of this matchup is ancient history by now, as each squad will field a revamped roster on Monday night. The Bears now have the more talented defense of these two teams, especially with the addition of LB Khalil Mack, who had a pick-six, a fumble recovery and a sack in his Bears debut. DE Akiem Hicks up front and CB Kyle Fuller also have Pro Bowl talent, although Chicago would be sitting at 1-0 instead of 0-1 if Fuller was able to catch an Aaron Rodgers pass that hit him in the chest on the first play of what would turn out to be a game-winning drive in Green Bay’s 24-23 comeback win over Chicago last Sunday night. Seattle, meanwhile, has parted ways with several defensive standouts from their Super Bowl XLVIII-winning team this offseason, as DE Cliff Avril and CB Richard Sherman were both released, DE Michael Bennett was traded to Philly and SS Kam Chancellor retired. Seattle has been getting off to slow starts in recent seasons, as the team is 2-11-1 against the spread in September road games since Pete Carroll took over as the team’s head coach prior to the start of the 2010 season.
2. Both the Chicago and Seattle defenses were exposed in Week 1 defeats. Seattle visited Denver and allowed a Case Keenum-led offense to rack up 470 total yards despite Keenum tossing three interceptions. Chicago held a 20-0 lead late in the third quarter in Green Bay before allowing a hobbled Rodgers to amass 21 fourth-quarter points in the stunning defeat. Both teams showed promise offensively, however, as Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns despite top wideout Doug Baldwin leaving the game with a sprained MCL before he could even be targeted. Wilson completed at least three passes to five different receivers, with new teammates Will Dissly and Brandon Marshall each scoring a touchdown. Bears second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky also shared the wealth with multiple completions to six different players.
3. Worthy of consideration here is the fact that Week 2 road teams that also played on the road in Week 1 are 6-24 straight up since the start of the 2009 season, being outscored by an average of seven points per game despite the average moneyline having been less than +110 over the 30 contests. Going back to the start of 2014, such visiting teams are 2-13 straight up. Meanwhile, each of the past six meetings these teams have played against each other in Chicago (dating back to 2006) has gone over the total. All but four of the 20 games Seattle has played in the Carroll era as an underdog of between 3.5 and 9.5 points have gone over the total.
Side: Chicago -3.5
Confidence Level: High (on a scale of Low/Moderate/High/Very High/Extremely High)
Total: OVER 43.5
Confidence Level: Very High