Ostrowski: What To Wager On In Bears-Broncos

The Bears have settled in as a 2.5-point favorite.

Joe Ostrowski
September 12, 2019 - 3:17 pm
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(670 The Score) Only 12 of the last 98 NFL teams to start the season 0-2 have rebounded to make the playoffs. That makes the Bears-Broncos game Sunday a desperate spot for both clubs.

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Chicago enters the game with extra rest, while Denver is working on a short week after playing Monday night.

After the Bears failed to get into the end zone in their opener, most sportsbooks had this game as a pick 'em or the Broncos -1. Then they reacted to an uninspired performance from Vic Fangio's crew in a loss to the Raiders by making the Bears a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 40.5. Some even tested the Bears at -3, but it’s back to -2.5 across the board since the sharps will likely take the home underdog getting a field goal.

Related: Haugh: Bears-Broncos preview

In visiting Mile High Stadium, the Bears are encountering one of the league’s strongest trends for decades. Visiting teams tend to put up pitiful performances early in the year in Denver. The Broncos are 51-8-2 straight up in Weeks 1-2 at home since the AFL-NFL merger. They’ve won 38 of 42 in the same subset over the last 35 years.

Denver is riding a 13-game home winning streak in September. You should also hesitate before you say the Bears have a quarterback advantage just because Joe Flacco will be under center. The Broncos' last six home victories in September have been with Case Keenum and Trevor Siemian leading the way.

Still, there’s a pretty strong trend favoring the Bears. I’m not the biggest trends player, but both of these are interesting nuggets to impress your friends.

While it was only one game, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky ranks 28th in QBR (18.5), 32nd in yards per attempt (5.1) and 35th in passer rating (62.1) in the NFL. That was enough for the SuperBook to move his MVP odds from 40/1 to 100/1. Don’t tell Danny Parkins.

Game props will be posted closer to kickoff, and there are numerous angles to consider. Bears coach Matt Nagy has repeatedly preached that he needs to have more balanced play-calling after rookie running back David Montgomery was limited to seven touches against the Packers. Just like at the end of last year, Trubisky continued to feed Allen Robinson with 13 targets in Week 1. It isn’t just Fangio in Denver who knows the Bears' offensive tendencies inside and out. Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell received much praise for his work in helping the Bears defense earn 36 takeaways in 2018. 

I thought the line was perfect at a pick 'em, but it isn’t too enticing unless it hits three. Sometimes you just have to keep it simple. Come Sunday, defensive playmakers will be on the field at all times against offenses that really struggled in Week 1. We don’t want to overreact to one game, but we must react before the value is gone.

PICK: Under 40.5

Joe Ostrowski hosts evenings on 670 The Score. Listen to his weekly sports betting podcast here. When he's not on the Score in evenings, he's also a host of You Better You Bet, which runs from 5-9 p.m. weekdays on Radio.com Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeO670.​