Ostrowski: What To Wager On In Bears-Chiefs

Bears receiver Anthony Miller has been on a tear lately.

Joe Ostrowski
December 20, 2019 - 10:35 am

(670 The Score) Once you strip away the narrative-driven storylines about Mitchell Trubisky/Patrick Mahomes, Matt Nagy/Andy Reid, Dave Toub and Brad Childress on Sunday evening, you’re left with a Chiefs team covering the spread at the second-highest rate (64.3%) in the league and a Bears club cashing fewer tickets than any other team (28.6%).

At this stage of the season, the most challenging aspect of handicapping is motivation. A week ago, the prevailing thought was that the Cowboys and Jaguars had quit on the year. Both teams took few bets and won outright.

Because the Bears (7-7) are officially eliminated from playoff contention and the Chiefs (10-4) are still hunting first-round bye in the playoffs, a Kansas City bet would be paying at a premium. A week ago, the look-ahead line was Chiefs -3.5. Now, they’re six-point road favorites with a total of 44.5.

I’d rather bet on the number of times the 2017 draft is discussed than guess on the side or total.

Let's take a look on some of the best bets to make.

PICK: Kansas City under rushing yards

Mahomes and his deadly receiving group will have some sky-high player props, as Mahomes is coming off a 340-yard passing performance in snowy conditions against Vic Fangio’s Broncos defense. Travis Kelce collected 142 yards, and Tyreek Hill got into the end zone twice.

The Chiefs run the ball only 37.3% of the time despite often playing with the lead. Over the last three weeks, carries for the Chiefs have been split among five running backs, two receivers, a tight end and a quarterback. Spencer Ware leads the way, playing 40% of offensive snaps in each of his two games.

Run defense was an issue at times when Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks was sidelined, but it sounds like he’ll be back on the field despite his ailing elbow. The Bears are allowing only 3.8 yards per carry, the fourth-best mark in the NFL. Maybe LeSean McCoy’s name value will bring a player prop for a primetime game.

PICK: Anthony Miller over receiving yards

Even though the Chiefs defense allows 5.0 yards per carry, the third-most in the league, can you really trust Nagy to stick with the ground game? With the Bears being six-point underdogs, the game script will likely lead to plenty of passing with Trubisky.

Over the last five weeks, Miller has averaged 10.4 targets and 86.2 receiving yards. Allen Robinson’s prop will be higher even though Miller has slightly outperformed Robinson in this sample.

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.​