Ostrowski: What To Wager On In Bears-Saints

The Bears are favored by a field goal by most sports books.

Joe Ostrowski
October 18, 2019 - 10:54 am

(670 The Score) After the Saints' fourth straight win, the Bears opened as 3.5-point home favorites against them.

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It was bet up to Bears -4 by Sunday night, but some groups immediately grabbed the Saints at +4 and it sat at Chicago being favored by a field goal for most of the week. Depending on your book, it’s either Bears -3 (-120) or -3.5 (even). This means if your shop is offering the 3, you’d have to bet $120 to win $100.

The opening line suggested that the Bears are a slightly better team on a neutral field. It could also be heading north based on the information that's available on ailing Saints running back Alvin Kamara (ankle/knee), one of the NFL's most dynamic players. His status could impact the line by one point.

The Saints called it a tweak for Kamara as he played 59 percent of their offensive snaps in a win against the Jaguars last Sunday. With a 5-1 record and the Cardinals awaiting before their Week 9 bye, the Saints could rest Kamara and use the upcoming stretch as an opportunity to make sure he’s ready for the second half of the season.

Let's check out what to wager on this week.

PICK: First-half under 19.5

The total of 38 is the lowest of the week. It makes sense with two stingy defenses. All three of Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's touchdown passes this season came in one quarter against the Redskins. Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is efficient but has his limitations. 

The Bears offense has the NFL’s worst explosive play rate, and the Saints defense is allowing only 245 yards per game over its last three contests. The Bears have the third-best first-half scoring defense (6.0), and the Saints check in at fifth (7.2).

PICK: Montgomery under rushing yards

This number isn't posted yet, but I'd expected it to be between 55 and 65 yards. David Montgomery’s production has come down to game script. In the Bears' three victories, Montgomery is averaging 17.3 carries and 60.6 rushing yards. In their two losses, he's averaging 8.5 rushes and 21.5 yards. There may be a slight upgrade on the Bears' offensive line with injured Kyle Long being shut down, but the Saints' rushing defense shut down the Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott to the tune of 1.9 yards per carry and limited the Jaguars' Leonard Fournette to 3.6 yards per carry last Sunday. Bears coach Matt Nagy may be more committed to the run game after some self-evaluation, but that doesn’t mean it will be more productive.

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.​