Both the Bears and the Bucs come into tonight’s game at 3-1, though each has different trajectories.
Chicago has been winning with their defense (and easy schedule), though starting Nick Foles in place of Mitch Trubisky inspires some hope offense
Tampa Bay has been recharged by stellar quarterback play from Tom Brady and the second-best defense in the entire NFL.
Oddsmakers made the Buccaneers a six-point favorite with the total set at 45.5 points. Sharp money has come in on the Chicago Bears knocking the line down to 3.5 points and the total has been bet down to 44.5 points.
Let’s look at some juicy prop bets for tonight.
David Montgomery Under 49.5 Rushing Yards (-112)
This total is way too high. Montgomery has rushed for 45 and 27 yards the last two weeks. The Bears basically abandoned the run game last week with only 16 attempts for 27 yards for the entire team.
What are they going to do against the second-best defense in the league? Well, they are not going to be able to run the ball; No one runs the ball on this defense. In the last two weeks the Tampa Bay held Denver to 14 carries for 42 yards and the Chargers to 23 carries for 46 yards.
You’re going to want to get to this one early as the line could change with more action leading you to game-time.
Allen Robinson Over 5.5 Receptions (-124) & Over 70.5 Receiving Yards (-112)
Robinson is simply the Bears’ best offensive option. Through the first two weeks of the season, Robinson had five catches for 74 yards and three catches for 33 yards (with Trubisky at quarterback). In Week 3, with Foles taking over Robinson had 10 catches (seven from Foles) for 123 yards and a touchdown. Last week, Robinson had seven catches for 101 yards and another touchdown.
Again, the Bears will not be able to run the ball, so a pass-heavy approach is their best option and that favors Robinson. If the Buccaneers defense has a “weakness,” it’s their secondary. They will have to throw early and often and Robinson should be the beneficiary.
Winning Margin By Tampa Bay 1 – 6 Points (+325)
This is another value play. With the line down to 3.5 points, experts are expecting a close game. The Chicago Bears offense has been unimpressive, even since the switch at quarterback. The Tampa Bay defense is going to slow the Bears down, though Tampa Bay has a cluster of injuries.
Thursday night games usually have very vanilla game plans due to the lack of time to implement exotic schemes. Tampa Bay will be looking to get the win but it may not be pretty. Tompa Bay should be able to handle this Bears team, though the Bears should keep it close. Less than a touchdown at +325 is good value.
Tom Brady Under 264.5 Passing Yards (+100)
This is simply another value play. With all of the injuries to his receivers, Brady won’t have too many options to throw the ball to. He did throw for 369 yards last week, but the Bucs were down by 17 points early on against the Chargers and Brady had to throw the ball to get back in the game. It is unfathomable that the Bucs will be trailing for that long against this Bears team.
Another aspect to throw into this play is that the Bears can rush the passer. Everyone in the NFL knows that the only way to slow Brady down is to apply pressure. The Bears will be coming after Tom and getting in his face, something that is unlikely to translate to success for the passing game.
*Odds via DraftKings