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|8:15pm||NE -8.5 (-112)||40 (-114)||NE -8.5 (-112)|
Chicago Bears (2-4) @ New England Patriots (3-3)
– Mac Jones (ankle) is Questionable, but expected to be active for the game
The Chicago Bears come to Foxboro for the final game of Week 7. These are two bad weather teams, and tonight has the chance of being a wet and cold evening, with rain expected on and off throughout the day. While that news alone won’t sway the advantage in a different direction, it may impact who steps under center for the Patriots.
Mac Jones is expected to make his return after missing the last three games with a high ankle sprain he suffered against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3, however, he returns to a completely different offense than the one he last led. In his absence, the Patriots have gone 2-1, with their loss coming in OT against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. 3rd string rookie QB Bailey Zappe has filled in admirably, resulting in a 111.4 passer rating and a 4:1 TD to INT ratio over parts of three games. The rookie QB’s performance takes pressure off of the Patriots rather than having to rush their starting QB back from injury until he’s fully ready, and the field conditions for tonight’s game may also play a hand in that decision.
Realistically, no matter which of their two QBs stands in the huddle tonight, the Patriots are the better team in this matchup. Their defense has rounded into shape nicely of late, coming off of back-to-back, decisive wins, including a 29-0 shutout of the Detroit Lions. To be fair, the Bears defense has also performed fairly well, but it’s their young QB and stagnant offense that will make this a lopsided affair. Justin Fields appears to have regressed in his second year, resulting in the Bears having the lowest passer rating and fewest passing touchdowns of any team in the NFL. The team seems to recognize Fields’ deficiencies, as they’ve also attempted the fewest passes in the league (19.2 per game) and focused heavily on the run game.
The Pats have a number of things working in their favor, including home field advantage, an offense that seems to be hitting its stride, and an obvious advantage on the sidelines. I expect this to be a one-sided performance, with the Pats putting up somewhere around 20 points while holding the Bears under 10. I’ll take the Pats to cover the 8.5 point spread (-112) and take the under (40 points, -107) as we all come to see that the Bears are who we thought they were.
– CHI total touchdowns (team) U1.5 (-117)