We are into the sixth week of the 2022 NFL season which means the bye weeks are here. The Lions, Titans, Texans and Raiders are all off this week and the byes couldn’t come sooner for the Lions and Raiders who are coming off rough losses. The Lions will be hoping to use the week to get their key players back fit but the Raiders will be hoping their star receiver Davante Adams isn’t given an extra week off for his shove on the cameraman on Monday night.
Monday’s game was one of the rare exciting MNF/TNF games we have had so far this season but unfortunately I don’t think that trend continues tonight.
Washington Commanders -1.5 @ Chicago Bears: 38.0
This is another Thursday Night matchup that isn’t going to draw in a lot of views from the neutral and to be honest fans of either team (like me) are probably best advised to look away as well.
The Bears head into the game with a slightly better feeling than the Commanders having been able to grind out two wins from their opening two home games. Washington are into their third year with Ron Rivera as head coach and aren’t anywhere near competing for a division they won in his first season.
News broke this morning that Carson Wentz is dealing with a bicep injury on his throwing arm which might be something to factor into this game.
If there were signs of hope in Washington after the week one win over Jacksonville, they have since disappeared after four straight losses see them bottom of the surprisingly strong NFC East.
Carson Wentz has played like everyone (except Ron Rivera) expected and has shown a frustrating ability to make plays and then implode at any point. He is averaging 278 passing yards per game and his line in this one seems pretty low at around the 220 against a pretty middle of the pack Bears defense. I would lean the over on that but it’s probably worth fading due to his injury.
The one positive for Washington is Brian Robinson’s miraculous recovery after being shot six weeks ago and in his first game back he already led the team in carries. With another few days under his belt that should continue but I am still a little hesitant to take the over on his 48.5 yards rushing line.
The addition of Jahan Dotson and a healthy Curtis Samuel has seen Terry McLaurin’s role in the offense decline somewhat but he is actually averaging around his career mark in terms of yards per game and aside from the Week 4 loss to Dallas has gone over 55 yards each week. McLaurin’s lines in this game are 3.5 receptions and 51.5 yards and with Dotson out of this game I think I would take the over on both to be honest, but will probably just go for the yards. Curtis Samuel should continue to have a role but his usage will be hard to predict.
It tells you all you need to know about the Bears offense that Week 5 saw Justin Fields hit season highs of just 15 completions and 208 yards. He also posted career highs (in games as the starter) in completion percentage and passer rating, perhaps signs of better things to come from him and this offense.
But it is still going to be impossible to trust any aspect of the passing offense due to the low volume. The receivers all have low lines for this game but I would still be tempted by the under for most Bears receivers if I had any confidence in the Commanders being able to make tackles and stop big plays (which I don’t). Some lines I would look at are Montgomery to go over 13.5 receiving yards and Cole Kmet over 2.5 receptions.
The ground game for the Bears is slightly more clear cut. Even though Khalil Herbert has shown to be the more explosive back (averages 2.1 yards more per carry this season), this is David Montgomery’s backfield when he is healthy. I would lean the under on Montgomery’s 63.5 line in this game but I do like him to score a touchdown at 13/10.
As a Commanders fan I am going to say this quietly but this looks a good matchup for them. Their defense in general has been bad but its (relative) strength is stopping the run and getting after the quarterback. Only the real elite defenses average more than their 2.8 sacks per game and the Bears are giving up 3.8 which is not great when you consider how little they are throwing the ball. The Commanders to record over 2.5 sacks at 5/4 with Bet365 is worth a look.
If, and that’s a big if, Carson Wentz is able to take care of the ball, they should have enough to get the win on the road. I tend to lean the under on Thursday night games but I think I will take the over on the 38.0 line in this one. As usual I like the chances of both QB’s throwing an interception which you can get for 23/10 in a Bet365 bet builder.