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Best Bets: Bears-Panthers spread, total, survivor picks

This week our pickers navigate a difficult survivor pool, as well as the Bears against a surprisingly good opponent on the road

Arizona Cardinals v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Bears fans got a nice little break from Sunday football last week and we hope that you were able to enjoy the nice weather or the other NFL games and that any and all bets you made were profitable.

Our pickers turned in another solid week, but didn’t blow anything out of the water. On the Bears front, Sam lost the spread but hit on the total while Jeff went oppo and won the spread but missed the total.

One of these weeks they’ll clean sweep, maybe.

In the pick ‘ems contest, Sam turned in his worst performance of the season hitting just seven points but he was able to remain just in the top five. Leader Cooler’s Picks remains the leader and was the weekly high scorer with 10 points. WhiskeyRanger is tied with Sam with 44 points and Jeff and Lester are just behind them at 41 points. Opinion Bear is down in 17th with 37 points but it’s far from over.

In the survivor pool, Jeff and Sam both won, with Sam sweating out the end of the Dallas game and Jeff hitting with the Cardinals. The only people taking strikes last week were those who didn’t get their picks in. We say it every week, but c’mon people, it isn’t that difficult!

Now let’s turn our attention to this week’s game. The Bears are hitting the road for Carolina and are underdogs for the fourth straight game. The oddsmakers sure don’t seem to be believing in the Bears, even at 4-1 straight up and 3-2 against the spread.

Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers (-1, O/U 44.5)

Sunday, noon CT, FOX

Sam: When are the oddsmakers going to turn on Chicago? I realize the Bears are flawed and the national narrative remains that they’re lucky to 4-1 but that is their record and all they do is continue to win.

Now, that said, I realize a home team in the NFL, in normal times with a home crowd gets a field goal as the standard. So in that regard, the Bears are getting some respect from Vegas.

The Bears opened as three point underdogs but the sharps have been hitting the Bears, bringing that number down. It’s one or 1.5 at most books, so it’s just a matter of your preference on the hook. The Bears have been in a lot of tight games, so be wary of the push.

Teddy “Two Gloves” could also be known as Teddy Covered Bridgewater because all he does is cover. He’s 30-9 against the spread as a starter and 17-4 ATS after a straight up win. He’s also covered six straight against teams with a winning record. The Bears, on the other hand, are 0-6 ATS coming off extended rest.

That’s a lot of trends to go with and Carolina has covered three straight to boot. So if you like to fade trends, then you should ride the Bears, if you think past performance data is an indicator of future performance, well then, you know who to put your money on.

As for me, I’m going to go against my typical need to follow the numbers and I’m going to go with the Bears. It feels like a good spot for them, I think the defense is getting their swag going and hopefully the staff used the time off to cater things more to Nick Foles’ liking, strengths and comforts.

I’m going to ride the under for a third straight week because I think this one is won with a score in the low to mid 20s.

In the survivor pool I’m riding with the Miami Dolphins, something that seemed unthinkable a year ago but picking against the New York teams has brought me this far, so why go back now? As long as Adam Gase is on the sideline, give me their opponent!

JB: Sam always brings great research and I love reading the information he pulls. But to be honest, I think we’re in a betting market with the Bears right now where the books are reacting to national perception. No one believes in this team because people have been conditioned to only look as deep as the QB. Last time I checked, we weren’t putting down anything on the QB Challenge (I wonder what Dan Marino’s betting line was for the “Read and Recognition” portion).

The Panthers are 3-2 and look like a frisky team in a year where they were expected to compete for the #1 pick, not a playoff spot. A Bears win would go a long way in helping their own playoff odds while knocking an upstart down a peg.

I thought Nick Foles looked like he was starting to get his sea legs under him during his second start on a short week. The animated discussion with Matt Nagy on the sidelines encouraged me that he’s taking charge of the offense. The Panthers defense isn’t anything to write home about, the offense is going to challenge the Bears defense, but overall, I still think the Bears are the more complete team. Give me the Bears +1.5.

I hate to agree with Sam on everything but I think the Bears can hold down the Panthers coming off the mini-bye and the game will slide under the 44.5 mark with something like a 24-13 victory for the good guys.

Sam and I exchanged texts at the start of the week as I bemoaned the Chargers game against the Jets getting moved. Then I realized the Dolphins were hosting the Jets and had a bit of a chuckle. The Dolphins were the team that Sam took last year in the betting pod on Bears Over Beers to beat their over/under. I teased him for months... until they won in Week 17 to win the bet. This year, I took the Dolphins to win over 6 games (hey, I can admit when I’m wrong) as I loved their offseason. Part of the 7-win plan includes them holding serve against the Jets, thus the Dolphins are also my survivor pick.

Keep the conversation going on Twitter @samhouseholder and @gridironborn and join us on the Sunday Livestream!