Not many people may have had the Chicago Bears at 5-1 to start the 2020 NFL season, but here they are.
The Bears have found ways to win tough games but still seem to be searching for respect.
Heading into Monday Night Football, where the Bears go on the road to face the Los Angeles Rams at 8:15 p.m. EST (ESPN), are the Bears being overlooked again?
Oddsmakers certainly don’t like their chances. Should Iowa sports bettors give Chicago more credit?
Chicago a touchdown underdog in Los Angeles
Monday night’s game features the 5-1 Bears against the 4-2 Rams. Chicago is a perfect 3-0 on the road, while Los Angeles is 2-0 at home.
The Week 8 NFL odds for Monday’s game are pretty cut and dry.
|Bears at Rams Week 7 Odds
(-110 juice unless noted)
|CHI +6 +100
LAR -6 -118
(-110 juice unless noted)
|O 44.5 -115
U 44.5 -105
Oddsmakers across the board see the Chicago Bears as a 6-point underdog against the Rams. Only Fox Bet Sportsbook doesn’t have -110 odds for the wager.
The over/under for the game is at 44.5 or 45, depending on the sportsbook. The moneyline has Chicago ranging from +210 to +225. The Rams come in anywhere from -265 to -275.
The public betting is split on this game. As of this writing, the Rams had a slight advantage, with about 55% of the wagers.
Trends show Bears like Monday night
The Bears have been able to handle the Rams over recent meetings. Chicago comes into this week’s matchup 6-2 in their last eight against the Rams. At the NFL betting window, the Bears were 5-3 against the spread in those eight meetings.
Chicago has actually been the underdog in this matchup in five straight encounters, going 3-2 straight up and against the spread in those games.
The under has been the play in this series as well, as the two have hit it in five of their last seven meetings.
Monday night plays an interesting role in the trends. The Bears have covered in four straight MNF games, while the Rams are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 on Monday nights.
Chicago grinding out wins
Chicago finds itself second in the NFC standings and first in the NFC North with a 5-1 record. The Bears are coming off a 23-16 road win over the Carolina Panthers last week. All five victories have been by seven points or less.
When it comes to sports betting, the Bears are 4-2 against the spread this season and 4-2 with the under. Chicago has hit the under in three straight.
The strong under numbers are due to the Bears’ defense, which is giving up just 19.3 points per game this season.
The defense has some concerns this week, as injuries are piling up. Khalil Mack, Buster Skrine and Akiem Hicks are just some of the many names on the Bears’ injury report. Hicks may be good to go on Monday, while Mack and Skrine are questionable.
Chicago’s offense has been nothing to write home about, but good enough to win games. The Bears are averaging just 21.3 points and 329.7 yards per game through six contests.
Their major concern is the run game, which is producing just 90 yards per contest. That ranks fourth-worst in the NFL. It will be up to David Montgomery to find his groove in the backfield.
Coach Matt Nagy decided to give the offense over to Nick Foles in the third week of the season. He’s been a respectable game manager at quarterback. Foles has 878 yards passing with six touchdowns and four interceptions.
Rams looking to bounce back
Los Angeles is coming off a surprising 24-16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week. The Rams were outgained 390-311 in the loss.
That defeat dropped the Rams to 4-2 on the season and 3-3 against the spread. The Rams are 4-2 with the under, hitting it in three straight games.
Los Angeles has been a strong defensive team in 2020 as well, giving up just 19 points and 340.3 yards per game. Aaron Donald continues to be a dominant force upfront. He has 19 tackles and 7.5 sacks for the Rams.
Offensively, the Rams are averaging 25.3 points and 396.8 yards per game in 2020. It’s been a balanced attack with a multitude of weapons.
Jared Goff has taken a step forward after 2019 where he seemed lost. Goff has 1,570 yards and 10 touchdowns passing this season. The Bears have been a problem for the QB, as he has no touchdowns and five interceptions in two games against Chicago.
Goff is spreading the ball nicely this season, with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods both over 320 yards receiving, and two others over 220 yards.
In the backfield, the Rams have used a committee. Darrell Henderson Jr. is the leading rusher with 348 yards, but the team averages 135.2 yards per game on the ground.