Sunday Night Football Week 3: Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys
The Bears head to Cowboys Stadium to take on Dallas in the nightcap of Sunday’s action. It’s not an ideal primetime game for fans, especially with all the injuries the Bears have suffered, but as bettors, we don’t mind that. We’re interested if we can get a +EV bet down.
At BetOnline, the current odds are Bears +7 (-120) and Cowboys -7 (+100). The total is 44.5 and both sides have -110 juice. The odds opened at -7 or -7.5 at most sportsbooks. The odds haven’t changed much since opening. The total opened at 45 points and has moved to 44 or 44.5.
About 60 percent of bets are coming in Chicago. Almost 70 percent of wagers are also going on the under. This game is one of the more lopsided from a betting perspective, with both the total and side seeing mostly one-sided action.
The Bears Have Great Lineup Despite Injuries
Wow, where to begin. If you had any optimism for Chicago this year (most didn’t), that’s probably dissipated after last week. The Bears not only lost their first two games, but they did it in spectacularly poor fashion and now have injury questions at nearly every position.
They’re coming off a short week after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles 29-14 on Monday Night Football in Week 2. The loss dropped their record to 0-2 on the season. In Week 1, they lost to the Bears 32-14.
Quarterback Jay Cutler was also injured in last week’s loss. He sprained his thumb and will be out 2-3 weeks. Backup Brian Hoyer will start in Cutler’s place. Hoyer has been on several teams since he was signed as a free agent by New England in 2009. Hoyer’s most recent stop was Houston, where he started 11 games last year.
To make matters worse, Chicago lost linebacker Lamarr Houston for the season. They also lost nose tackle Eddie Goldman and linebacker Danny Trevathan with multi-week injuries. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has also been limited in practice this week, but he is expected to suit up.
The Cowboys Prescott Looking Good
After losing Tony Romo in the preseason and losing Week 1 to the rival Giants, things didn’t look great for Cowboys fans. However, with Dak Prescott under center, things are looking a lot brighter.
The rookie signal caller rushed for a touchdown of his own and threw for 292 yards as Dallas won at Washington 27-23. Prescott also finally got wide receiver Dez Bryant involved and threw five passes to his favorite target in Cole Beasley.
Dallas doesn’t have many injuries. The only concern is that cornerback Orlando Scandrick will miss the contest with a hamstring injury. He hasn’t played a full complement of snaps since the season began and he’s most likely a game-time decision for this one.
NFL Week 3 Prediction
I realized I just told you how bad the Bears are in the above sections and laid some praise on Dallas, but ultimately it comes down to the betting odds. There are a lot of reasons to like Dallas in this game, but when you’re getting seven points, the Bears deserve a fair look as well.
First of all, I’m not too sure that Hoyer is that much of a downgrade from Cutler as many perceive. Hoyer has put together a lot of solid games over his career. He went 5-6 as a starter with Houston last year. He still has Alshon Jeffery as a deep threat against an average, at best, Cowboys secondary.
Dak Prescott also hasn’t faced many hiccups just yet. He’s going to have a bad game one of these times and I wouldn’t be shocked if it was in prime time, even against an undermanned defense.
I like Dallas a lot more at -6.5 but that’s probably not going to happen. Chicago is an excellent play +7, but they’re an outstanding play at +7.5. There’s a good chance that line is available at a decent price as bettors load up on the Cowboys as we get closer to kickoff.
Pick: Bears +7