Each week, TheLines will provide a daily betting breakdown and analysis for the upcoming Monday Night Football game. We’ll look at the odds and see why they’re moving a certain way, along with breaking down the matchup and providing the week’s best bets.
The Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins will square off at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland in the Week 3 edition of Monday Night Football. The Bears managed to narrowly escape an 0-2 start with a miracle comeback in Empower Field at Mile High in Denver in Week 2. Mitchell Trubisky was able to put the Bears in field-goal range with the help of a questionable call on the Broncos’ Bradley Chubb and kicker Eddy Pineiro ultimately delivered with a 53-yard field goal as time expired to notch the two-point win.
Meanwhile, the Redskins come in winless following defeats at the hands of the division-rival Eagles and Cowboys to open the season. Washington has played well at times in both losses, but ultimately, they’ve dropped each contest by a double-digit margin.
MNF odds and analysis
The Bears checked in as four-point favorites as of Friday morning across featured sportsbooks. That’s been the case since the game was first put on the board last week. Granted, it would appear on the surface neither team really did anything in Week 2 to move the needle. But the Redskins are arguably more competitive than their offensive talent would have implied coming into the season. Meanwhile, the Bears offense does appear rudderless for the most part through two games. That’s particularly perplexing considering it’s Mitchell Trubisky’s second year in coach Matt Nagy’s offensive system. On the other sideline, Case Keenum has exceeded expectations through the first two games (601 passing yards, 5:0 TD:INT) after an up-and-down 2018 in Denver.
The 41.5-point total is certainly on the low side. However, it seems to accurately reflect the so-so nature of both offenses and the elite status of the Bears defense in particular. Then, Washington’s unit can be solid in its own right despite some of its early numbers. They’ve cratered a bit in the second half of each of their first two games. It’s worth noting the offensive talent the Eagles and Cowboys threw at the Redskins is one Chicago doesn’t come close to matching currently. While this number might move a half-point here or there, this game does shape up as a matchup of two often pedestrian offenses.
MNF Week 3 game matchup
The Bears offense has defied logic a bit over the first two games of the regular season by somehow looking like they’ve regressed in their second year within a scheme. Mitchell Trubisky has come off more like a wide-eyed rookie in what is now his third season than as the increasingly confident player many expected in 2019. Granted, the defensive matchups over the first two weeks have been tough. And as already mentioned, Trubisky did enough in Week 2 to help the Bears secure their first win. In the Redskins, he and his offensive teammates draw what is arguably their easiest matchup of the season thus far.
Chicago should have a chance to run a balanced attack against Washington. That alone could help Trubisky’s efficiency a good deal. As cited later in this article, the Redskins have allowed healthy production through both the ground and air over their first two games. Rookie running back David Montgomery had much more of a chance to show what he could against the Broncos than in the opener versus the Packers. He received only seven touches in the latter contest but garnered 19 versus Denver. If he can consistently gain positive yardage Monday, the game should become much more manageable for Trubisky versus a secondary that once again has injury question marks at right cornerback with both Quinton Dunbar (knee) and Fabian Moreau (ankle) sporting injury designations as of Thursday.
The Redskins’offense seemingly has a much taller order in the form of the Bears’ attacking defensive charges. But Keenum has played with plenty of confidence through the first two games, appearing unfazed by the fact he has a first-round draft pick in Dwayne Haskins looming over his shoulder. The veteran likely gives Jay Gruden’s team the best chance of success early on. Washington’s receiver group has overachieved thus far thanks in large part to Keenum’s career-high 69.1 percent completion rate. The challenge will be formidable for him Monday, however. The Bears may just be a field goal away from 0-2, but they’ve allowed a modest 224 yards per game and two total passing touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers and Joe Flacco in the first two weeks.
It doesn’t figure to be any easier on the ground for Adrian Peterson. The now-34-year-old defied the odds in 2018 with a 1,000-yard season, but he was stonewalled consistently against the Cowboys in Week 2 after serving as a healthy scratch in the opener. Derrius Guice’s latest knee problems opened up the starting job for Peterson again. However, an aging back is far from an ideal weapon to try to establish some semblance of balance with versus the Monsters of the Midway. The bad news for Gruden is he doesn’t have much in the way of capable alternatives for early-down/lead-back work. Chris Thompson and Wendell Smallwood are fine complementary pieces. Yet neither is really suited for a 20-carry-plus workload.
KEY MATCHUP: Bears pass defense vs. Redskins passing game. The Bears don’t figure to have much trouble stopping Peterson and company consistently. That puts a target on Keenum, who was able to keep both the Eagles’ and Cowboys’ defenses on their respective heels at various points during the first two games with some accurate passing and well-placed downfield shots (six completions of more than 20 yards, including two over 40). His ability to stretch the field on a few occasions will be key to loosening up a ferocious unit. However, if a Chicago pass rush that’s already compiled seven sacks through the first two weeks can consistently disrupt him, Washington’s offense will be reduced to a series of fits and starts that will dampen the odds of a Redskins victory even further.
Week 3 MNF betting breakdown
The Bears and Redskins have met on 50 occasions overall during each franchise’s storied history. Washington holds a 26-23-1 advantage, including a 7-0 mark dating back to 2004. Three of those wins have come at FedEx Field. However, that trio of victories has come by a combined 14 points.
Through two weeks, the Bears’ 263.5 yards per game of total offense ranks them an unsightly 30th. They check in ranked 28th in passing yards per game (160.0) and 19th in rushing yards per contest (99.5). The Redskins are ranked 25th in total offense (326.5 yards per game). They slot in 10th in passing offense (289.0 yards per game) and 30th in rushing offense (37.5 yards per game).
On defense, the Bears are ranked 4th with 292.5 total yards allowed per game. The 224.0 passing yards per contest they’re surrendering ranks them 11th in that category, while the 68.5 rushing yards per game they’ve yielded puts them at No. 6. Then, the Redskins check in with the 30th-ranked defense in terms of total yards allowed per game (455.0). The 287.0 passing yards per game they’ve allowed equates to a No. 25 rank, while the 168.0 rush yards per contest they’ve yielded through two weeks leaves them ranked 31st.
Chicago was an NFL-best 12-4 (75.0 percent) against the spread last season but are 0-2 this season. Last season’s record included a 5-3 mark (62.5 percent) versus the number in their away games and a 3-3 tally ATS as away favorites specifically. The Bears were 10-3 (76.9 percent) versus the number in conference games as well. Then, the Over was 8-8 (50.0 percent) in the Bears’ games last season, including 4-4 in their away games.
Washington was 9-7 (56.2 percent) against the spread last season and is 1-1 this season. Last season’s record included a 4-4 mark (50.0 percent) in their home games but a 4-2 tally as a home underdog specifically. The Redskins were 6-6 (50.0 percent) versus the number last season in conference games. Then, the Over was 7-9 (43.8 percent) in the Redskins’ games last season, including 4-4 (50.0 percent) in their home games.
The Redskins have dropped each of their last seven Monday night games, while the road team has covered at FedEx Field in each of Washington’s last six home games. The Under has also prevailed in each of the Bears’ last seven games.
Take all that for what it’s worth. We recommend ignoring most of these trends when doing your research.
Bears vs. Redskins picks and predictions
Watch this space later in the week as Matt Brown breaks down this matchup from top to bottom, offering his thoughts on the moneyline, spread and total at PlayPicks.com.