The Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams kick off their season on Sunday, in what could provide bettors with excellent odds.
NFL predictions suggest the Rams have already won the game, but the Bears are lurking and searching for the biggest upset of Week One.
The nine-point spread is tied with the biggest for the week, but underrates the Bears at your peril.
Why the Bears are Underdogs
We wish Justin Fields would have been named starter instead of Andy Dalton, but we’re not overlooking his experience.
Dalton struggled most years with the Cincinnati Bengals, but he didn’t have many weapons to throw to. He doesn’t get much respect from bookmakers because of his time in Cincinnati, but he now has some receivers worth noting.
Chicago didn’t end 2020 on a high note; losing their last two games to Green Bay and New Orleans, so that explains why the Las Vegas NFL odds are in favor of a Rams victory. However, we wouldn’t be so quick to write off the Bears.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) September 9, 2021
It was only a couple of years ago when the Bears, with Mitch Trubisky leading the way, were a playoff team. He is now in the past, but replacing him with Dalton should be seen as a positive.
Fields is a great backup in case Dalton starts horribly, but he should provide the Bears with enough in the pocket.
Khalil Mack is on the injury report, but the top defender could be OK to play. He was disappointed with last season, but ready to fire in 2021.
“I’m not blaming anything on anything, you know what I’m saying,” Mack told ESPN. “When I’m out there, I’m doing whatever I can to help the team win. That’s ultimately the kind of guy you got with me.
“For the most part, it is what it is. But I want to keep talking about as if it had too much of an affect. But it is what it is at the end of the day. Everybody in the building knows what it was. It is what it is.”
The Bears are underdogs because of their rough history with bettors. We never really know what to expect from the Bears, so they are risky, but also able to put the hurt on the Los Angeles Rams.
Are the Rams Worthy?
We question if the Rams should be -9 favorites at the sportsbook. We weren’t impressed with what they offered last season, and having Matthew Stafford at the quarterback position could go one of two ways.
Stafford was an excellent quarterback on a poor team in Detroit. There is no doubting his arm strength, but a losing culture has been instilled with the 33-year-old, and we want no part of that.
The Rams defense is their biggest asset, so Dalton will need to think of his feet. However, it can take the Rams a game to find their best form.
Can’t wait to see the Matthew Stafford sidearm in LA 🔥 (via @thecheckdown)
— NFL (@NFL) September 3, 2021
The last two seasons have resulted in Week One wins, but they came by a combined six points. If the Bears can keep it close throughout, the Rams could feel the pinch late and lose a close one.
Upsets are more likely to happen in the opening week as rust is a huge factor. We think the Rams will have a better season and Chicago, but they might have to battle back from being 0-1 down.
Upset of the Week Pick
We’re not thinking about our NFL picks against the spread, we’re going straight for the jugular and taking the Bears moneyline.
The +9 is worth taking, but we can’t turn down the moneyline odds of +290. We give the Bears a much better chance of scoring an upset, so we’re comfortable taking the value odds.
The line could push out to +300 on game day, but bettors should take what’s available and lock in the value.