NFL Thursday Night Football has been a mixed bag so far this year. After two outstanding NFL matchups in the first weeks, the last three NFL weeks have been okay, with the last week’s game being a snoozer between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts. Week 6’s contest has the potential to be just as bad as the Chicago Bears (2-3) host the Washington Commanders (1-4).
Chicago lost its second straight game on Sunday, falling to Minnesota 29-22 though the 22 points were a season-high. Quarterback Justin Fields had his best game of the season as he produced 256 yards, with 208 yards coming via the air. However, Kirk Cousins threw for 312 yards – the most this season against the Bears – and Dalvin Cook rushed for 94 yards, while Justin Jefferson finished with 12 catches for 154 yards.
Meanwhile, Washington lost its fourth straight with its 21-17 setback to Tennessee. Carson Wentz had another big game throwing the ball (321 yards), but the Commanders’ offense struggled to stay on the field as they converted just 1 of 11 third-down. Also, the Titans converted each of their three trips into the red zone into touchdowns, two by Derrick Henry.
This is a pick’em game, with both teams being -110 on the morning line. The Over/Under is set at 39 points.
Bears Moneyline (-115)
This Bears-Commanders contest is a tossup. I will take Chicago because Fields showed improvement for the first time last week, and the Bears are home.
Chicago is 2-0 at Soldier Field, with victories over the 49ers and Texans. The Commanders have lost their two road contests by at least nine points to the Cowboys and Lions.
I expect that both teams will turn to the ground game. While neither defense is excellent at stopping the run, the Bears have the better running attack as David Montgomery, and Khalil Herbert is a nice one, two-punch in the backfield. Plus, the Bears’ offense has been more efficient than the Commanders, scoring on nearly 37% of their possessions.
In addition, Chicago’s defense has been pretty solid despite being picked apart by the Vikings last week. The Commanders don’t have the quality receivers that the Vikings’ do, and Chicago has done an excellent job of limiting running backs as pass catchers. The Bears’ defense also has done a pretty good job at creating turnovers, and the Commanders rank last in the league with eight turnovers.
David Montgomery Over 15.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
While Montgomery has not been overly effective on the ground this season, I expect him to have a decent amount of success running the ball against the Commanders. His rushing prop bet is over/under 63.5 yards, and I do lean with the over.
However, the best NFL bet is Montgomery over 15.5 receiving yards. The 25-year-old back has been on the field over 72% of the plays in the three games he has been healthy, averaging three receptions (3.3 targets) for 33.3 yards per game. He is averaging career-bests in yards per target (10.0) and yards per reception (11.1).
Moreover, Montgomery – who had four NFL catches for 62 yards against the Vikings last week – has gone over the prop total in 11 of the previous 16 games that he has seen the field at least 50% of the offensive plays. Additionally, Minnesota has allowed more than 30 receiving yards to opposing running backs this season.
Darnell Mooney Over 43.5 Receiving Yards (-115)
Mooney has seen five or more targets in each of the last three NFL games. He has also been on the field 90% of the team’s snaps and has at least two NFL receptions in those games.
Mooney brought in two passes for 52 yards against the Vikings, marking the second straight game that he has surpassed the half-century mark. Mooney has totaled 146 yards during these last two contests, with a little more than half of the yardage coming on two long plays — a 26-yarder against Minnesota and a 56-yarder versus the Giants. Moreover, the average depth of Mooney’s pass route is 16.7 yards, and the average air yards of his receptions are over 14 yards.
Washington’s NFL defense ranks 19th against the pass through the Commanders, allowing the fourth most yards to wide receivers at 190 a game. They also allow opponents to complete 61.1% of their passes to wide receivers. The Commanders have been prone to give up the long ball as they have allowed 18 passes of 20 or more yards, including four of at least 40 yards.
Bears Moneyline 3rd Quarter Over Commanders
Cairo Santos Over +1.5 Field Goals (+100)
Joey Slye Over +1.5 Field Goals (-105)
Carson Wentz Over 0.5 Interception (-135)
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