Welcome to the Monday Night Football betting breakdown, where each week I’ll provide a detailed betting overview of the upcoming Monday Night Football game utilizing moneyline, points spread and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. I’ll also highlight at least one player- or game-based prop each week that I feel has profit potential.
The 2020 Week 7 MNF slate features a conference battle between two tough defenses in the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The two teams have a long-time rivalry that dates back to 1937 and that Chicago has been able to forge a commanding 54-37-3 advantage in.
Both squads check in with solid records. The Bears that own the slightly better mark and are coming off a win. Chicago is 5-1 and winners of two straight, having most recently stopped the Panthers’ three-game win streak on the road Week 6. Meanwhile, the Rams stumbled to 4-2 while up against a quality division rival in the 49ers. They dropped a 24-16 road decision to San Francisco on Sunday night.
All betting takes will be classified as a “pick” or “lean”, with considerations such as relevant injuries, past betting trends and recent performances of each team leading up to the game factoring in.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup – including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to MNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Monday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
The Bears have ridden what might be considered a rather cautious, ho-hum offensive style and a typically stingy and opportunistic defense to five wins in their first six contests. Chicago needed some miracle comebacks in two of its first three games. The Bears toppled the Lions and Falcons with fourth-quarter rallies. Nick Foles rescued Chicago in the latter contest and has held the starting quarterback role since.
The Bears are arguably more battle-tested than the Rams. Chicago had to overcome those aforementioned second-half deficits for two of its first three wins. They’ve also toppled a pair of solid teams in the Buccaneers and Panthers for their most recent pair of victories. In contrast, the Rams have notched their four victories against the four teams of the NFC E(L)east. Chicago has even managed to succeed with Foles taking less-than-ideal care of the ball. The veteran quarterback has thrown an interception in each game he’s suited up for thus far. He’s also not exactly pushing the ball downfield consistently – he’s averaging just 5.8 yards per attempt. Only 12 of his 95 completions have gone for 20 yards or longer.
This matchup is not the greatest for Foles on paper. The Rams allow the fourth-fewest passing yards per game (209.5). Los Angeles has also been very effective getting to the quarterback with 20 sacks through six games. However, the Bears are well-equipped to defend against that strength. Chicago has given up just 11 sacks, an average of less than two per game. Then, the Rams have also not exactly been a big takeaway squad thus far. Los Angeles has just six turnovers (four interceptions, two fumble recoveries) over six games.
The Rams also appear set to head into this game with primary RB Darrell Henderson limited, at minimum, by a thigh injury. That may not be the only health concern for key L.A. skill-position players. Robert Woods is dealing with a groin injury. Tyler Higbee is hampered by a hand problem. The Rams also have a challenge on their hands against the Bears run defense in particular. Chicago is surrendering just 4.1 adjusted line yards per game, the ninth-lowest figure in the NFL. The situation doesn’t shape up much better for Jared Goff, who’s coming off completing a season-low 50.0 percent of his throws versus the Niners. The Bears have given up just 213.0 passing yards per road game, have allowed just four passing touchdowns while snagging five interceptions and have yielded the NFL’s lowest red-zone touchdown success rate (36.4 percent).
I see this as a very close contest that will be on the lower-scoring side. The defenses are nearly evenly matched. The Rams would seem to have an edge offensively. However, their aforementioned injuries could put a dent in that. Ultimately, as they’ve already done on several occasions, I lean toward the Bears having a chance to pull off the road upset.
The Lean: Bears moneyline (+250 or better)
MNF Point Spread
The Bears are 4-2 (66.7 percent) against the spread this season, including 3-0 as a road team and 4-1 (80.0 percent) in conference matchups
The Rams are 3-3 against the spread this season, including 1-1 as a home team and 3-2 (60.0 percent) in conference matchups.
Chicago has been a better team against the number overall this season, but that’s just a bonus. I see the Bears being able to flummox the Rams offense in similar fashion to what the 49ers managed to do to it in Week 6. I also think Foles can take enough care of the ball to keep this closer than what is a fairly expansive number, considering the way these two teams match up.
The Pick: Bears +6 or better
MNF Over/Under Total
The Over is 2-4 (33.3 percent) in Chicago’s games this season, including 2-1 (66.7 percent) in its road games and 2-3 (40.0 percent) in its conference matchups.
The Over is 2-4 (33.3 percent) in Los Angeles’ games this season, including 0-2 in its home games and 1-4 (20.0 percent) in its interconference matchups.
As already discussed, these two defenses can both stop the run and cover consistently, while each quarterback certainly has his limitations. Neither running game is in spectacular shape either. That leads me to believe there will be enough stalled drives and an untimely turnover or two here to allow the Under to come through.
The Pick: Under 45.0 points or better
Best MNF Prop Bet
Nick Foles Under 249.5 passing yards (-115 or better)
Foles has topped out at 249 yards this season in coach Matt Nagy’s scheme. As mentioned earlier, the veteran QB is also averaging a modest 5.8 yards per attempt, the second-lowest figure of his career. The Rams are at full health in the secondary and have surrendered just 201.5 passing yards per contest in their first two home games along with the fifth-fewest yards per drive (29.8) overall.