Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) at Chicago Bears (0-2)
This is a classic Steelers trap game. The Steelers are just 4-13 ATS as non-divisional road favorites of 4.5 or more in the Ben Roethlisberger era (since 2004). For whatever reason, this team always seems to play down to the level of their competition on the road outside of the division. That could easily happen again here. The Bears are one of the worst teams in the league, but this line is high enough for them to cover. They nearly beat the Falcons at home week 1, failing on 4 straight shots on the goal line at the end of the game in a 6-point loss. Something similar could easily happen here.
All that being said, I can’t be confident in the Bears because I hate the spot they are in. After this game, they have to turn around and play in Lambeau Field against the Packers in 4 days on Thursday Night Football. That a daunting task even on a normal week. The Bears are expected to be double digit underdogs in that game and teams are 44-70 ATS since 2012 before being double digit underdogs, as tough upcoming games tend to be a distraction for teams. Even if the Bears don’t end up being double digit underdogs, teams are 29-48 ATS since 2012 as 7+ point underdogs before being 7+ point underdogs again, which the Bears definitely will be. This is such a tough part of the schedule for the Bears that they could lose to the Steelers by double digits even if the Steelers don’t play all that well. The Bears are the pick, but only for pick ‘em purposes.
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 Chicago Bears 20
Pick against the spread: Chicago +7.5