Chicago Bears (2-0) at Atlanta Falcons (0-2)
I wasn’t high on the Bears coming into the season because their defense wasn’t what it once was and their offense didn’t appear to be noticeably approved. It’s early and they’ve had a relatively easy schedule, but their quarterback play and offensive line play have both been better than expected and, perhaps most importantly, they’re one of the few teams in the league that haven’t had significant injury problems yet and they enter this game as close to full strength as anyone. As a result of that, they have shot up to 14th in my roster rankings.
That’s a few spots higher than the Falcons, who are dealing with injuries to several players, as wide receiver Julio Jones, right tackle Kaleb McGary, linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, and edge defenders Dante Fowler and Takkarist McKinley are all highly questionable after either barely practicing or not practicing this week. It’s tough to make a pick without knowing the status of all of those players, but I’m tentatively on the Bears and may even wager on them depending on how many Falcons are out.
Update: The injury report is not good for the Falcons, with Jones, McGary, Oluokun, and McKinley all out, along with cornerback AJ Terrell, who is on the COVID list. Unfortunately, this line moved down to 2.5 to compensate. An Atlanta win by a field goal at home is still a likely possibility, so I don’t love this play against the spread, but I think the Bears have a slightly better chance of winning this game overall than the Falcons (my calculated line is Chicago -1.5), so I like the value getting them +115 to win straight up.
Final Update: Some +3s have started showing up again, with higher vig. Field goal games are so common that I think it’s worth betting that line even if you have to pay a higher vig.
Chicago Bears 26 Atlanta Falcons 24 Upset Pick +115
Pick against the spread: Chicago +3