Chicago Bears (3-8) at New York Jets (6-4)
The Jets’ offense was embarrassed last week in New England, averaging 2.10 yards per play and converting first downs at a 11.76% rate in a 10-3 loss, but they also had a dominant performance on defense once again and, overall, they rank first in the league in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency. Their offensive performance was obviously abysmal, but they were facing the second ranked defense in the league in terms of schedule adjusted efficiency and they are highly unlikely to be that bad two weeks in a row, especially since they’ve made a change at quarterback, which can’t make things worse.
The Jets only rank 25th in the league in schedule adjusted offensive efficiency, but that’s still a lot better than they looked last week and, overall, they rank 15th in schedule adjusted efficiency, about a half point above average. It also helps that the Jets will face a much easier defense this week, as the Bears rank 26th in schedule adjusted defensive efficiency and have been even worse since trading away Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn. They’ll also be without talented rookie safety Jaquan Brisker this week due to injury.
The Bears’ offense has been somewhat keeping them afloat in recent weeks while their defense has struggled mightily, but that’s almost entirely due to the play of quarterback Justin Fields, as they lack a significant amount of talent around him on offense, and Fields is considered highly questionable this week to play through a shoulder injury. The injury is to his non-throwing shoulder, but it could still affect his play and the Bears might prefer to play it safe with their young signal caller, sitting at 3-8, with their season going nowhere, especially given Fields’ propensity to take off and run, taking extra hits in the process.
Even if Fields plays and is limited, my calculated line favors the Jets by 6.5, so we’re getting line value with the Jets at -5.5 either way, especially if Fields is ruled out, in which case my calculated line would jump to 9.5. I don’t think I want to bet on this game right now, but the Jets should be the right pick for pick ‘em purposes and, depending on Fields’ status and where this line settles, I may ultimately end up putting some money on the Jets.
New York Jets 20 Chicago Bears 13
Pick against the spread: NY Jets -5.5