Bears vs. Panthers Spread Play 10/18/20
Chicago Bears (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS)
Week 6 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 1PM EDT
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Point Spread: CHI +2.5/CAR -2.5 (GTBets - Deposit $250, get $250 FREE! Takes credit cards!)
Over/Under Total: 44
The Chicago Bears come to Charlotte on Sunday for a week six NFC matchup with the Carolina Panthers. On Sunday, the Panthers again served notice that they’re a team to contend with when they beat Atlanta on the road, 23-16, scoring their third win in a row. They now host another team doing well and coming off the long week in the Bears, who scored a nice 20-19 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Thursday. It’s fair to say that both teams have exceeded people’s preseason expectations, as both squads were forecasted to be pretty bad, especially Carolina. Who can add another notch to their belt this week?
Why Carolina is Dangerous
Credit goes to the Panthers and new head coach Matt Rhule for soldiering through what looked to be a tough hand after Christian McCaffrey went down. To string together, three wins in a row amidst those conditions speaks volumes about their inner-resource as a team. Prior to the season beginning, it was hard to find sources of optimism on this team, but they’ve over-performed across most areas. Teddy Bridgewater is reminding people again how capable he is. A lot of guys are stepping up. The line has been better than advertised. And this offense has some teeth.
Even without McCaffrey, a nice cast is forming around Bridgewater. Thrust into action, RB Mike Davis is starting to come around. He ran for 89 yards on Sunday and caught nine balls, including a TD. Robby Anderson and DJ Moore are forming into a nice receiver combo. Curtis Samuel makes a lot of plays. But they’re far from electric, and going against the Bears has a way of making offenses a bit less potent, as we saw last week against Tampa Bay on Thursday.
But let’s face it, the Chicago offense isn’t electric, either. They seem to have a bit more upside with Nick Foles behind center, but since getting the starting gig, he has yet to be able to turn loose an offense that is a little short in the area of real difference-makers. They can’t really run the ball well, which makes it so they can’t take advantage of a Carolina defense that suffers in that area. And if Foles tries to take to the air, he will be going against one of the more disruptive and stout secondaries in the conference. So far this season, the play of guys like Donte Jackson, Tre Boston, Juston Burris, and Rasul Douglas, among others, has been outstanding. The only thing is we saw some starters go down against Atlanta, with Jackson, Kawann Short, and DE Brian Burns leaving the game, and it will be worth watching their progress leading up to the game.
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Chicago Better Than it Looks
Last season left a lasting image, and the Bears totally fell on their faces. And a lot of people carried that image into this season and, as a result, have probably been surprised at some of these results. Granted, opening the season with wins over the Lions, Giants, Falcons wasn’t the sign of a revival, but it at least showed they were in working order, with their defense still reasonably close to the form that let them go 12-4 in 2018. A loss to Indy seemed to be a bit of a reality sandwich for those who had delusions of grandeur, but the way they scored a nifty 20-19 win over a surging Bucs team showed an angle some hadn’t seen before, and maybe it’s time we look at the Bears a little differently.
The Chicago offense has a ways to go before they catch up with the other side of the ball. Foles hasn’t been scintillating in the first few games, but he’s getting accustomed, and with him in there, this offense at least has a chance to go off a little. Without Tarik Cohen, it’s even worse, and David Montgomery has yet to show he can run the ball consistently well in this offense. A big part of that is an offensive line that makes it really hard. With Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, and Darnell Mooney getting most of the targets, it’s not a very exciting receiver crew. Jimmy Graham helps out a little at tight end, but this is a spot where you can actually envision the Carolina defense matching up fairly well, especially with how that secondary is playing and how hard it has been for Chicago receivers to get open lately.
Chicago’s Best Hope
Someone taking Chicago in this spot would naturally be banking heavily on a defense that can, in fact, control games. And to be fair, the Carolina offense is still a dicey proposition even after succeeding with varying degrees of success against some defenses whose levels also vary. If the Tampa and Chargers’ defenses can flummox the Carolina offense for long stretches, so can this Bears’ defense. With Akiem Nicks, Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan, Robert Quinn, and Khalil Mack in that front, there’s a lot of heat to put on a Carolina O-line that maybe hasn’t been tested to this extent yet. And a stout, playmaking secondary with ball-hawk Eddie Jackson, Kyle Fuller, Buster Skrine, Teshaun Gipson, and others can really make life hard on the aerial game.
Take the Points
I don’t necessarily love Chicago in this locale, and even though it’s in-conference, it’s a little out of their wheelhouse. There’s just something about this matchup that is so give-and-take in its analysis that you can’t help but forecast a close game. I think if one team is more likely to come down to earth a little this week in light of these conditions, it could be Carolina. I see the Chicago “D” having a big say in this game, and though it’s not a lot, having a few points doesn’t hurt. I’ll take the Bears.
Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Chicago Bears plus 2.5 points. Note: Did you know that there are still sportsbooks where you can bet football games at -105? 5Dimes has left the market but you can still get reduced odds wagering at BetAnySports! We’ve advertised them for 10 years with no complaints!