Chicago Bears vs. Denver Broncos Prediction ATS
Chicago Bears (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Denver Broncos (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday, September 15, 4:25 PM EST
Where: Mile High Stadium, Denver
Point Spread: Chi -3 / Den +3 (Bookmaker)
Over/Under Total: 40
The Chicago Bears will pay a week two visit to Denver’s Mile High Stadium to take on former Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio’s Denver Broncos. These two teams were at the top of the Most Disappointing list for week 1. The Bears look to rebound from a putrid opening night performance while Denver will try to get past the egg they laid in Oakland late on Monday Night. Here are three reasons to play the home dog in this one.
Denver’s Defense Will Stifle the Bears
Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears offense led the list of Bear disappointments in week 1. Chicago managed only a field goal at home against a Packer defense that was not expected to be anything special coming into the year. Trubisky completed just 58% of his passes and averaged only 4 yards per attempt. Worst yet for the Bears was that they attempted 53 passes and only called 12 running plays. Trubisky was sacked five times and was never comfortable. Now he gets Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and rest of the Broncos. Denver recorded 44 sacks last year but didn’t get to Derrick Carr Monday night.
Vic Fangio spent two years lining up his Bear Defense across from Trubisky and will know the weaknesses and how to exploit them. And Trubisky has a lot of shortcomings. He is not able to make pre-snap reads and adjustments, and Fangio is a master of disguising coverages, which is a bad combination for the Bears. Nagy will have to get some production out of the run game to at least the keep the Bronco front seven from pinning their ears back and getting after Trubisky. Nagy was unable to stay committed to the run against the Packers even though the game was always within one score and Green Bay was playing nickel and dime formations. Fangio will load the box, take away running lanes, and make Trubisky throw the ball to beat them. It’s hard to imagine that if the Bear offense could only score a field goal against Green Bay at home that they will score more than 10 in Denver. Denver’s defense will be geared up to put in a better showing at home and will confuse Trubisky before the snap and then harass him after the snap.
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Flacco Will Take Care of the Ball
Denver knows that the best chance for Chicago to score in this game will be when the Broncos have the ball. A sack/fumble scoop and score or a rushed Flacco throw that ends up in a Bear safety’s hands that they take to the house could turn the game around. Flacco and Fangio understand they have to take care of the ball. On Monday, Denver’s offense faced the NFL team with the possibly the worst front seven and was only able to manage 344 yards and 16 points, including a garbage-time touchdown. On Sunday, they face what may be the best front seven and will have to earn every yard and point they get. Flacco had good numbers on Monday and but wasn’t very good in the first 3 ½ quarters. We all know Flacco hasn’t been good in a while, but he is a veteran that understands taking care of the ball.
Chicago’s defense held Aaron Rogers and the Packers to 10 points and really allowed only one big play that changed the game. Denver should not have a lot of success on the offensive side of the ball. They will try to run the ball while Flacco will look to get a blown coverage on a play-action pass to score fast. Flacco will realize he can’t risk throwing an interception that can be returned for a TD or let the ball get stripped in the pocket. Flacco will be willing to take his lumps and let the punter kick it away to make the Bear Offense score their points. Green Bay proved this is the approach to beat Chicago, and Denver should be able to execute the strategy at home.
Mile High Will Make the Difference
Denver’s Mile High Stadium is one of the most difficult places to play at, especially early in the year. The players are not yet in prime football shape, and when the 4th quarter rolls around, many of them are struggling for air. We saw in week one many games that the defenses got gassed as the clock ran down and the offenses took advantage. The Broncos will be acclimated to the thin air and should be able to play through, but the Bears will be struggling to catch their breath. If the game is on the line as the clock winds down, this will be a massive advantage for the Broncos. Since this should be a low scoring affair that should come down to the last few possessions, the team that is in the best shape will have a significant advantage, and that will be the Broncos.
Play the home dog Broncos at home to win the game against the Bears. The Bears were awful in Week 1 and should not be a 3 point road favorite. Fangio is one of the best defensive coaches in the game, and he will have his team ready for a limited Bear offense. This game has all of the makings of a 10-7 affair, far below the total set at 40, but that is a low total for me to play “UNDER”. We could have 21 defensive points which makes it hard to stay under that low of a number, but playing the first half under may be a good investment.
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