Chicago Bears (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) vs. New York Jets (1-1 SU, 0-1-1 ATS)
NFL Week 3
Date and Time: Monday, September 22, 2014, 8:30 pm EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
TV: ESPN, DirecTV - 206
by Badger, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Chi. +2.5/ NYJ -2.5
Over/Under Total: 45.5
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The Chicago Bears should be racking up the frequent flyer miles, especially since one week after spoiling a stadium opening on the West Coast in San Francisco, the Bears will travel to the opposite coast to take part in an NFC-AFC duel in MetLife Stadium in New Jersey for the week three installment of Monday Night Football.
I know what many of you are thinking how do the Bears and Jets find their way on the schedule for the NFLs marquee matchup in primetime? While the Bears-Jets contest may not be the most glamorous in week three, the two large television markets of Chicago and New York trump anything that these two teams are doing on the field.
Chicago of course is coming off a stunning come-from-behind win over the 49ers on the road last week in the first game ever in Levi Stadium, 28-20. The Bears comeback, with an inspiring 3-TD performance from Brandon Marshall, will help keep the dogs off the coaching staff for another week. But the reality is that the Bears continue to rack up more injuries on defense (CB Charles Tillman, DT Jeremiah Ratliff, S Chris Conte) to go along with their big ones (Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, C Roberto Garza).
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Even though I argued before the only reason the Jets were on Monday Night Football was because they reside in New York, to their credit they are playing pretty good football through two weeks. Sure they let one get away from them last week on the road in Green Bay, 31-24, but it was a game that was a mystery timeout call away from being a tied game and a whole possible different outcome. Looking to keep building on the moral victories so far, dont look for the Jets to take it easy on Chicago just because theyre a little banged up at the moment.
Even with all the injuries in Chicago, the oddsmakers opened the Monday Night affair as a pick em I think just to see how many Chicago fans they could goat into betting early. Now that Tillman has been ruled out for the year, and with the list of injuries getting longer, its no surprise that the money has changed sides a little and has made most sportsbooks raise the point spread as high as New York minus -2.5 now.
The over/under total opened at 45.5 and has moved the half-point or the hook in either direction, depending on if you want it up at 46 or down to 45.
With Chicagos offense limping along, I have to say I was surprised that they were able to win in Frisco. But when Cutler takes care of the ball and takes advantage of short fields (defense picked off Kaepernick three times), good things can happen even at half strength. However, the Jets on the other hand will for sure make sure to test the Bears 27th-ranked run defense (allowing 161 ypg), making the Bears have to earn it by putting up by scoring numbers again.
The Jets lead the league in rushing offense (179 ypg), so the offensive game plan should be easy against the Bears run defense. The Jets also sport the 3rd best defense after two weeks, so if the Bears dont pull off some traing room miracles during the week it could get as lopsided on the field as it appears on paper.
Historically the Bears have won the last three mettings with the Jets (going back to 2002), including a 38-34 shootout the last time they met in Chicago in 2010. The Bears also own this series at the betting window too, going 3-0-1 ATS the last four times theyve played over the past decade and a half. However, the favorite is 3-1-1 ATS over the last five meetings so that certainly helps the cause if your looking for a betting trend to back the Jets.
Badgers Pick to Cover the Point Spread: With the number climbing, its hard for me to justify taking the Jets this late because they have already lost most of their value. But that being said, it may pay to wait all the way until close to kickoff time and see where the Bears injuries are and where the point spread has finally landed, and if its still under a field goal, Id think about taking the Jets minus the points.