Denver Broncos vs. Chicago Bears Pick – Can Either Team Win?
Denver Broncos (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS) vs. Chicago Bears (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS)
Week 4 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 1, 2023 at 1PM EDT
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
Point Spread: DEN -3.5/CHI +3.5 (Bovada – Have you seen their live betting platform? So much better than the other books!)
Money Line: Broncos -175, Bears +150
Over/Under Total: 46
The Denver Broncos come to Soldier Field for a Week 4 faceoff with the Chicago Bears on Sunday. Those getting behind either team have really felt the burn, with neither team winning or covering any point spread this season. Last week was particularly brutal, with the Bears wiped out by the Chiefs, 41-10, which somehow doesn’t even come within a mile of Denver’s 70-20 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, which was, in fact, surreal. Barring a tie, someone has to win, and one of these teams will get their backers their first cover, so who is it going to be?
When you have an out-of-range result like last week’s fifty-point loss to the Dolphins, it’s important to consider the general sentiment. Never are you going to see people more down on a team than the Broncos right now. It’s one thing for the Russell Wilson project to fall flat or Sean Payton to maybe not work out, but when it bottoms out like this, the feelings are really emphatic, and maybe within there lies an angle. Of course, the only angle that could provide would be to take Denver with people so soured on them right now, which is a really tough thing to do. If this were at home, maybe it would be more enticing, but with them now having to drag their cadavers into an out-of-conference setting at Soldier Field, you wonder if some subtly-decent betting value is even worth it with a team like this.
The question becomes what can Chicago do about it, sitting at 0-3 and not terribly competitive in any of their games, all double-digit point losses. There’s the stink from whatever is going on with the dismissal of their defensive coordinator, in addition to languishing starting QB Justin Fields going public with the coaches not making the best use of him, culminating in an unsightly 41-10 loss to the Chiefs last week. With these two squads coming off losses by a combined score of 111-30, it paints an ugly picture. Throw in Chicago’s internal issues and dire on-field play, along with how Denver not only hasn’t improved, but has found several more layers of bedrock to plummet through—this game’s stakes almost seem to determine who is the most bedraggled franchise in the league through the first quarter of the season.
Can You Justify Hope for Denver
With the Broncos having such big names connected to this project in Wilson and Payton, you’d have to expect some professional pride to surface. In their favor is that while it’s far from ideal, they are moving the ball decently. You can’t say anyone has been good or even decent after what we just saw, but Wilson hasn’t been terrible overall. We saw the promise of big-play receiver Marvin Mims, Jr., and started to see Javonte Williams making moves again. And for a team coming off such a cataclysmic beating, this might be one of the best teams for them to face, even if the site isn’t ideal. Chicago’s defense has given up 106 points through three games, so not even that is going halfway-good with an offense that hasn’t surpassed 20 points yet.
In terms of what the Broncos saw last week and what they face this Sunday, you can’t find two more different offenses than Miami and Chicago. A potential Chicago backer who is hoping for Fields to bounce back certainly has ammo this week against a Denver defense that has colossally disappointed, but through three weeks, it is clearly the Denver offense that is more bankable and has more weapons. And that’s even with many of the key members of the Broncos’ offense underperforming, namely their supposed top two receivers, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, whose play has been so uneven, they’ve opened it up for a handful of other receivers to get looks.
Drawing the Battle Lines
You’d almost have to think this is where the Chicago offense gets unhinged a little. If not, they’re in serious trouble not getting it done at home against a defense that just gave up 70 and hasn’t looked good this year. You’d think they turn Fields and his backs loose, albeit behind a dicey O-line. Watching the Denver run-defense last week, Chicago just has to be able to run the ball if they want to stand a chance. Unfortunately for Denver, CB Patrick Surtain, II. or not, their pass-defense might not be a ton better, and maybe we see Fields connect better with DJ Moore, Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, Chase Claypool, and an aerial cast that has some upside if anyone can ever tap into it.
But perhaps more likely is that we see Wilson’s better work with Sutton manifest, with Javonte Williams continuing to put more distance between him and that injury, along with guys like Mims making the splash play here and there. Granted, this could turn into a rushing extravaganza, with Chicago’s backs finally getting off and one of those big games from Fields we saw last season. But we haven’t seen it yet, that offensive line is not looking good, and the Bears being in the dumps is only partially obscured by the Broncos’ catastrophe last week.
Lay the Number on the Road Favorite
If there were ever a time to be hesitant about laying points on the Broncos on the road, now would appear to be it. But I think facing a Chicago team that is on a current slide of 13 consecutive regular-season losses might provide some relief or at least a scenario where the Denver offense can operate against a bad defense, while their own defense can maybe save some face after last week against a Chicago offense that seems out of sorts. In a move that isn’t easy to make, I’ll take the Broncos.
Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Denver Broncos minus 3.5 points.