Monday Night Football Betting Preview: Odds, trends, picks for Bears-Rams

In what should be an exciting Monday Night Football clash of NFC heavyweights, the Bears (5-1) travel to SoFi Stadium to take on the Rams (4-2) to close out Week 7. Despite Chicago’s superior record, the Rams opened as 7.5-point favorites and currently sit at -6 (-245 ML). The over/under for the game has settled at 44.5.

The BetQL NFL Best Bet Model lists the UNDER as a four-star rated bet, and it also has four-star confidence on its full-game moneyline pick. Keep reading to see our total predictions for this Monday Night showdown, and go to BetQL.com 24/7 for all updated lines, odds, spreads, and expert NFL picks!

Bears-Rams Betting Preview

Bears Outlook

The Bears have defied the odds this season, prevailing through countless challenges to somehow lead a strong NFC North that includes Aaron Rodgers’ Packers (4-1). Despite benching quarterback Mitchell Trubisky for backup Nick Foles in Week 3 against the Falcons and losing key running back Tarik Cohen to a torn ACL that same game, the Bears have been an upset machine at 5-1. They have covered as underdogs four different times and nearly covered -4.5 the one week they were favored, beating the Giants 17-13.

Foles has not exactly lit the world on fire since taking over as the man under center. However, the Super Bowl LII MVP has served as a great game manager and avoided making too many mistakes. The nine-year veteran averages just 219.5 passing yards per game and 5.8 yards per attempt. For the season, he has a 62.5 completion percentage and six TDs compared to four interceptions. But in four games, Foles has been sacked just four times for 43 total yards lost, and 47 of his 95 completions have moved the first-down markers.

Foles relies heavily on his two most important skill-position players, second-year running back David Montgomery and veteran wideout Allen Robinson II. A dual-threat back, Montgomery has served as a model of consistency for Chicago. So far this season, he has completely duplicated his 3.7 yards per carry average and 71.4-percent catch rate from his rookie year. Robinson also knows plenty about being consistent — the seventh-year stud has averaged 13.2 yards per catch through his career. He averages 6.7 catches and 79 receiving yards per game in 2020, both team highs, and he accounts for 23 of Foles’ 47 first-downs conversions.

Much to the delight of football historians, the true heart of this Bears team has been its defense. Three-time All-Pro Khalil Mack and veteran defensive tackle Akiem Hicks have combined for eight of Chicago’s 15 sacks and 18 of its 33 QB hits. Linebacker Roquan Smith has been all over the field, leading the team with 52 tackles (37 solo) and seven tackles for loss. Safety Eddie Jackson and cornerback Kyle Fuller, both perennial Pro Bowlers, highlight a phenomenal Chicago secondary.

These players help comprise a Bears defensive unit that leads the league in opponents’ completion percentage (57.1), total passing touchdowns allowed (just four all season), and average total touchdowns per game (1.5). They rank in the top seven in the league in average points allowed (19.3), total yards allowed (2,023), and net yards per pass attempt (5.7). Opponents struggle to win the time of possession battle against the Bears and average the sixth-fewest yards and fifth-fewest points per drive against them.

The Bears are coming off a win in Carolina in which they forced three turnovers and held Teddy Bridgewater to just 191 passing yards. They have held good teams to 19 or fewer points in the last three games and four of their last five. Tom Brady managed to go just five-of-12 in the fourth quarter of Chicago’s Week 5 slugfest win over Tampa Bay. This group is stingy, and they don’t care who they have to shut down to get the respect of the nation.

Rams Outlook

In many ways, the Rams are not so different from the Bears. Like Chicago, LA also feature an inconsistent offense trying to keep up with its exceptional defense. Like Foles, Rams QB Jared Goff has faced off against the Patriots in the Super Bowl, one season after Foles and the Eagles beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. But unlike Foles, Goff and the Rams lost the big game to the Pats and haven’t quite been the same since. They went 9-7 last season, a steep decline from 13-3 a year prior, and Goff threw 16 interceptions.

Goff’s turnovers are down this season, and his QB rating is back up over 101, the same level he maintained the year he took the Rams to the Super Bowl. But he’s averaging just 261.7 passing yards and 12 first downs through the air per game. The offseason departures of running back Todd Gurley and wide receiver Brandin Cooks might have had a more negative impact on the Rams’ offensive production than GM Les Snead expected. LA ranks 19th in both points per game (25.3) and total passing touchdowns (10).

Receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp have been good but nowhere near the production they enjoyed the past couple seasons. Darrell Henderson Jr. has been a pleasant surprise out of the backfield, scoring in four of LA’s last five games and averaging 74 scrimmage yards per game on the season, but he can’t carry an offense like Gurley once did for the Rams. Tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett provide decent contributions in the middle of the field, and Higbee is one of Goff’s main red-zone targets. As for the rookies, running back Cam Akers and wide receiver Van Jefferson have been largely insignificant.  

Luckily for Snead and head coach Sean McVay, LA fields one of the most elite defenses in football, led by first-year coordinator (and former Bears linebacker coach) Brandon Staley. The Rams rank in the top five in the NFL in per-game averages of points allowed (19), passing yards allowed (209.5), and total yards allowed (318.5). They have surrendered only eight passing touchdowns on the year (sixth fewest), and they lead the NFL in net yards allowed per pass attempt (5.4).

As Mack is the leader of the Bears, perennial All-Pro Aaron Donald is the maestro in LA. The seven-year vet leads the NFC in sacks, accounting for 7.5 of the Rams’ 20 sacks on the season, as well as 14 QB hits. Behind Donald are superb free safety John Johnson and linebacker Micah Kiser, tackle machines who can do it all for their team. Darious Williams, Troy Hill, and Jalen Ramsey are about as dynamic a trio of cornerbacks as one can find in the NFL. The Rams have collectively held opponents out of the end zone entirely in the second halves of five of their past six games.

Of course, the outlier in that six-game stretch was a brutal smackdown at the hands of the 49ers last Sunday night. The box score will tell you it was a close 24-16 game, but it wasn’t even a contest. Goff was held to 198 yards and the Rams possessed the ball for just 22 minutes. LA’s defensive front was held without a sack for the first time all year, and 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo carved the secondary up for 268 yards and three touchdowns.

Prediction

Chicago has done more than enough to convince us it can cover as an underdog, regardless of the location or opponent. Giving the Bears six points seems like a gift of epic proportions to the betting public. However, we like the Rams to win outright in a tough defensive battle at home, with the UNDER hitting on the total of 44.5.

While the BetQL NFL Best Bet Model puts a three-star rating on the Bears to cover the first-half spread of plus-3, it puts a confident four-star rating on LA to hit on the full-game moneyline (-265). The model points out that during his tenure in LA, Rams coach Sean Mcvay is 10-1 against teams averaging under 90 rushing yards per game. Give us the Rams over the Bears 23-19 in a close NFC showdown that should entertain all the true football fans.

You can find all updated lines, odds, spreads, and NFL picks at BetQL!

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