Atlanta Falcons vs. Chicago Bears NFL Player Props & Picks (12/31/23)

Get Bears vs. Falcons player prop picks & odds for their (12/31/23) matchup.

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Falcons Vs. Bears Player Prop Picks

While the Atlanta Falcons are clinging on by a thread in the NFC South race, the Chicago Bears are trying to right the ship as the franchise launches into its next era, so there’s plenty on the line this Sunday at Soldier Field. With stars like Justin Fields, DJ Moore, and Bijan Robinson taking the field, let’s get into some Falcons vs. Bears player prop picks & odds for the (12/31/23) matchup.

Justin Fields Over 191.5 Passing Yards (-115)

After a couple of solid passing games against divisional rivals, Justin Fields has taken a step back over the past couple of weeks in terms of volume. If we drill down into each game, however, there’s a good reason for that, and it’s not necessarily trends regarding his own level of play or the Bears’ offensive direction.

One of those two games was against the Arizona Cardinals, a game in which the Bears once led 21-0 and never trailed. It wasn’t exactly a pass-heavy script for Fields, especially when you factor in his 97 rushing yards.

The other game was a road test in poor weather against the best defense in the NFL — the Cleveland Browns. The output from that game is going to be below-average for most quarterbacks, especially considering the fact that a horrid drop from Robert Tonyan cost Fields several dozen yards.

It should be a more pass-heavy game this week against the Falcons. Firstly, the Bears are only favored by three points, so it should be a competitive effort all the way through. He also averages a bit more passing production at home, which could help him out in this one.

But most importantly is the defensive matchup. Atlanta’s run defense is ninth in success rate, fifth in DVOA, and tops in the entire league in EPA. The Bears will have to diverge from their usual run-first approach, and rely on Fields.

The good news is that an air-heavy offense should work well; the Falcons are 28th in the NFL in DVOA against the pass, as their secondary continues to regress. With the strong connection between Fields and DJ Moore thriving, they should be able to dominate against an overmatched Atlanta air defense.

Bijan Robinson Over 24.5 Receiving Yards (-115)

The Bears also have a bit of a defensive dichotomy going on; their ground defense is third in just about every major metric, while their pass prevention unit sits closer to league average, if not a bit below. The unit has taken a step up since the arrival of Montez Sweat, but it’s clear that run-stopping is Chicago’s greatest defensive strength.

Just like the Bears, the Falcons love to run the ball — they do it at a higher rate than anyone other than the Ravens, and they are in situations to run out the clock much less frequently than Baltimore. They’re going to have to move away from that type of offense, as their 21st-ranked (by DVOA) ground game will struggle to move the ball on that Bears front seven.

Still, Arthur Smith is handcuffed by a tumultuous quarterback situation, so expect him to stay conservative and finally leverage his greatest weapon — Bijan Robinson. Abandoning the run doesn’t mean abandoning high-percentage touches for Robinson, an extremely dynamic pass-catcher, in the air game.

That new-and-improved Bears pass rush will have Taylor Heinicke looking for quick, easy outlets, and Robinson will be right there. Bijan has eclipsed this relatively modest number in each of his past four outings, and he should have no issue doing so once more.

Taylor Heinicke Over 29.5 Pass Attempts (-115)

As all player props are, to an extent, this is a wager on game flow. We’ve already discussed how much tougher it is to run on the Bears than it is to throw on them, which already points to a pass-heavy script.

The Falcons are also underdogs in this game, albeit narrow ones, so they could be fighting from behind. If you read my full-game breakdown on Lineups.com, you’ll see that I definitely believe they will be- another positive sign for passing volume.

So why attempts rather than yardage? The simple answer is that even though the Falcons should throw early and often, they might have a tough time finding success. The Bears’ air defense is definitely worse than their run-stopping unit, but it has gotten tougher.

Heinicke has only played a full game for Atlanta twice this season, and he cracked this number both times. In his first appearance of the season, he played around half of a game and threw 21 passes, also on pace to hit comfortably; he should do it again this weekend in Chicago.

Cairo Santos Over 1.5 Field Goals Made (-105)

The Chicago red zone offense has taken a step up in recent weeks, which should come as no surprise as the skill positions have gotten healthy and the o-line has improved all year long. This week, however, could be a challenge for the Bears near the end zone.

Cole Kmet is dealing with an injury, and could be out or limited, and the Falcons own the best defensive red zone efficiency in the league. Just 38.1% of opponent drives have resulted in touchdowns, which leaves kickers with plenty of field goal chances.

Other than that Browns game, Santos has gone over this number in five consecutive games. The Bears should be able to move the ball in this game, but it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise if they needed his help to finish a drive off with three points a few times.

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From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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