With the Las Vegas Raiders a surprising 3-3 and the Chicago Bears looking to save their season, Soldier Field will be the site of an intriguing inter-conference clash this Sunday (10/22/23). Get Raiders vs. Bears odds, picks and predictions below as our best bet is Bears +3
Raiders vs Bears Prediction
You’d think it can’t get any lower for the Chicago Bears, but it always does. After finally picking up a long-awaited win over the Washington Commanders, in emphatic fashion no less, the team fell flat on their face at home against the Minnesota Vikings in an absolute must-win game. To make matters worse, the Bears injury issues got even worse as Justin Fields dislocated the thumb on his throwing hand.
It’s not clear yet just how long Fields will be sidelined, but it definitely is worth wondering whether they’ll even want to bring him back if it takes more than a couple of weeks. If he’s ready to go but the team has fallen to 1-7, it might be time to try and secure the top two picks in the draft, as the team also owns a 2024 first rounder from 0-6 Carolina. To backup quarterback Tyson Bagent’s credit, he came in and led the Bears to their only touchdown of the game, trimming the deficit to six, but if not for a fumble by Bagent that led to a scoop and score for Minnesota, that score might have been the game winner.
Even for a team of Chicago’s stature, this is a profoundly winnable football game. The Raiders are 3-3, but after doing some cursory research on the topic, it seems that they are very close to the worst 3-3 squad to ever exist in the modern NFL. They’re 27th in the league in DVOA and 26th in net EPA, compared to 29th and 28th for the 1-5 Bears, and also barely a notch above the 0-6 Panthers.
The Jimmy Garoppolo reunion with Josh McDaniels is not working out, as the Vegas offense is 30th in EPA. Yes, much of the blame can be placed on a strangely lethargic run game centered around defending rushing yards league leader Josh Jacobs, but Garoppolo himself has been pretty tragic under center. That being said, he is injured as well, so Chicago will likely see 38 year old career backup Brian Hoyer, another former Patriot, and if it’s not him it’ll be Aidan O’Connell, a fourth-round rookie who was sacked seven times in his league debut earlier this year.
Ultimately, Vegas doesn’t have the firepower to take advantage of Chicago’s weakness at the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball, a necessity in a game like this one. This one should be tight, but it’s hard to say if it’ll be two scores in the 20s or in the 40s with the spotty performances from both teams this year. We’ll stick with the Bears at +3 as the home underdog, as the Raiders absolutely should not be road favorites over anybody, but don’t play it any lower than 3, and definitely go hunting for a 3.5 if you can find it.
Raiders vs Bears Prediction: Bears +3
Raiders vs Bears Best Odds
LV @ CHI
Oct. 22, 12:00 PM
100% of staff picked CHI to cover the spread
Odds updated October 22nd, 2023, at 2:51 pm
The Bears are three point home underdogs, or +135 on the moneyline compared to -160 for the Raiders. The total is set pretty low at 37.5, an interesting number considering the caliber of defenses on the field.
Raiders vs Bears Key Injuries
The Bears are one of the most injured teams in football, with Fields doubtful to play against Las Vegas, running backs Roschon Johnson and Khalil Herbert both banged up, and tackle Braxton Jones still on the IR, while the Raiders will also be without their starting QB as Jimmy Garoppolo is questionable after picking up an injury in the win over the Patriots.
Raiders vs Bears Key Matchups
The Bears will need the ground attack to step up with Fields out, while the Raiders will look to pass against an abysmal Chicago secondary.
Bears Rushing Offense vs. Raiders Run Defense
The failures of the Raiders rushing offense have been more headline-grabbing, but they haven’t been competitive in the same area on defense either; Vegas ranks between 28th and 30th in each of rushing defense EPA, DVOA, adjusted line yards and success rate. As always, Maxx Crosby has been fantastic, but he’s pretty much entirely alone in that respect.
That is simply not going to fly on the road against a Bears ground offense that ranks fourth in adjusted offensive line yards, and sixth in the same stat on the other side of the ball. Braxton Jones was a huge loss on the o-line but Teven Jenkins has been a breath of fresh air since returning, and rookie Darnell Wright has been outstanding in the run game. It’s not clear who will be active amongst the Bears rushers, but Roschon Johnson might be ready to go, and he’s been great, averaging 4.9 yards per carry.
Raiders Air Offense vs. Bears Passing Defense
Obviously, it’s hard to evaluate a passing attack led by a guy who hasn’t thrown a pass this year, but let’s look at who’s around him. The Vegas o-line actually ranks seventh in PFF’s pass blocking grades, with left tackle Kolton Miller and guard Greg Van Roten as the true standouts. As for pass catchers, Davante Adams is of course elite and working on getting healthy, while Jakobi Meyers has been an awesome add and rookie tight end Michael Mayer looks good as he works on establishing himself in the offense.
The Bears pass defense is the team’s greatest weakness, ranking 31st in EPA, 30th in DVOA, and dead last in PFF’s coverage grades. Absolutely nobody has distinguished themself as a pass rusher other than occasionally linebacker T.J. Edwards, and Jaylon Johnson has been the lone bright spot in this positively abysmal secondary.