Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Chicago Bears Matchup Preview (10/08/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Nick Foles is coming off of a disappointing first start with the Chicago Bears and will be looking to turn the team’s performance around with a win on Thursday Night Football. Meanwhile, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers have continued to steamroll their way through the season. Can Brady continue his dominance against this stout Bears’ defense? Find out on Thursday Night Football.
For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, October 8th, 2020
Time: 8:20 PM ET
Location: Soldier Field- Chicago, Illinois
TV Coverage: NFLN
Buccaneers vs. Bears Live Stream
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Analysis
Tampa Bay, specifically Tom Brady, is coming off of a great win against the Chargers. Brady seemingly has proven his doubters, including myself, absolutely wrong. His deep ball and passing, in general, has been marvelous. On defense, the Bucs continue to perform extremely well. They did give up some big plays to Justin Herbet and the Chargers, but it was nothing that Tom Brady could not handle. Brady rallied the offense to a game-winning drive.
First, we have to speak about how great the offensive line has been for Brady. I think that much of his success can be attributed to the time in the pocket that Tom Brady has been getting, even against good pass rushers. Brady has given us zero reasons to doubt him after these past three games when it comes to his ability to pass in the pocket. However, the one worry that can slow down this team is the fact that his top 4 receiving targets are all on the injury report. OJ Howard is on IR, Chris Godwin is most likely going to miss multiple weeks, and Scotty Miller/Mike Evans are both banged up after the win. I am not sure who Brady has left to target if all 4 are out.
Who the Bucs may need to rely on is Ronald Jones. He had a great game against the Chargers with Leonard Fournette out and showed that he can carry the load. With 26 total touches, he showed little in the way of tiring and finished the game averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Again, some credit must go to this offensive line that Bruce Arians has playing at a top-level. They have been opening holes for Jones and getting that initial push that he needs to break open runs. Playing against this elite Bears’ front 7, the offensive line and Jones are going to have to be at the top of their game.
On defense, the front 4 have been superb for the Bucs. This has helped out the rush defense as well as the secondary, as they are giving little time to opposing QBs to find their receivers. A standout rookie in said secondary has been Antoine Winfield Jr. He looks like a legit NFL safety that can fly all over the field and make plays. I expect Winfield Jr. to be the man to make a play on an errant Foles pass that can change the game. He is definitely a player to watch on this defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Depth Chart
Chicago Bears Analysis
The Bears finally have their first loss of the season and much of the blame falls onto the offense. Nick Foles did not look good in his first start after saving the Bears in the previous week. The defense, however, did show up and limited Philip Rivers and the Colts to just 19 points, despite the Bears turning the ball over once and punting 7 times throughout this game.
If the Bears are to win this matchup against the Bucs, then it is going to take a great game out of Foles. We saw the rookie Justin Herbert take on this Bucs’ defense and go toe-to-toe with Brady, just falling short. Now Foles will have to do the same thing, with the added benefit that I think his defense can get more stops. Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, and surprise rookie Darrell Mooney have all been electric WRs. Foles simply needs to facilitate the ball to them and let them make plays.
On the ground is where the Bears really got killed on Sunday, and this will be a struggle again against a good Bucs rush defense. David Montgomery got a measly 27 yards on 10 carries. Early in the game, the Bears were forced to abandon the run due to it simply being so ineffective. If Montgomery could conjure up just a little bit of magic to force the defense to respect him and the run, Foles could have a huge day. This will be a key to the game as getting something going on the ground will have a two-fold effect of not only gaining yards but unlocking the pass.
Defensively, the Bears have been great throughout the year, especially at home where they have an incredible advantage due to the horrific field conditions at Soldier Field. Khalil Mack looks to be back to Defensive Player of The Year kind of form, and that is a very good sign for this Bears team. If they can be the first team since the Saints to get some pressure on Brady, then everything could fall apart for that Bucs’ offense.
The secondary for the Bears has been elite, and they may have no one to cover in this game. With all the injuries that the Bucs are facing at the WR position, it is going to be hard for them to get anything going against Kyler Fuller and Jaylon Johnson. Even if Evans plays, if he is the only threat, then expect a double team by the Bears to keep him quiet.
Betting Corner Buccaneers +5.5
Spread: TB +5.5
Moneyline: TB -245 | CHI +210
Spread: CHI -5.5
I actually believe that with the injuries that the Bucs are facing in a short week and having to play on the road against this great Bears’ defense, Chicago will pull off the upset. I think that the Bears will be able to get pressure on Brady and it will be a struggle for him to find a go-to target in the game. Meanwhile, on offense, I think that Foles could really get going in this game with the myriad of weapons that he has. I do not expect this to be a high-scoring game so if forced to choose I would go with the under.
I like the Bears to win it 20-17
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Daily Fantasy Picks
Darrell Mooney at $3000 could be an absolute steal. There are very few guys who are getting consistent targets and fantasy points in this price range. Last game he saw his season-high in targets with 9, and he was able to catch 5 of those passes for 52 yards. He has also proven through the first three weeks of the season that he can get open down the field and be an endzone threat. Very rarely can we take guys around this price range for WRs and have them be viable fantasy options, and that is why I felt the need to talk about him. If you can build a roster around some extremely expensive players and still get a 10 point baseline, with TD upside, out of a $3000 WR, then you can win quite a few cash plays.
The Chicago Bears’ defense at $2,700 is another cheap play that I like this week. While the Bears did not get the turnovers last week against Philip Rivers, they did hold the Colts to only 19 points and under 300 yards of total offense. Whenever the Bears are playing at home they are a good play, and at this price point, I think that they can be the perfect defense to round out a lineup.
I do think that if Mike Evans plays at $6,600 you can take a chance on him. Of course, you are running huge injury risk, so I like this as a GPP hail mary. He will have extremely low-ownership due to the matchup and injury in a short week. However, if he comes through with TDs like he has every single week thus far, then you will be starting Week 5 on the right foot in your tournaments. A contrarian play with huge upside if Evans is deemed healthy enough to play.