Last Week’s Results: 6-7
All Time Results: 32-23, +7.03 Units
Chicago Bears -4.5 @ Oakland Raiders [London]- .85 Units
Like I did yesterday, going back to the well and picking another reserve quarterback to win and cover this Sunday. To recap, reserve quarterbacks this season have gone 11-8 SU & 15-4 ATS.
Today, however, instead of buying into the trend of young quarterbacks adapting quickly, I’m buying into a career back up, Chase Daniel. Daniel has repeatedly filled in admirably when called upon, as he did this past Sunday against the Vikings. Like most Bears teams of the last half-century, this team does not need a play-making quarterback to succeed, but rather a serviceable game manager to keep the train on the tracks while the more talented aspects of the roster assert their dominance.
When I first glanced at this game I thought it was in Oakland and the spread seemed about right. Considering this game is on a neutral field, I think we are 3-4 points off. The line has moved two points in our direction since Mitch Trubisky dislocated his shoulder. I’m not so sure there should have been any adjustment at all. Trubisky has been one of the most disappointing starting QBs in the NFL this season – and the fact that Daniel came in cold and immediately lead a touchdown drive speaks volumes to his confidence in this role, as well as the confidence his teammates have in him.
The Bears’ defense will savage the Raiders. Derrick Carr can be effective when in a clean pocket. Under pressure, I expect a Kirk Cousins-like mad scramble. Last year, Derrick Carr ranked 25th out of 33 qualifying QBs when under pressure. Over the summer Pro Football Focus rated the Raiders offensive line 26th in the NFL (one spot in front of the Minnesota Vikings). Expect Carr to be under pressure. The unfamiliarity of traveling and playing in London affects offensive cohesion much more than defensive effectiveness, in my opinion. Expect DPOY favorite Khalil Mack to have a day.
Chicago Bears -3 (-150) @ Oakland Raiders [London] – .15 Units
I also like to play on the better coach when games take place under unusual circumstances – like in a foreign continent. Matt Naggy has proven to be head and shoulders better than Jon Gruden. The Raiders have yet to win consecutive games in Gruden’s latest tenure. Conversely, the Bears have continually capitalized on momentum under Naggy. Over the last two years, the Bears have won 11 out of 12 regular-season games the week immediately following a win.
3-Team, 8-Point Teaser (+110): Chicago Bears +3.5 (from -4.5), Carolina Panthers +4.5 (from -3.5), Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 (from -10.5) – .5 Units
Not supposed to tease through zero. Feels good to be bad.
I don’t see either the Bears or Panthers losing in any other fashion than a last-second field goal.
The Panthers Kyle Allen doesn’t have the mystique of The Mustache (Garnder Minshew) but I think he’s been the more impressive player. A second-year player rather a rookie, Allen has an extra year of Big League seasoning. His 8.3 yards per attempt through three games is excellent.
Allen had his worst game as a pro last Sunday against the Texans, posting only a 46.6 Total QBR this past Sunday. Minshew only has a 46.7 Total QBR for the season. While mostly due to his superior weapons, Allen posted an absurd 90+ QBR in his first two starts, placing him in the 90th percentile among all QBs for each game.
More impressive than their new QB has been the overall play of the Panthers.
Carolina is 4th in the NFL in Net Yards Per play with a +1.1 differential per snap. On defense, the Panthers are only behind the Patriots in Yards Per Play allowed, giving up a meager 4.3 yards per snap.
Christian McCaffrey is one pace to challenge the all-time record in yards from scrimmage this season.
Luke Keuchly is still playing like one of the best linebackers in league history.
For the Chiefs part of the equation: they have Patrick Mahomes. While they failed to cover the spread last week in Detroit, Mahomes’ poised response on the final drive gave me more confidence in them going forward. Against a Colts team that is leaking points right now, I have high conviction the Chiefs can find a way to win by the end of the 60 minutes.
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