Washington Redskins vs. Chicago Bears (9/23/19): NFL Betting Picks, Lines

This Week’s Results: 5-5
All Time Results: 25-13, +8.37 Units

Chicago Bears -3 @ Washington Redskins (-180) – .18 Units

The Era of Bad Feelings

washington redskinsWashington got some deflating news over the weekend.  Adam Schefter reports that the career of standout tight end Jordan Reed may be in jeopardy due to ongoing concussion issues.

“The more time that goes on without him coming back, the less likely it is that he will return to a sport in which he has excelled,” reports Schefter.  Reed has now missed four weeks after his latest concussion.

This rotten news comes on top of an 0-2 start for Jay Gruden, who entered the season as the most likely candidate to be the “first coach fired”, according to several oddsmakers.

The latest gloom surrounding the organization is nothing new.  The once-beloved franchise representing the DMV Metropolitan area as well as much of the American Southeast has become as tired and lame as its behind-the-times nickname.

Fans have felt this creeping awfulness for two decades, and never more so do we see their dejection then on stand-alone Monday Night Football games.  More than any other night, the fans of opposing teams love to fill FedEx field. Meanwhile, local fans rather just get on to their workweek than their bear the hours-long traffic around the 495 to get to their antiseptic home stadium.

Washington is 0-6 SU & ATS on Monday Night Football since 2015 under Gruden. However, the franchise’s MNF woes extend far beyond their current football leadership. Washington is 6-21 SU on MNF since Dan Synder bought the team in 1999.

When I worked as a Public Relations intern for the Washington Football franchise, I quickly learned that Dan Synder is known in Redskins facility as “D.S.”.   The coldness and deathly inevitability implicit in that nickname reminded me of the way people refer to “the IRS”.  That dread bleeds its way through the organization onto the field, especially at home, especially in prime time games where everyone is bracing for another bad press day.

It is far from a coincidence in my opinion that Washington is 2-15 SU at Home on MNF under Synder.

That is why I think it’s appropriate that the Bears are laying such a big number on the road vs. Washington tonight.  I don’t think we can reasonably grant Washington any points for Home Field Advantage given their gruesome trends in this spot.  Chicago fans travel well, and will especially so tonight.  If we assign this field as a neutral, the Bears should be laying 7.5 in my opinion rather the current number of 5.5.

Case Keenum A Top 10 QB?

Washington has met or surpassed expectations against two division rivals so far this season largely because of the outstanding QB play of Case Keenum.  I expect him to regress toward his career averages before the end of the season.

In his previous 6 years, Case Keenum has had an average QBR of 46.3 on a year by year basis.  His one outlier year came in 15 games for the 2017 Minnesota Vikings when he posted a 72.8 QBR, 2nd in the entire NFL.  His metrics this year so far rival that stellar season.  He has a 111.2 QB rating and QBR of 71 through two games.

Even with such strong play from their most important player, Washington is still 0-2, with a -1.0 Yards Per Play differential.  If Keenum regresses to an average QB or a less than 45th percentile QB (as Keenum has been in 4 out of his 6 full seasons), the Redskins will likely not be hanging around in these games versus quality opponents.

The Bears force a lot of guys into regression-mode.  Over 19 games since the Khalil Mack trade, the median QBR for Bears opposing QBs is just 32.8.  A-1 quarterbacks

Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers have been held under a QBR of 40 four times in five games over this span.  I do not expect Keenum to fare well tonight.

While I’m wary of the line move against us since yesterday, I can only look to lay the points in this spot.

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Mitchel Trubisky Under .5 Ints +115 – .1 Units

Chicago BearsFor as bad as Mitchell Trubisky has been for the Bears, he has mostly been the kind of bad that throws the ball into the stands.  He’s not much of a risk-taker.  The North Carolina product has thrown just 1 interception in his last 5 games.  For his career, Trubisky has 12 starts with 1+ int against 16 starts with 0.  Trubisky has thrown 0 picks in 9 of 15 starts as a favorite.

Granted, against this below-average secondary, Bears HC Matt Naggy might let Trubisky loose a little in this game, trying to turn around the narrative surrounding his signal-caller.  Still, when it comes to winning time I expect Naggy to largely take the ball out of Trubisky’s hands.

Mitchell Trubisky over 16.5 rushing yards (-115) -.115 Units

Although Trubisky has yet to face Washington, I feel we have a pretty good Comp. with Dak Prescott.  Prescott has a career average of 20.2 rushing yards per game, similar to Trubisky’s 24.6.  The Dallas QB has rushed for 17+ yards in 5 of 8 games against Washington and has averaged 34.8 yards per game.

This Washington team last year found a way to allow Cody Kessler to triple his career-high and record 68 rushing yards against them.

While Trubisky has yet to run much this season, I attribute that somewhat to the fast defenses he has faced in Green Bay and Denver.  Washington is much more susceptible to lose containment than either of the Bears first two opponents.

Trubisky has scrambled for 17+ yards in 15 of 28 career starts.

David Montgomery, Over 13.5 Rush Attempts (+106) – .1 Units

In his NFL debut, rookie RB David Montgomery had 6 rushing attempts.  After the game, amid an outcry of alarmist Bears fans & media, HC Matt Naggy admitted that he failed to stick to the gameplan. He should have run Montgomery more and “it won’t happen again,” Naggy said.

In his second game last week, Montgomery had 18 carries against the Denver Broncos.  I expect this ladder game to be much more representative of Montgomery’s workload going forward.

Washington has faced 32.5 rush attempts per game in their vs. two weeks.  I expect the Bears to have the lead for most of the game and feed Montgomery early and often.

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Born in Chicago, born for Las Vegas, Mackenzie is a graduate of Yale University with a BA in English & Creative Writting. Mackenzie runs AlternativeStats.blog, which seeks to by-pass the minutiae of commonly cited sports statistics and expose the heart of what drives athletic success. After several successful years investing in Las Vegas real estate, Mackenzie is excited to transition in 2019 into betting on sports full time, as well as documenting his thought process as he further learns the craft.

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