This is a tale of two teams who had very different experiences in Week 1.
The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off perhaps the most exciting Week 1 victory. Joe Burrow and Co. took down the Minnesota Vikings on a field goal as overtime was expiring. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears were thrashed by the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football with the whole nation watching.
Burrow is turning into an NFL star, while Matt Nagy refuses to play his first-round draft choice, Justin Fields. At the time of this writing, Andy Dalton will again take the field in Week 2 in a potential revenge game against his former team.
The Bears have opened as three-point home favorites, a line that has me slightly confused. That being said, let’s dive into this matchup and find some profitable betting angles in the NFL pick of the day series.
Best Bet: Bengals +3 (-120) at DraftKings
For in-depth analysis on this NFL bet of the day and others, continue reading.
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Bengals vs Bears Prediction
The Bears really didn’t play all that bad in Week 1, which is reflected in the NFL gameday odds.
Dalton completed 27 of his 38 attempts to eight different receivers, while David Montgomery dominated the ground game with 108 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. The Bears won the time of possession battle by a significant margin and averaged 5.2 yards per carry.
However, they also lost the turnover battle and got shredded by Matthew Stafford. The Bears have an aging defense all around, as the front seven produced just one sack and the secondary did little to stop big offensive plays.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati had a Week 1 win for the ages. Burrow was incredibly efficient (20-27, 261 yards, 2 touchdowns) while Joe Mixon proved himself as a bell-cow running back (127 yards on 4.4 yards per carry) behind a still sketchy offensive line.
Plus, the Bengals did it all against a Mike Zimmer-led defense.
The problem was in the secondary, where the Bengals allowed Kirk Cousins to pass for 351 yards and complete 78% of his passes. The front seven held Dalvin Cook and the Vikings to just 3.0 yards per carry, but it may have been at the expense of their pass defense.
There’s reason to believe the Bengals’ win can be attributed to luck. The surehanded Cook fumbled once, and the Vikings ultimately committed 12 penalties for 116 yards. It’s tough for any team to overcome that.
Perhaps that’s why the Bears are favorited in this game, even though basic logic says otherwise.
I do know one thing about this matchup: Both offensive lines are a mess. The Bengals and Bears both finished among the bottom five teams in adjusted line yards last season, and both finished in the back half of the league in adjusted sack rate.
For those reasons, that’s why I’m going to bank on a low-scoring game. The offenses should struggle to move the ball, even if the defenses aren’t all that great.
In the end, however, bank on future All-Pro Burrow to get the win on the road in this spot.
Betting Pick: Bengals 17, Bears 14
Bengals vs Bears Best Bets
Best Bet: Bengals +3 (-120) at DraftKings
I’m not sure how you can fade Burrow in this spot.
Dalton is as untrustworthy of a quarterback as there is in this league, and outside of Montgomery, there isn’t enough firepower on this offense to move the ball. The Bears managed 14 points against the Rams, but they didn’t look good doing it.
Meanwhile, Burrow got the job done against the Vikings in Week 1, and I’m willing to put my money on him coming through in Week 2. Especially as an underdog.
Best Bet: Under 45 (-110) at DraftKings
As mentioned, both these offensive lines are garbage.
It’s going to be a grind-it-out game, which I do expect Burrow to win in the final moments. However, I don’t think he’ll cruise through this Bears defense.
Chicago’s secondary is an issue, but the front seven can still get pressure and stop the run. And, as I mentioned, Burrow’s offensive line is in shambles.
Meanwhile, I’ll never feel comfortable betting an Over with Dalton under center. Dalton is 21-13 to the Under as a starting quarterback since 2018.
Bengals vs Bears Same Game Parlay Picks
Total Parlay Odds: (+250) with DraftKings Same Game Parlay
- David Montgomery Over 49.5 Rushing Yards
- Allen Robinson Over 59.5 Receiving Yards
- Bears Moneyline
Montgomery racked up 108 yards on 16 carries (6.75 YPC) in Week 1, all against a Rams defense that finished third in Rush Defense DVOA last season. The Bears offensive line is nothing special, and it was quite below average last season (No. 25 in adjusted line yards in 2020), but it doesn’t matter to Montgomery.
Allen Robinson had a tough matchup in Week 1, but he was still peppered with targets. Dalton targeted him 11 times, and Robinson recorded a 28% Target Marketshare in the process, which was highest on the team. This week, he’ll be going up against a Bengals defense that finished at No. 16 in Pass Defense DVOA vs. No. 1 WRs last season.
If both Montgomery and Robinson are going to have huge games, we should probably roll with the Bears offense in this spot. It’s tough trusting Dalton in this spot, but if the Bears can run the ball down the Bengals throat and Robinson can convert enough third downs, we’re looking at a grind-it-out home win for Chicago.