NFL Week 3 Showdown: Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers
Odds courtesy of Bovada
The Chicago Bears are seeking to open up the season 3-0 for the fourth year straight, but it won’t come easy as the team travels to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers at home in a game NFL oddsmakers are setting 3-points in favor of Chi-town. On the other side of this same coin, however, the Steelers are hoping to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2000. As to how Pittsburgh plans to overcome their dearth of offensive options is another mystery altogether.
The Steelers have managed just 19 points and 75 yards rushing on the season, and the defense has yet to create any real results either, with not a single turnover forced. The lack of offense is the real issue, though, as only cellar dwellers Cleveland and Jacksonville have less points on the season. The total of 40.5 seems precariously high given this fact, especially given Ben Roethlisberger’s lack of protection. BR has been sacked 7-times on the season and he’s not getting enough time in the pocket to survey his options.
The Bears have been resilient in their pair of victories. Week 1, the Bears overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to defeat Cincinnati; and then in week 2 the team won by a point on a Martellus Bennet TD pass with just 10 seconds to go. Chicago will hope to avoid this one going down to the wire—never mind falling behind again…but first year coach Marc Trestman admires what he calls a “unique team resiliency…ability to keep (our) poise.”
The balance of offense has aided Chicago, too, as the team ranks roughly middle of the pack in both the pass and the rush. Jay Cutler has been very accurate (67.6 percent), and his 95.6 QB rating attests to the great protection he’s received. Cutler has been sacked just once and his 3 interceptions account for just 4.2 percent of his passes.
Matt Forte has been the primary ball carrier and though he is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry, the 2008 2nd round pick rushed for over 1,000 yards last season and he’s been at or over that precipice every year in the NFL. Forte and Cutler team up to give Chicago an underrated offense that should be able to exploit Pittsburgh enough to win this game as prognosticated by NFL oddsmakers at Bovada.
OVER 4-0 in last 4 games; OVER 5-0 in last 5 vs team with losing records; 0-4 ATS in last 4 following SU win.
OVER 4-0 in last 4 week 3 games; UNDER 4-0 in last 4 following ATS loss; UNDER 4-0 in last 4 following SU loss.