Opening Spread: Bears +9.
Opening Game Total: 41
Opening Team Totals: Bears (16) Bills (25).
Weather: Outdoors, wind concerns.
The Line Report
- This line opened as Bears +9.
- This line has moved to Bears +8.5.
- This total opened at 41 points.
- This total has moved to 40.5 points.
Bears: Questionable: WR Chase Claypool, WR Equanimeous St. Brown, LG Cody Whitehair, RG Teven Jenkins.
Bills: Questionable: C Mitch Morse, DT Ed Oliver, LB Matt Milano, S Jordan Poyer.
The Bears Offense vs. Bills Defense
Chicago has a below-average offensive line that is much better in the run game than in pass protection. The Bills’ injury-reduced defensive front is currently a league-average unit. Buffalo’s pass rush has a moderate advantage in this contest, but this trench matchup is more of a draw in the run game.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Bears are 5-8-1 against the spread this season.
- Chicago is 9-5 on overs this season.
- Justin Fields is 8-14-1 against the spread in his career.
- Fields is 11-12 on overs in his career.
- Matt Eberflus is 5-8-1 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Eberflus is 9-5 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Chicago is scoring 20.7 points per game, which is 19th in the league.
- The Bears are last in the league in yards passing per game and first in yards rushing.
- The Bears are passing on 50% of their plays and running on 50% of their plays, per Sports Info Solutions.
- Fields is seventh in the league in yards rushing with 1,000, per the Edge.
- David Montgomery is 26th in the league in yards rushing (694), and Khalil Herbert, who is returning from injury, is 33rd (644). Montgomery is 14th among running backs in yards receiving.
- In his five active games as a Bear, Chase Claypool has been held below 15 yards receiving three times.
- Cole Kmet has five or more targets in five of his last six games. Kmet has breached 70 yards receiving twice over that span.
- Buffalo has allowed 17.9 points per game, which is second in the league.
- The Bills have allowed the 21st-most yards rushing and the 24th-most yards receiving per game to running backs, per The Edge.
- Buffalo has given up the seventh-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Bills have given up the seventh-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers.
- Buffalo has allowed the 26th-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
The Bills Offense vs. Bears Defense
I have the Bills’ offensive line tiered as a league-average group. Chicago has a below-average defensive front. The Bills’ offensive line has a moderate advantage in the trenches.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Bills are 6-8 against the spread this season.
- Buffalo is 4-10 on overs this season.
- Josh Allen is 41-29-4 against the spread in his career.
- Allen is 30-42-2 on overs in his career.
- Sean McDermott is 51-38-5 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- McDermott is 40-52-2 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Buffalo is scoring 27.5 points per game, which is fourth in the league.
- The Bills are seventh in the league in yards passing per game and eighth in yards rushing.
- Buffalo is passing on 65% of their plays and running on 35% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions.
- Allen is fourth among quarterbacks in yards rushing with 705, per the Edge.
- After a nearly split backfield against the Patriots in Week 13, Devin Singletary has taken on the majority of the running back opportunities the last two weeks. James Cook has fallen back into a supplementary rule during that span.
- Stefon Diggs is third in the league in receptions (99), third in yards receiving (1299), tied for third in receiving touchdowns (10), 10th in target share (28.3%) and 16th in air yards share (35.6%).
- Gabe Davis has breached 50 yards receiving once in his last four games. Davis is 28th in the league in yards receiving (752).
- Isaiah McKenzie has five or more targets in his last four games, but he’s been held below 25 yards receiving in his last two games.
- Dawson Knox has 15 total targets in his last two games. Knox’s six catch, 98 yards and one touchdown line against Miami last week is his most productive game of the season by a considerable margin.
- Chicago has allowed 25.6 points per game, which is 30th in the league.
- The Bears have allowed the seventh-most yards rushing and the 18th-most yards receiving per game to running backs, per The Edge.
- Chicago has given up the 16th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Bears have allowed the fourth-fewest yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
This Is What You’re Betting On in Bears vs. Bills
Chicago is projected to see sustained winds in the 20-25 mph range with more significant gusts. Windchill temperatures will be subzero. This type of weather can impact the passing and kicking games for both teams, especially if these figures start to trend up as we get closer to kickoff.
If You’re Betting on the Bears
Chicago is the league’s most productive rushing offense, which means a significant wind game will hurt their offense less than it would most teams. Considering the Bears’ defense has allowed 25 or more points in each of their last seven games, any bet on the Bears has to be built around Fields’ offense.
Even in a severe weather game. Your primary concern as a Bears bettor is Allen’s experience in these types of conditions. Buffalo isn’t a grind-it-out type of offense, but you could argue Allen is better equipped to throw in a significant wind game than any other quarterback in the league. Allen’s rushing abilities give the Bills additional play-calling options on offense if passing games are significantly impacted by the wind. That said, significant winds would help Chicago’s struggling pass defense.
If You’re Betting on the Bills
A bet on the Bills is always built around Allen carrying Buffalo’s offense. The Bills have plenty of experience in cold, windy games like this one is projected to be, so that is a positive. Allen’s rushing ability and arm strength are always assets, but those two traits give Buffalo more options in this type of game environment than most teams have.
That said, Buffalo is a pass-centric offense with an average running back group. On a clear day, the Bills could easily breach 30 points against this Bears’ defense. From that sense, the game-impacting wind isn’t great news for Buffalo. This kind of weather helps Chicago in both phases, as significant wind will reduce the ways Chicago’s struggling pass defense can be torched, while the Bears have the most productive running game in the league.
If significant winds eliminate the ability to throw downfield, it makes sense if Buffalo loads the box in an effort to stop the Bears’ dynamic run game. The Bills’ defense against the Bears’ offense will determine who covers in a significant wind game.
If winds trend down in Chicago as we get closer to kickoff, that is more of an advantage for Buffalo.
Awards Market Ramifications: Josh Allen is an MVP contender.
Winner/ Confidence Pool: If sustained winds end up in the 25-mph range as we get closer to kickoff, the Bears become an interesting differentiator option in winner pools. I will have exposure to Chicago in winner pools in that type of game environment. I will also be lower than the consensus on this contest in my confidence pool rankings if significant wind is in play. If wind figures trend down, I’ll be more Buffalo-heavy.
Spread Pool: With the wind situation, I will bet the Bears or pass against the spread.
Survivor Pool: The wind component of this game has me less likely to take the Bills in survivor pools. That said, they are still a viable option this late in the year, and they aren’t very usable against the Bengals next week.
Ryan’s recent betting record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 46-24
Props 2022: 51-31