The Bears enter this Monday night showdown in Pittsburgh on a three-game losing streak while their hosts are looking to make it four wins in a row. Let’s take a look at this matchup and see where the value lies in our NFL picks!
Chicago Bears vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Monday, November 8, 2021 – 08:15 PM EST at Heinz Field
The Bears haven’t had it easy lately as the scheduling gods pitted them against Green Bay, Tampa Bay, and San Francisco over the last three weeks. Okay, so maybe the 49ers don’t exactly belong in that rarified air but it’s fair to say Chicago has gotten precious few cupcakes on their schedule this season, save for the Lions in Week 4.
Last week the Niners handed the Bears their third consecutive loss via a 33-22 decision and one that saw San Francisco roar back with 18 fourth-quarter points to notch the victory. Justin Fields was more impressive running than passing as he chewed up 103 rushing yards on 10 carries and a trip into the end zone. Through the air, the highly-touted rookie was 19-of-27 for 175 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
But if we are to assign blame, much of that has to be put on the Bears defense, working without Khalil Mack for the first time since 2018 and his absence showed. It should also be noted that head coach Matt Nagy was out due to a positive test for COVID-19 and was replaced by special teams coach, Chris Tabor.
“You can’t let that impact your day,” quarterback Justin Fields said. “You can’t focus on that. You’ve got to focus on who’s here and focus on the now. Of course, it was tough not having Coach.”
Steelers Staying in the Hunt
For years the AFC North has been a two-team race between Baltimore and Pittsburgh but this year they have company. In fact, this division is the most hotly contested in the entire league and it’s packed tight between all four teams.
Pittsburgh is in the thick of the race thanks to their three-game winning streak courtesy of wins over the Broncos, Seahawks, and Browns.
Last week’s 15-10 defensive struggle over Cleveland avenged their 26-6 loss earlier in the year to the Browns. Ben Roethlisberger was 22-of-34 and put up 266 yards with one touchdown pass and zero picks.
The defense was on point throughout and held Baker Mayfield to 225 yards with no touchdown passes, sacking the Cleveland passer four times.
Placekicker, Chris Boswell, was concussed in the first half on a trick play and did not return to action. “That fake field goal, man, was a bad call,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “I appreciate the guys backing my play and fighting for the entire 60 minutes and making it a side note.”
Wanna Make a Bet?
The NFL odds at all of the best online sportsbooks are showing the Steelers as six-point home favorites, down a half-point from the opener. It’s not surprising that the early money is on Chicago if you contemplate the lack of firepower from Pittsburgh’s offense. They have averaged only 18.9 points per game and are giving up six points, which doesn’t sound like a good corollary.
The Bears will be getting back Khalil Mack and hopefully, Akiem Hicks will be well-rested because those two could make it a long afternoon for Big Ben. This will be a game driven by the defenses dominating the subpar offensive lines.
It’s a match made to go low and the best bet here is to take the points, cross your fingers, and hope Justin Fields can keep the chains moving with his electric speed around the edges.
NFL Pick: Bears +6 (-110) at Sugarhouse