It’s the first night of the 2nd half of the 2023 season and the NFL has given us a Thursday Night Football matchup between two of the worst teams in the league so far. The (1-7) Panthers head into Chicago to face the (2-7) Bears.
While there were some rumblings of Justin Fields being upgraded to week-to-week, it looks like we will continue to see D2 QB Tyson Bagent in this matchup.
Both QBs are coming off turnover ridden performances in Week 9. Starting with the Bears, they lost a 24-17 game at New Orleans that absolutely should not have been this close. Bagent threw three interceptions and the Bears fumbled twice, including the final drive which ended in a Demario Davis strip sack.
Despite a -5 turnover margin, the Bears still covered as 8.5-point underdogs. I think this says a lot more about this Saints team and their inability to get the ball in the endzone, than it does about the Bears.
To be fair, the Bears did get 20 first downs to the Saints 18 and especially in the first half, looked passable on offense. The Panthers defense is not on the same level as the Saints and I think the Bears should again be able to move the football, despite the constant setbacks via penalty and turnover.
On the other side, Bryce Young had perhaps his worst game as a pro, throwing three interceptions against a Colts defense that has been poor in the passing game to say the least. I had a glimmer of hope for this Panthers squad as they turned offensive play call duties to Thomas Brown after their bye and squeaked out a 15-13 victory against the Texans in Week 8.
Bryce Young has yet to find his footing in the NFL and isn’t helped by his poor offensive line (30th ranked in pass block per PFF). I think the Panthers will continue to have to play from behind in every game they play, so betting Bryce Young’s pass attempts over is generally a good angle.
I like to bet this number live given that the Panthers often start slow on offense and dig themselves a hole by halftime. You can generally get Young’s pass attempts at a discount and expect him to be forced to throw well over 35 times.
The lookahead line was -2.5 for the Bears but we saw this quickly jump up to -3 following the Panthers 4pm game in Week 9. Since then, the Bears have been bet to -3.5 and even through to -4. I’m not surprised to see a lack of market support for the Panthers given their offensive struggles. This total was also bet down from 41 to 38.5 or 39 across the board.
This is a truly ugly game and with a short week to prepare, I don’t have confidence backing either of these teams. I think you’ll want to look towards alternates here, if you still like the under, take an alternate at under 29.5 as this is the time of game where we could see some mayhem in terms of turnovers.
As a bet recommendation, I like the over 3.5 field goals made in this matchup. I think both teams will struggle to find the end zone, despite the potential for strong field position given both these Quarterbacks propensity to turn the ball over.
Shop around on this one but o3.5 Field Goals at -110 is a good bet. I found that over at DraftKings!