NFL Week 1 Odds – Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

With apologies to Bobby Douglass, Bob Avellini, Vince Evans, and the countless others who lined up behind center for the Chicago Bears, the position has never been a strength. That could change with Justin Fields next in line to try and change the perception. The only problem is that the first-round pick won’t be starting the season opener. Instead the Bears have elected to go with veteran Andy Dalton against the stingy defense of the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football. With Matthew Stafford at the helm we could see a more explosive Rams’ offense, making them a threat in the NFC. LA closes out the NFL betting weekend as a 7.5-point favorite.

Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams
Date and Time: Sunday, September 12, 2021, 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
Opening NFL Odds: Los Angeles -7.5, O/U 46.5
Bears at Rams TV Coverage: NBC

Odds Analysis

It’s not a surprise to see the Rams laying points since they are a favorite to win the NFC West and advance to the Super Bowl. They aren’t THE favorite, but their odds are a lot shorter than Chicago’s. There’s been little movement on the line since it hit the board at LA -7 over the summer. It’s fluctuated a half-point either way before landing on the current number and it seems like the betting public is cool with it. The total was wagered up to 46.5 after opening at 44.5, which seems strange for a pair of teams with strong defenses. The UNDER was 8-0 in LA’s home games last year, including a matchup with the Bears that they covered with a 24-10 victory.

Chicago Bears

There is tremendous support in Chicago for Fields to be the starter. Matt Nagy resisted those calls and tabbed Dalton as the guy to at least start the season-opener. Having Dalton call the shots isn’t instilling a lot of confidence in NFL bettors. Dalton had some good years in Cincinnati, but he had his problems in Dallas last season after taking over for injured Dak Prescott. He was eventually replaced later in the year.

With the Bears in dire need of offense I would expect Nagy to have a short leash on Dalton. We could see Fields sooner rather than later since he gives the team the added bonus of mobility in the backfield. That’s something that could help negate a Rams pass rush that posted the second highest sack total in the NFL last season. And with Nagy on the hot seat entering the season he has to go with the players that give his team the best chance to win.

The Bears closed as a converted touchdown dog twice last season going 0-2 SU and ATS. They were catching 6.5-points when they visited LA in Week 7 and the offense managed just 279 total yards while allowing four sacks. Nick Foles played that game and was picked off twice. That should be a sign that having the ability to create and extend plays can slow down an opponent. And Fields has the ability to do that.

Los Angeles Rams

The inconsistent play of Jared Goff over the last few seasons finally wore on Sean McVay, who was partly behind the deal that brought Matthew Stafford over from Detroit in a swap of quarterbacks. Stafford put up some amazing numbers during his time with the Lions, mostly on teams that weren’t very good. Last season, his 12th in the NFL, Stafford threw for 4,084 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Stafford supplies a level of consistency the Rams didn’t have with Goff last season. A few years ago when they reached the Super Bowl the Rams led the NFL in scoring. They ranked second the following year. In 2019 they fell out of the top-10 and last year dropped all the way to 22nd. With a solid line and playmaking receivers, this is probably the best unit Stafford has had to work with during his entire career.

A defense that topped the NFL in yards and points allowed last season is the real reason why the Rams are entertaining thoughts of a Super Bowl. But can this unit be as good as it was last year? Raheem Morris takes over the group after Brandon Staley left for the Chargers head gig. Leonard Floyd was a revelation posting 10.5 sacks, Darious Williams had a career-best four picks and Jordan Fuller emerged as a starter in his rookie season. There might be some regression but with DPOY Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey on the field, they will be stingy.

Bet Bears at Rams at BookMaker.eu

Stafford along with most of LA’s starters didn’t see the field during the preseason so we don’t know how the club will look in a live game situation. That hasn’t affected the Rams in past seasons and I doubt it makes a difference on Sunday. Stafford will find a rhythm and the Rams have more options giving them an edge. And both teams are expected to be solid defensively giving value to the UNDER.

NFL Score Prediction: Rams 24, Bears 13

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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