SNF: Bears vs Rams Week 1 NFL Betting Preview, Lines & Picks

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SNF: Bears vs Rams Week 1 NFL Betting Preview, Lines & Picks

New quarterbacks headline the start of the NFL season for the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears, who face off on Sunday Night Football at SoFi stadium to open their 2021 campaigns. Matthew Stafford is the man under center for the Rams, while Andy Dalton gets the ball for the Bears – though rookie QB Justin Fields is in the shadows waiting for his opportunity.

Sportsbooks that provide NFL betting have installed the Rams as 7-point favorites, one of the larger lines of Week 1. The total at sits at 44, among the lowest Over/Unders of Week 1.

Bears vs. Rams Key Matchups

QBs vs. QB Rushers: Stafford was sacked 2.4 times per game for Detroit last year and Dalton 2.2 times per game for the Cowboys, averages that rank well above the norm, especially for top teams. Each is with a new team this year with better protection expected. Which QB gets time will be a key. The Rams ranked No. 2 in sacks last year, the Bears only 18th.

Tyler Higbee vs. Bears LBs: Chicago is known for having one of the premier LB corps in the league, but it’s translated more vs. the run than the pass. The Bears actually ranked 27th in yards allowed to opposing TEs, and 31st in TDs allowed.

Sony Michel vs. Chicago D-line: Michel was acquired in a trade with the Patriots after the final preseason games and is likely to see RB1 action with the Rams following the season-ending injury of Cam Akers. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry for the Pats, but the Bears ranked eighth in fewest yards allowed per attempt.

5 Key Bears vs. Rams Stats

4.6: The yards per play allowed by the Rams in 2020, the best mark in the NFL. Compare that with the 5.1 yards average Chicago had (26th), and it’s clear that trends will need to change for the Bears to make a game of it.

17: TD passes allowed by the Rams in 2020, fewest in the NFL. Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams are both back to form one of the league’s top cornerback tandems, though both safeties left in free agency.

24: Wins by Andy Dalton as QB in the last five seasons, compared to 40 losses. In the five seasons prior, he led the Bengals to 50 wins.

24: The point differential of the Rams-Bears matchups in 2020 and 2019. Los Angeles outscored Chicago 41-17 in two games, both in L.A., both wins.

86.3: The career passing rating for Matthew Stafford against the Bears. In 20 games, Stafford is 11-9 vs. Chicago with 32 TDs and 23 INTs, averaging 270 yards per outing.

Bears vs. Rams Weather Forecast

It’s Los Angeles. Of course it will be beautiful. Sunday’s forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 79 degrees. The evening will be clear with temps in the 60s and little to no wind. In other words, weather will not have any factor on the outcome of the game.

Bears vs. Rams Moneyline

The favored Rams are -365 on the moneyline at most betting sites, while the underdog Bears are at +280. That is a big number on the Rams, even at home. They’re rightfully favored, and frankly I think they cover the spread. But the moneyline offers no value at that price.

That doesn’t mean there is any value on the Bears at big plus odds. In no facet of this game does Chicago have a decided advantage to exploit. It’s going to be a tough road to climb. Offering pause is a semi-healthy Bears offense that we didn’t see much of last year (though Tarik Cohen remains out). Stay away from this one.

Bears vs. Rams Point Spread

The Rams are laying a touchdown, 7.5 points in some spots, as a solid home favorite here and one of the bigger NFL spreads of the opening weekend. From my perspective, this number isn’t big enough. The Rams are poised for a Super Bowl run – they were consistent QB play away from being there last year, led by the NFL’s top-ranked defense.

Stafford, long the only bright spot on mediocre Lions teams, can shine with his teammates now. Dalton is serviceable, but this is not a good spot for a new QB already feeling the pressure of a likely demotion. When it comes to favored NFL picks for Sunday night’s showdown, it’s laying the points with Rams at -7 at BetMGM.

Bears vs. Rams Totals

Only the Broncos-Giants slogfest has a lower Over/Under than the 44 posted for this game on most betting apps. There is reason to like both offenses – Stafford leading a high-octane pass attack in L.A. and a finally healthy skillset of players for Chicago.

But the defenses outweigh the offenses on both sides, especially so when the Bears have the ball. There are too many variables to pick a side on this total. We could see 20 points scored, or 50. Stay away from the Over/Under for Sunday night.