This Sunday the Chicago Bears (2-1) will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) in a surprising matchup of 2-1 teams. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST at Soldier Field and will be televised locally on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened this game with the Bears as a 3-point home favorite and that’s where it stands today. The total for this matchup is currently at 46.5-points. Click here for a full look at the Week 4 NFL odds and for more links to our game previews.
Bears vs Bucs Game Preview & Betting Odds
Chicago comes into this one off an impressive 16-14 win at Arizona, which saw the Bears fall behind 14-0 in the 1st quarter, only to hold the Cardinals scoreless the rest of the way. That’s now two straight wins for Chicago after that meltdown on the road against Green Bay in Week 1.
The Buccaneers enter off a 30-27 loss at home to the Steelers on Monday Night Football. Tampa Bay did a nice job making it respectable after going into the half trailing 30-10, but it was simply too big a deficit for them to overcome. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for over 400 yards for a third straight game, but his 3 interceptions early really put this team behind the 8-ball.
These two teams have faced off each of the last 4 regular-seasons. While they have split those 4 meetings, the Bucs have won the last two in blowout fashion. Tampa Bay won 36-10 at home in 2016 and 29-7 at home last year.
Free Pro Football Pick Against the Spread: Bears -3
I would have to lean towards laying the points with Chicago. I think there’s a ton of value here with the Bears as a slim 3-point home favorite in this one. While both of these teams have gotten off to impressive starts, I believe the Bears have the better shot of sustaining their early season success the rest of the way.
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The addition of Khalil Mack has turned a really good Bears defense into of the elite units in the league. Chicago comes into this game ranked 2nd in the NFL against the run (65.3 ypg) and 11th against the pass (223.7 ypg). They also lead the league in sacks (14) and are tied for 2nd in takeaways (8).
As good as Tampa Bay’s offense has looked in their first 3 games, their numbers have been greatly aided by going up against a couple of sub-par defenses in the Saints and Steelers. The one good defense they played was the Eagles and they only managed 21 points. I think it’s going to be a long day for whoever ends up starting for Tampa Bay, whether it be Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jameis Winston.
The even bigger key for me is the Bucs defense and how poorly it has played thru the first 3 games of 2018. Tampa Bay is 31st in the NFL, allowing 432.7 ypg. They have been atrocious against the pass, giving up a ridiculous 362.7 yards/game. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 102 of the 131 pass attempts agains this defense and are averaging an outstanding 8.3 yards/attempt.
I know it’s been a tough go of things for Mitch Trubisky and that Bears offense, but this is a defense they can exploit early and often. I look for Chicago to easily have it’s best offensive output of the season and it’s not like we need the Bears to put up a huge number to get the win and cover.
Chicago is 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 home games and are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 at home versus a team with a winning road record. Give me the Bears -3.