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Bears vs Rams Picks Week 1 For Sunday Night Football

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com

Adam Thompson  | 8 mins

Bears vs Rams Picks Week 1 For Sunday Night Football

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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.

GET READY FOR THE SEASON: Week 1 NFL Betting Lines & Analysis For All 16 Games and be sure to check out more Bears vs. Rams odds.

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 Player Props To Consider

Matthew Stafford, Over 273.5 Yards

Odds: -115 at DraftKings

The last time Stafford faced the Bears defense, he passed for 402 yards and three TDs in a 34-30 Detroit win. He has far better weaponry in L.A. and Chicago’s defense could take a step back. In 20 career games vs. the Bears, he’s averaged 272 ypg, and again, that was with an underdog Lions squad more often than not.

Andy Dalton, Over 206.5 Yards

Odds: -115 at DraftKings

The Rams are tough to throw on, but this number is too low for any starting quarterback, especially one that will likely be playing with a deficit. Only once in his last nine Week 1 starts has he finished under 220 yards and averages 282 ypg.

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Tyler Higbee, Over 39.5 Yards

Odds: -115 at DraftKings

Stafford likes his tight ends, and the Bears, for all their defensive strengths last season, were one of the bottom teams in covering TEs. Higbee owns the position in L.A. and should see his fair share.

David Montgomery, Over 3.5 Receptions

Odds: -105 at DraftKings

Montgomery more than doubled his receptions in 2020, from 25 to 54, and should be a big part of the pass game again with Dalton, who likes to use his RBs. That might be the best way to get the tackle-breaking Montgomery the ball in the open field.

Andy Dalton, Longest Pass Under 33.5 Yards

Odds: -115 at DraftKings

Dalton was regularly hammered for not looking downfield enough. With the top pass rush coming at him, expect more drop-offs.

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.

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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.

About the Author

Adam Thompson for Bookies.com
Adam Thompson
NFL writer and expert Adam Thompson joined Bookies.com in 2019 after a successful run as senior handicapper for SportsLine and CBSSports.com. He's long been established as one of the nation's premier handicappers, specializing in the NFL where he's hit on more than 60% over the past three years. Adam's NBA, PGA and horse racing picks have also produced major winners over the last 12 months. His customized NFL and NBA odds for players and teams have been picked up by hundreds of websites over the past year.