Monday Night Football Betting Preview: Will the Bears’ Defense Stifle the Rams’ Offense?

If Thursday Night Football is the appetizer in recent weeks, Monday Night Football is the steak and lobster tail dish of the day. Two of the heavyweights in the NFC are set to square off, and the 4-2 Los Angeles Rams host the 5-1 Chicago Bears. If you believe in our power rankings, this will be a treat as two top-15 teams are set to do battle.

Let's dive into what we think could be some interesting betting angles for this contest.

Points Could Be Hard to Find

While the Rams rank as one of the best offenses in the league so far in 2020, the Bears leave a bit much to be desired.

After a quarterback change from Mitchell Trubisky to Nick Foles, things have not markedly improved. Both quarterbacks have sported a pretty poor passing mark of 0.04 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, leaving it up to their seventh-ranked defense to carry the water for this team.

While the Rams have been far better from an offensive perspective, with Jared Goff sporting a 0.24 Passing NEP per drop back, they are struggling to hone in on their identity on the ground.

Among Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown, and rookie Cam Akers, only Henderson (0.16 Rushing NEP per rush) has shown moderate success.

Situation-neutral pace will not be in favor of a pile of points, either. The Bears are the quicker of the two teams, ranking 18th (28.27 seconds per play), while the Rams are even slower at 29.62 seconds.

Currently, the over/under sits at 46.0 points on FanDuel Sportsbook, which is pretty darn low for 2020. Interestingly, 58% of bettors are smashing the under, per oddsFire.

Bets to Consider

Money is pouring in on the home Rams -- 80% of bets on the spread and 72% of cash is coming in on Los Angeles, according to oddsFire. Our models definitely think the Rams have the best shot to win, giving them win odds of 63%. However, laying 6.0 points will be no easy feat, and we actually see the Bears to cover as a one-star bet.

Despite that low point total, you could easily pair the under with a prop bet like David Montgomery's workload at over 3.5 receptions or 23.5 receiving yards. A week ago, Montgomery saw 5 targets for 4 catches and 39 yards, following up a combined 14 targets in his previous two games. Expect Montgomery to be involved early out of the backfield rather than running straight at Aaron Donald and crew.

Historical Betting Trends

-- Recent trends do not favor the Bears. They are only 1-5 against the spread in their last 6 games following an against-the-spread cover.
-- As indicated from a historical perspective, the Rams have been a beast to bet on. They are 15-5-1 against the spread in their last 21 games in the NFC.
-- These are two stout defenses, and in the last seven games between the two, the under has hit five times.