Chicago enters the game with extra rest, while Denver is working on a short week after playing Monday night.
After the Bears failed to get into the end zone in their opener, most sportsbooks had this game as a pick 'em or the Broncos -1. Then they reacted to an uninspired performance from Vic Fangio's crew in a loss to the Raiders by making the Bears a 2.5-point favorite with a total of 40.5. Some even tested the Bears at -3, but it’s back to -2.5 across the board since the sharps will likely take the home underdog getting a field goal.
In visiting Mile High Stadium, the Bears are encountering one of the league’s strongest trends for decades. Visiting teams tend to put up pitiful performances early in the year in Denver. The Broncos are 51-8-2 straight up in Weeks 1-2 at home since the AFL-NFL merger. They’ve won 38 of 42 in the same subset over the last 35 years.
Denver is riding a 13-game home winning streak in September. You should also hesitate before you say the Bears have a quarterback advantage just because Joe Flacco will be under center. The Broncos' last six home victories in September have been with Case Keenum and Trevor Siemian leading the way.
Game props will be posted closer to kickoff, and there are numerous angles to consider. Bears coach Matt Nagy has repeatedly preached that he needs to have more balanced play-calling after rookie running back David Montgomery was limited to seven touches against the Packers. Just like at the end of last year, Trubisky continued to feed Allen Robinson with 13 targets in Week 1. It isn’t just Fangio in Denver who knows the Bears' offensive tendencies inside and out. Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell received much praise for his work in helping the Bears defense earn 36 takeaways in 2018.
I thought the line was perfect at a pick 'em, but it isn’t too enticing unless it hits three. Sometimes you just have to keep it simple. Come Sunday, defensive playmakers will be on the field at all times against offenses that really struggled in Week 1. We don’t want to overreact to one game, but we must react before the value is gone.