It’s expected to be a cold (for the time of year) and rainy day in Chicago for the 49ers at Bears week 1 matchup, so does that instantly make this game a play on the under 40.5? Both teams have questions at QB with Trey Lance and Justin Fields each entering their second season in the league while also having what they hope are top end defenses in the NFC.
Chicago likes where they are headed in the Matt Eberflus era, undefeated in the preseason after the team fired previous coach Matt Nagy this offseason. The Bears are still +6.5 home underdogs on Sunday with 65% of the betting public expecting San Francisco to cover that number.
Big Day for Bosa and Co.?
One of Fields’ strength is his elusiveness, as evidenced by last year’s meeting between these two teams when he had a dazzling 22-yard zig-zagging TD scramble. San Francisco won that game 33-22 to cover the -4.5 number, but Chicago also heads into 2022 with what many consider a patchwork offensive line. Nick Bosa had two of San Francisco’s four sacks in last year’s game and the expected rain could also limit Fields’ mobility a bit.
While Chicago has made a lot of changes from last year’s team that lost by 11 points to the Niners, San Francisco also has a different QB from the 2021 team that beat the Bears. Jimmy Garoppolo had one of his most efficient games of the season coming back home to Chicago last season, going 17/28 for 322 yards while also rushing for 2 TDs. It’s Trey Lance’s team now though.
Lance made two starts last season, throwing for 5 TDs and 2 INTs. San Francisco still feels confident enough to hand him over the reins in 2022, but his job gets instantly tougher on Sunday with TE George Kittle doubtful with a groin injury. Plus how explosive can WR Deebo Samuel be on the rainy track?
Can Chicago Pound the Ball?
Chicago would like to obviously see a boost in productiveness from Fields this season, but he’s also learning his second offense in as many NFL seasons and is also facing questions marks not only in the offensive line but at the receiver position as well.
Two things can greatly help Fields and the Chicago offense in the 49ers at Bears week 1 matchup – David Montgomery and the running game getting things going and Cole Kmet being a great safety blanket at the TE position. Of course the big problem with that is San Francisco ranked sixth in the NFL vs. the pass last season and seventh vs. the rush.
Free 49ers at Bears Week 1 Betting Pick
This might just turn into a slugfest, as Eberflus comes over from the Colts where he engineered a big defensive turnaround while the 49ers were third in the NFL in yards allowed last season. Throw in the inclement weather and the relative inexperience at QB for both teams and it looks like the only way to wager this game is on the total.
Free Pick: Under 40.5