Sunday’s NFL week 6 Bears at Panthers betting matchup is shaping up to be a good one. Chicago is 4-1 on the year, coming off a 20-19 win last Thursday night against Tampa Bay. After a slow start, Carolina is putting things together with a three game win streak, all coming as underdogs.
Chicago is on the road, but with a couple extra days rest after playing Tampa Bay last Thursday night. The Panthers opened as -3 point favorites, but that has dropped to -1 with the betting public split nearly 50/50. The Bears had a strong defensive showing their last game, but Carolina’s offense is clicking. The betting total is a tough one to call at 45.
Is the Chicago Defense Back?
The Bears defense looked like the unit of old last week, sacking Tom Brady three times, including two from Khalil Mack. Getting pressure gives Chicago a huge advantage on Sunday, but Carolina hasn’t allowed a sack in the last two games.
The Chicago defense did allow 106 yards on 20 carries to the Bucs last game, and Brady was a decent 25/41 for 253 and a TD. The Bears have held three of their last four opponents to 20 points or less, but two of those offenses also included the Colts and Giants. Tampa Bay had been averaging 30 points/game coming into last week though.
This seems like a game where Carolina is going to be able to move the ball. The Bears may need to get into a shootout to get the road victory. Nick Foles was 30/42 last week, and has improved his completion percentage in each of the last three games showing a growing familiarity with Matt Nagy’s offense. Chicago ran the ball just 14 times for 35 yards in the win over Tampa Bay though, putting a lot of pressure on Foles in Bears at Panthers betting.
Panthers Riding a Diverse Offense
Carolina has rattled off three wins in a row, all as underdogs. Those have included a 21-16 win at the Chargers, a 31-21 win over the Cardinals, and a 23-16 victory at Atlanta. One of the major driving forces behind those wins has been the accuracy of Teddy Bridgewater. Carolina’s offseason addition has gone 22/28, 26/37, and 27/36 over the three game win streak for a 74% completion percentage.
Carolina can be excused for starting slow in losses to Las Vegas and Tampa Bay, as Bridgewater was trying to learn new coach Matt Rhule’s system without a preseason. Bridgewater is clicking now, and the Panthers are even starting to show a running game even with Christian McCaffrey injured. Former Bear Mike Davis is averaging 5.0 yds/carry the last two, and will run hard against the team that cut him last season.
The Carolina defense has also stepped up coming into Sunday’s matchup ranking 5th in pass yards allowed per game. Matt Ryan had just 226 yards and 0 TD last week while Kyler Murray threw for only 133 the week before. Three straight opponents have ran for 117+ vs. the Panthers, but Chicago hasn’t shown much of a ground attack, ranking 27th in the league.
Bears at Panthers Betting Free Pick
The line is moving in the opposite direction in this matchup, but Chicago looks to be in trouble on Sunday. Bridgewater is dialed in and Carolina is also getting a run game to complement him. The Bears have struggled against the run, and will also be playing in front of fans (approx. 5,000) for the first time this season.
Panthers 27 – Bears 17
Free Pick: Carolina -1