NFL prime-time games have been stellar this season. The Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7) doesn’t appear enticing. However, I’m looking at this game as another betting opportunity. Here are two player props I like for MNF.
Roquan Smith: OVER 9.5 tackles and assists (-110)
I look for sample size and the Steelers have a sample size facing some of the best tacklers in the league. The Bears LB is top 10 in solo, assisted, and total tackles.
In seven games this season, Pittsburgh has allowed an opponent's leading tackler to surpass this total four times. Three of those times came against an opponent's top tackler, with Denzel Perryman (Raiders), Logan Wilson (Bengals), and Bobby Wagner (Seahawks) recording 12 or more tackles. With Khalil Mack out for a second straight week, Smith along with Akiem Hicks and Robert Quinn will need to step up. Smith has hit this mark in six of eight games played.
Justin Fields: UNDER 32.5 longest completion (-115)
The Bears rookie quarterback has gone below this number in five of six starts. Aside from a 64-yard completion against the Detroit Lions, Fields' long average is 20.2 yards and he ranks 25th in deep-ball completion percentage.
This Chicago offense is not potent, ranking last in the league for passing yards per game at 127 with 6.1 yards per pass attempt. This is a prop that you keep firing week after week.
Another option I considered but opted to pass: total number of made field goals — Chicago Bears OVER 1.5 (+135).
The Steelers' defense has been pretty stout, surrendering more field goals (15) than touchdowns (13) this season. In seven games, opponents have hit multiple field goals five times. Fields has only three touchdown passes this season, while Pittsburgh has allowed only four rushing scores.
Courtesy of the Yahoo Sports app, Bears kicker Cairo Santos has made 38 consecutive field goals (25 more than the next longest active streak). It’s the fourth-longest streak in NFL history and six shy of the NFL record of 44 consecutive field goals made by Adam Vinatieri.
A defense forcing more field goals than touchdowns, plus a kicker with a 100 percent field-goal percentage, is a good shot at plus money.
Here’s the thing. I like this betting option, but I don’t love it. Santos may have the best FG percentage in the league, but the Bears are 29th in red-zone scoring attempts and 25th in FG attempts. I’d want a little more trust in an offense to get downfield.
Love the bets you are making. Don't just like them.