Week 7 of the 2022 NFL regular season wraps up with an interconference showdown, as the New England Patriots host the Chicago Bears. Bill Belichick's squad finds itself on a two-game win streak, as rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe has been one of the biggest surprises of the NFL season thus far. Still, at 3-3, New England is at the bottom of the division. As for the Bears, they've lost three straight, but had extra time to prepare for this matchup after playing on "Thursday Night Football" in Week 6.
While Zappe has held down the ship for the past few weeks, Mac Jones is set to return to the starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 25 despite being listed as questionable, per multiple reports. It's a good thing because he's probably sick of hearing about a potential quarterback controversy in New England. Although, if he falls flat at home under the bright primetime lights, that narrative certainly won't go away.
The Bears have lost nine straight primetime games. Justin Fields and the offense look rough right now, but could this be a potential bounce-back spot? Below, we will break down this matchup from a gambling perspective and examine the line movement, Over/Under and player props to consider. First, here's how you can watch Monday's matchup.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
- Bears: NONE
- Patriots: WR Nelson Agholor (hamstring), DL Christian Barmore (knee), WR Kendrick Bourne (toe), DL Lawrence Guy (shoulder), CB Anfernee Jennings (calf), CB Jonathan Jones (ankle), QB Mac Jones (ankle), CB Jalen Mills (illness), OG Mike Onwenu (ankle), LB Josh Uche (hamstring), CB Shaun Wade (illness), OT Isaiah Wynn (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE
This line opened at NE -6 on Monday, May 16. We didn't see any movement until Friday, Oct. 14, when it bumped up to NE -6.5. It rose another half point to NE -7 on Oct. 15, and then to NE -7.5 on Oct. 16, where it remained.
The pick: Patriots -7.5. I've gone back and forth on this, but I chose Patriots -7.5 in my picks column so I'm sticking with it. The Patriots are the only team in the NFL to win by 20-plus points in Weeks 5 and 6, although I don't expect Jones to go nuclear against this Chicago defense. But, I'm overly intrigued by rookie wideout Tyquan Thornton, I think Rhamondre Stevenson is an underrated back and I like the New England defense. The Patriots are more than seven points better than the Bears -- especially at home.
The total opened at 38.5 on Tuesday, Oct. 11. It bumped up to 39 on Oct. 12, and then fell back to 38.5 on Oct. 14. After again rising to 39, it began to increase in a consistent manner, reaching 39.5 on Oct. 16, 40 on Oct. 21 and then 40.5 on Sunday morning. However, it fell back down to 40 on Sunday afternoon.
The pick: Under 40. This number is so low, but I still lean to the Under. With Jones back in the starting lineup and probably not 100 percent healthy, I don't think he's going to step in and create an offensive explosion against a team that allows less than 20 points per game. The Patriots are 3-3 to the Over while the Bears are 2-4. New England averages 23.5 points per game while Chicago averages 15.5 points per game. I'm expecting something like a 24-13 final score. The lean is to the Under.
Justin Fields props
Passing touchdowns: 0.5 (Over -179, Under +129)
Passing yards: 160.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
Passing attempts: 24.5 (Over -115, Under -119)
Passing completions: OFF
Longest passing completion: 32.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over -179, Under +129)
Rushing yards: 42.5 (Over -117, Under -117)
The juice on Fields' passing touchdowns prop is so gross that I won't be touching it. I don't see value on it, but he's thrown one touchdown in each of the last two games, if you are curious. As for passing yards, I will take the Over. Fields has crossed 161 passing yards in each of the last three contests. I lean to the Under on Fields' longest passing completion, and lean to the Over on his rushing yards.
Mac Jones props
Passing touchdowns: 1.5 (Over +104, Under -142)
Passing yards: 214.5 (Over -111, Under -123)
Passing attempts: 28.5 (Over -119, Under -115)
Passing completions: 18.5 (Over -121, Under -113)
Longest passing completion: 34.5 (Over -121, Under -113)
Interceptions: 0.5 (Over -106, Under -129)
To be honest with you, I may create a same-game parlay where I bet on both quarterbacks to throw an interception, and maybe throw in Patriots moneyline. As for the rest of Jones' props, it's hard to gauge them because he's probably not 100 percent healthy. I'll take the Under on passing touchdowns but Over on passing yards. I'm going to leave the passing attempts and completions alone. Jones has hit the Over on both of those prop numbers in all three games he's played, but you have to remember that he's been in games that were either close, or where he's had to throw. What happens if the Patriots jump out to an early lead? Again, I do like that interception number. Jones has thrown at least one pick in each contest this season.
Rhamondre Stevenson rushing yards: Over 62.5 (-106). Stevenson has crossed this number in each of the last four games, and as I mentioned earlier, is one of the most underrated running backs in the league. If the Patriots win this game fairly handily, then that just adds to my case as well.
Jonnu Smith receiving yards: Over 10.5 (-123). This line just feels too low to me. In every game this season in which Smith has caught one pass, he's gotten to 25 yards receiving. Last week against the Cleveland Browns, he caught two passes for 61 yards.
Darnell Mooney receiving yards: Over 44.5 (-119). Fields has been passing the ball more over the past few weeks, and his No. 1 target has been benefitting from that. Mooney has recorded at least 52 receiving yards in each of the last three games.