October 8, 2020 | 4:31pm
This week’s “Thursday Night Football” game brings us the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting the Chicago Bears and a Super Bowl LII rematch between Tom Brady and Nick Foles. Of course, they’re both playing for different teams than when Foles led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 41-33 upset of the New England Patriots, but that’s the way this game is being billed.
Both teams are 3-1 with the Buccaneers winning three straight after dropping their opener to the New Orleans Saints while the Bears won their first three games before losing 19-11 Sunday to the Indianapolis Colts.
The Buccaneers opened as 5.5-points at several books, including the Westgate SuperBook, William Hill and DraftKings, but there’s been early support this week on the underdog Bears as it was down to Buccaneers -3.5 on Wednesday afternoon at most books from coast to coast.
I believe the move is in the right direction as the Bucs — even with Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, etc. — aren’t that much better than the Bears that they should be favored by more than a field goal on the road (despite the fact that home-field advantage is negligible this season.
In addition to their straight-up records being equal, they’re also both 2-2 against the spread as the Bears failed to cover as 4.5-point home favorites against the Giants in Week 2 and the Bucs failed to cover after closing as 7.5-point home faves over the Chargers this past Sunday.
So, the play should be on the Bears +3.5 on Thursday night, but I feel the better bet is actually on the Over 43.5 points. That’s the square side since we’re all hearing about how NFL scoring is at a record pace this season with Overs hitting at a solid 36-25-2
(59 percent) despite oddsmakers already shading the betting totals higher and higher.
However, it’s my opinion that the oddsmakers actually have set this total too low. I suspect part of that is because of the Bears’ low 11-point output on Sunday, but I should point out that the Colts have the league’s No. 1 scoring defense and the Bears are still averaging 21.25 points despite that performance, while the Bucs are averaging 30
(and the Tampa defense shouldn’t offer as much resistance).
Foles and Brady should have plenty of opportunities to put points on the board like they did in their more famous meeting.
Picks: Bears +3.5 and Over 43.5.