Miami Dolphins -4.5 @ Chicago Bears O/U 46.5
I've been riding bets featuring Chicago Bears games all season long. Overall, last week’s bets could have worked out better for me. That said, the prop bets I wrote up went 2-1, which means I'm 12-6 for the Bears' game bets over the last four weeks. Looking to carry that momentum into Week 9, let's tap in.
Both Teams to Score 20+ Points (+125 BetMGM)
While gusty winds could be a factor, both teams have explosive playmakers. The wind is expected to be between 13 and 20 MPH for most of the game. Anytime it reaches 15 MPH, it can affect the passing game, negatively impacting deeper throws.
The Bears traded for Chase Claypool ahead of the deadline, and they have one of the best rushing quarterbacks in football, Justin Fields. The Dolphins are the fourth-worst DVOA pass defense, so there could be opportunities for the Bears to throw successfully.
Meanwhile, the Bears' defense will get a significant test following trades that sent two of their best defensive players, Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn, out of town. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are first and fourth in receiving yards, respectively. They are also both in the top 10 among wide receivers in yards after the catch, as Miami does an excellent job of getting them the ball in space to use their electric speed.
The combination of the Bears losing some of their best defensive players, adding a physical freak like Claypool to the receiving game, and Chicago's offensive progress over the last two games (33 points vs. NE, 29 points vs. DAL), pushes me to take this game over 45.5 points. However, the total has jumped to 46 or 46.5 in most places. Therefore, I think the safer bet is to take both teams to score 20+ points. A 26-20 game would still cash the ticket!
Justin Fields Longest Rush Over 14.5 yards (-114 FanDuel)
If the wind plays a factor today, Fields might make more happen with his legs, whether it be unscripted scrambles or designed runs. Fields has at least seven rushes in each game and averages 76.7 rushing yards over his last three games. Last week against Dallas, he had runs that went for 15 yards and 14 yards. Against New England, he had a 15-yard and 20-yard run. In fact, he's had at least one run for 15 yards or more in five of the last six games, including a 39-yard run against Washington and a 29-yard run against Houston.
The Dolphins have allowed the fifth-most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks. I see Fields popping at least one good chunk play with his legs. Most sportsbooks have this line set at 15.5 yards, so we are getting some good value at 14.5 on FanDuel.
Darnell Mooney Over 3.5 Receptions (-106 FanDuel); Over 41.5 Receiving Yards (-115 BetMGM)
I'm packaging both of Darnell Mooney's props together because the reasons are similar for both props. Taking the over on his receptions total can be volatile. He's only caught more than three passes in three of eight games this season. However, after only four catches through the first three weeks of the season, Mooney and Fields are starting to click the way they did last season, which saw Mooney catch 81 passes for 1,055 yards. Mooney has four or more catches in three of the previous five games, including five for 70 yards last week in Dallas.
The addition of Chase Claypool should open things up for Mooney. Defenses can no longer lock onto Mooney as the sole No. 1 WR option, especially with Claypool's speed and vertical threat. Mooney has at least 52 receiving yards in each of the last five games. While Claypool could steal targets away from Mooney, I'm not sure it'll come in bunches this week, as he needs to get caught up to speed on the Bears' playbook and worked into the offense. I expect another four or five catches for 50-60 yards from Mooney today.
Justin Fields Over 164.5 Passing Yards (-110 FanDuel)
Bears Team Total Over 20.5 points (=114 FanDuel)