The young talent in Chicago is struggling this season, as coach Matt Eberflus has had a difficult time forming the right scheme to take advantage of the gifts of quarterback Justin Fields. The front office has not helped out by providing quality players at the skill positions, but there is potential. Because the Bears keep getting drubbed, though, Eberflus finds his seat getting pretty hot. According to Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post, one big name who is interested is Bill Belichick, who turned the New England Patriots into a dynasty but is now struggling with a rebuild. The Bears would go into the 2024 draft with two of the top five picks, if their record holds, so they could get an elite quarterback and another transcendent player – or two difference-makers if the team decides to stick with Fields. Would Belichick swap one rebuild for another? It remains to be seen. This week’s sports betting opportunity on Thursday Night Football involves these same Bears hosting the Carolina Panthers, caught in a rebuild of their own, as 3 ½-point favorites. Read on to get our prediction between Panthers vs Bears TNF.
NFL Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears Betting Odds
When: Thursday, November 9, 2023, 8:15 pm ET
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago
TV: Prime Video
Radio: Westwood One
Live Stream: Prime Video
NFL Odds: Chicago -3.5 / O/U 39
Why should you bet on the Panthers?
Bryce Young looked solid two weeks ago as the Panthers held off the Houston Texans at home, but the team foundered this past Sunday against Carolina. Young threw three interceptions, including two pick-sixes to the same player, and he now has an 8:7 TD:INT ratio, which explains why the team is seventh-worst in total scoring at 17.5 points per game and the passing game ranks 27th with 187.1 passing yards per contest. The running game isn’t helping, averaging just 96.3 yards per contest.
The defense has been generous, tied for dead last in points permitted with Denver, allowing 28.3 per contest. Interestingly, their total defense in yards allowed ranks eighth (310 per game) and the pass defense is fifth (178.3 yards per game), which tells us that the turnovers are giving opponents short fields and defensive touchdowns. Their pass rush could be better, as they rank 29th in the NFL with just 17 sacks so far. If you like the Panthers, you see Young taking advantage of a subpar Chicago secondary and you see the Panthers’ defense making more of an effort against the Bears (and benefiting from their quarterback situation).
Bet on the Panthers to Win Today
Why should you put your money on the Bears?
How about that quarterback? Tyson Bagent looks set to make his fourth straight start in relief of the injured Justin Fields, who remains questionable. Bagent’s first start was terrific as he went 21 of 29 for 162 yards and a touchdown in a 30-12 smashing of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Since then, he has gone 42 of 67 for 452 yards and two touchdowns – but also five interceptions – in road losses to the Chargers and the Saints. The team needs to get back to running the ball as their rushing attack ranks fourth in the NFL at 135.3 yards per game, and D’Onta Foreman’s three-touchdown outburst against the Raiders shows that he could produce at a high level. He also put up big numbers for Carolina last year after the Panthers traded away Christian McCaffrey.
The Bears’ defense allows 26.9 points per game, good for 26th in the league. Their run defense is fifth in the league (79.7 yards permitted per game), which tells you how porous their secondary is. Their turnover differential is -9 (worst in the NFL), a problem that the Bears need to fix if they plan to get back in the win column.
Bet on the Bears to Win Today
Panthers vs Bears TNF Final Score and Prediction
Given that the Bears should be able to clog up the running game, and given that both teams are likely to be using rookie quarterbacks, I see them grinding out an ugly win on Thursday night. I predict a final score of Chicago 16, Carolina 9.
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