Chicago Bears vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Week 9 Odds & Pick

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Date: 
November 8, 8:15 PM EST
Location:
TV:

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
CHI +7/PIT -7
Total: 
40

The Chicago Bears come to Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. It's a big game for both, as the Bears can ill-afford another setback, while the Steelers could get to 5-3 with a win on MNF. On Sunday, the Steelers scored a nice road-win in Cleveland, 15-10, for their third straight win. The Bears fell at home to the 49ers on Sunday, 33-23, their third straight loss. Who can get it together and deliver the cover on Monday Night Football?

Have the Steelers Turned the Corner?

There have been times this season when a team wins a few games in a row and people get high on them, failing to take into account the level of difficulty in those wins. For the Steelers to overcome a 1-3 start counts for something. After that week one surprise win over the Bills, the Steelers really went into the tank. So this latest spurt really hits the spot. At the same time, one-score wins over a sideways Denver team, a Wilson-less Seahawks squad, and last week's 15-10 triumph over the suddenly-derailed Browns might not be enough cause for true optimism. Then again, getting the sliding Bears at home could provide a continuation of what we've been seeing.

While hardly an electric aerial offense, Ben Roethisberger has steadied the ship some in recent weeks. Mistakes have been reduced and with Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, rising tight end Pat Freiermuth, and rookie back Najee Harris, they're making it work. Harris hasn't been great as just a runner, but his catching prowess has made him a really productive back. It's an offense that can flex some balance on a given day and against a Chicago defense whose levels of effectiveness have been rapidly waning, this might not be a bad spot.

Possible Answers for the Bears

Results have been awful and their one saving grace, a defense that was still pretty good, has been showing diminishing returns the last few weeks. Getting victimized by the Packers and Buccaneers is one thing, but a 33-point allowance at home to a San Francisco offense that has been struggling and is undermanned showed that it's no longer something upon which they can rely. With a rookie quarterback in Justin Fields struggling behind a bad line with their lead back injured and shockingly-low production from guys like WR Allen Robinson, it's been quite the uphill battle.

But nothing stays the same forever. While it's true that Fields has struggled aerially, surpassing just 200 yards just once, he did finally show the other side of his game—his legs. With 103 yards and a TD last week, maybe that's something he can build upon. The contributions of Khalil Herbert with David Montgomery out of action has also been helpful. And at some point, experience and growing comfort will register for the young quarterback.

Potential Key to the Game

For a young quarterback commandeering a deficient offense, an out-of-conference road spot against a good “D” might not be the recipe for much success. For all the Steelers' failings this season, the defense has remained on-point for the most part, with a balanced amount of protection against both the run and the pass. This Bears' line will need to curtail TJ Watt and a robust Steelers' pass-rush, further complicating Fields' already-shaky connection with this targets through the air. The idea of Herbert having a good day against this Pittsburgh defensive front would seem to be a bit iffy on the surface, though Fields' legs could give the ground-game a different look. The high-point allowance by the Steelers this season is 26 points and against the more-troubled offenses they face, it’s usually even better than that.

Chicago Bears vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Prediction ATS

Usually, an iffy Steelers team such as this wouldn’t be that appetizing as a betting choice laying a number like this. They might be on a little roll, which only serves to prove they’re better than teams who are showing some of the worst form in the whole conference. That doesn’t make them good. But despite some potential growth from Fields, it’s hard to locate sources of optimism on this Bears’ team. Whether discussing the support Fields gets around him or the fact that their defense is receding, it’s enough to make them a less-than-thrilling choice, even getting points against a super-flawed Steelers’ squad. I’ll take the Steelers.

Free Pick: 
Take the Steelers -7