NFL Over/Under Bet: Does Bridgewater’s emergence play out in Chicago?

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New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears

Over/Under: 37.5

Kickoff: 1:25 p.m. PT

TV: FOX

There’s probably never been a point in time during the Sean Payton-Drew Brees Era, which dates back to 2006, where the Saints were involved in a game that featured the lowest over/under of the whole weekly slate. That now changes in Week 7 of the 2019 campaign.

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Of course, while Payton is currently still active on the sidelines (hey, he did once suffer a torn ACL), Brees has been out of commission with a thumb injury. Enter Teddy Bridgewater, who has done a nice job guiding the team to an unexpected 4-0 record in Brees’ absence.

The former Minnesota Viking is sticking to his strengths and not trying to do too much, providing the key to this reemergence. But now Bridgewater is about to enter his toughest possible predicament.  Not only is it an issue that he’ll be having to work outside today in moderate weather, the defense Bridgewater will be dealing can also be troublesome. The Bears defense is one of the few that can make a legitimate case as being the best in all of football.

That was on display last year when they allowed the fewest points per game (17.7). This season, that type of dominance has continued as Chicago is yielding just 13.8 points per contest, including just 16 points total in their two home dates. In their league-leading showing from a year ago, opposing offenses managed 17.3 points in road assignments at Soldier Field in nine games (including postseason).

Bridgewater is solid but based on his splits, he simply hasn’t been as consistent when playing outdoors. Throughout his career, Bridgewater’s registered a considerably lower passer rating when playing outside (86.0) compared to in an indoor venue (93.7). This year that trend has rung true, with the quarterback looking more effective in his outings in the Superdome.

Perhaps above all, Bridgewater will be missing a very valuable weapon in this offense. Do-everything running back Alvin Kamara is out, and as a bonus, Latavius Murray draws the start in his place. Being a bruising running back (think Derrick Henry), the Saints might deploy a more traditional rush-heavy gameplan, which can only benefit an under.

New Orleans also sports a terrific defense, one that ranks in the top 10 in the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game (340.5). Knowing that, this isn’t the ideal spot to return for Bears signal-caller Mitchell Trubisky, who will be suiting up for the first time since going down with a shoulder injury in Week 4.  

While I’d prefer backup Chase Daniel for the sake of this bet, it can also be helpful that Trubisky is making his first start after an extended absence. After all, how high can his ceiling be? And against a defensive unit that has been very good. The rest of Chicago’s offense hasn’t really stood out either.  

Plenty of reasoning into why the oddsmakers elected to go so low for this NFC matchup. Make sure you buy the half-point like I did to be protected in case of a 24-14/28-10/21-17 final score. Play: UNDER 38 (-120)

Last Week’s Result: Titans-Broncos Under 41 (WIN) 

Zylbert’s 2019 NFL Over/Under Betting Record*: 5-2, +2.7 units 

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

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