NFL Over/Under Bet: London the site of Mack revenge game

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Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders (In London)

Over/Under: 40.5

Kickoff: 10 a.m. PT

TV: FOX

The idea of the “revenge game” can sometimes be a popular betting angle, but what about when said philosophy revolves around a defensive player?

For most, it may not be so decisive in the potential outcome of a wager — but star linebacker Khalil Mack, maybe the best defensive player out there, isn’t “most.”

A lot of criticism was generated when the Raiders suddenly dealt away Mack just prior to the start of last season. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award winner has responded with his usual stellar play in his new digs, registering 17 sacks and 10 forced fumbles since arriving in Chicago. By comparison, the Raiders have managed only 18 sacks and eight forced fumbles as a team since trading their prized No. 5 draft selection from 2014.

Mack isn’t only vaunted for his on-field performance but his leadership as well. His presence has played quite a significant role in more ways than one in transforming the Bears into one of the top defensive units in all of football.

Last year, nobody allowed fewer points per game (17.7) than Chicago, and in 2019, it’s been more of the same, as opponents thus far have managed just 11.3 points on average. Unsurprisingly, the under cashed in three of their first four games, with only one even topping 30 total points in the contest. And this week, the Bears are expected to get Roquan Smith back and possibly Akiem Hicks (knee), too.

That doesn’t exactly bode well for a Raiders offense that has produced 19.8 points per game. As many predicted upon Antonio Brown’s dismissal from the organization, quarterback Derek Carr hasn’t exactly been lighting up the scoreboard — or boxscores, either, averaging just 222 passing yards each week, his lowest since his rookie season.

It also may be noteworthy that in the NFL’s first International Series affair this year, Carr will be playing in his fifth such outing. The first four collectively left a little bit to be desired, as the Fresno State product compiled 820 yards through the air and five touchdowns compared to three picks, good for a pedestrian 84.19 passer rating.

But can we count on a Raiders defense that just lost suspended linebacker Vontaze Burfict for the season to keep things from getting out of hand?

Well, one important item that can prevent that from happening actually has to do with the other side of the ball. That would be in reference to the fact that Bears starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) is out, providing backup Chase Daniel a chance to fill in.

Daniel isn’t terrible, especially in relation to other second-stringers, but he’s not a big-play guy, either. He did look pretty good when filling in for Trubisky last week, completing 22-of-33 passes (73.3 percent) and tossing one touchdown. He also only came away with 195 yards, though, or 6.5 yards per attempt.

Such low output is a staple of Daniel’s game, which is crucial for any under because it generally means little or no huge plays involved. In the soon-to-be 33-year-old’s only four previous career starts, he registered 6.6 yards per attempt while leading his team to less than 24 points per game in those assignments.

With the total only having potential of going down, this is an under bet you’ll want to get in right away. Buying a half-point like I did is also recommended, as 41 is one of the main key numbers in football over/unders and protects you in the event of a 24-17/27-14 type outcome. Play: UNDER 41 (-120)

Last Week’s Result: Browns-Ravens Over 45 (WIN)

Zylbert’s 2019 NFL Over/Under Betting Record*: 4-1, +2.9 units

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

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