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Bears vs. Patriots odds, prediction: Back New England in first half

Patriots have been a strong first-half team. Chicago? Just the opposite

Head coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots enter Monday night's home game against the Chicago Bears having covered the first-half point spread in five straight contests. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
Head coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots enter Monday night's home game against the Chicago Bears having covered the first-half point spread in five straight contests. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)Read moreNick Cammett / Getty Images

Standing on one sideline at Gillette Stadium on Monday will be the greatest defensive coach in the history of professional football. Standing on the other sideline: One of the NFL’s least productive offenses, led by one of the league’s most inept quarterbacks.

Yep, it’s Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots against Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears. Oh, and it’s taking place in New England.

Needless to say, oddsmakers aren’t expecting a fair fight in Foxborough, as they have made the Patriots the second-biggest favorite of Week 7. Of course, the week’s biggest favorite went down in flames Sunday afternoon, so anything is possible … right?

Here’s how we’re betting this Monday Night Football cross-conference matchup between the Bears and Patriots.

Note: Odds updated as of 1:30 a.m. ET on Oct. 24.

Bears vs. Patriots Prediction

  1. Patriots -4.5, first half (at BetMGM)

Bears vs. Patriots Prediction: Analysis

We could go into great detail about how abysmal Chicago’s offense is, but really, why waste time stating the obvious? And why kick a dog when it’s down?

So let’s just hit the high — er, low — points. The Bears are averaging 15.5 points per game (only the Broncos at 14.3 ppg are worse); they’re one of only four teams averaging less than 300 yards per game; they have scored more than 20 points just twice in six games (reaching 22 and 23); and among qualified passers, Fields ranks last or next-to-last in completion percentage, passing yards, sacks taken and quarterback rating.

On the other hand, the Patriots have held four of six opponents to 20 points or fewer, including giving up a grand total of 15 the last two weeks in victories over the Lions (29-0 at home) and Browns (38-15 on the road).

So, yeah, all signs point to a Monday night mismatch.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

However, rather than give up more than a touchdown in what’s expected to be a low-scoring affair, we’re more inclined to lay the points with New England in the first half. Here’s why:

Since getting trampled by the Dolphins in the season opener, the Patriots are 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in the first half. The last two weeks alone, Belichick’s crew has outscored Detroit and Cleveland by the combined score of 26-6.

Now check out the first-half scores of Chicago’s games this season: 7-0, 24-7, 14-13, 14-9, 21-10, 3-0. Number of times the Bears have been on the right side of those halftime scores? Zero.

That’s right, Chicago is 0-6 straight-up and against the spread in the first half. And the only occasions in which the Bears trailed by fewer than five points in the first half were at home against the still-winless Texans (the 14-13 contest) and last Thursday at home against Washington (3-0).

Forced to make a bet on the full game, we’d definitely lean toward the Patriots -8. But Chicago has been far more competitive after halftime in most of its games. Also, we could see Belichick letting off the gas if he has a big fourth-quarter lead, especially with a game in New York next week against the AFC East rival (and suddenly competent) Jets.

Add in the fact that favorites of 6.5 points or more are 13-21 ATS this season, and we’ll play it on the safe side and back New England -4.5 in the first half at BetMGM.

Bears vs. Patriots Odds (via BetMGM)

  1. Point spread: Bears (+4.5, 1st half) @ Patriots (-4.5, 1st half)

  2. Moneyline: Bears (+220) @ Patriots (-275)

  3. Total: 20 points (Over -105/Under -115)

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.