Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears will look to get their first win of the season when they visit Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers in a Week 2 matchup that I believe is offering NFL bettors as much value as any contest on the Week 2 docket.
Better yet, is the fact that you’re going to have a great chance to strike pay dirt on this contest as I offer up a pair of expert picks on this intriguing Week 2 pairing of NFC title hopefuls.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) September 12, 2014
With kickoff time for this contest quickly approaching, let’s get started.
Matchup: Chicago at San Francisco
Kickoff: Sunday, September 14, 2014 8:30 PM ET
Spread: San Francisco -7½ +120
NFL Sunday Night Football Betting Preview – Chicago Vs. San Francisco
The Chicago Bears (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS, 0-1 O/U) were on the wrong end of a surprising (not really) 23-20 Week 1 overtime loss to Buffalo and never really came close to covering the spread as a touchdown favorite against a rebuilding Bills team that is apparently a lot better than most people ever thought.
The Bears – and starting quarterback Jay Cutler – looked really bad when it mattered most against the Bills while turning the ball over three times in the stunning loss.
Cutler was responsible for two of those turnovers as he tossed a pair of untimely interceptions that led to 13 points for Buffalo. Cutler’s second pick basically cost the Bears a shot to win the contest as it came on a third-and-one play with just over eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
"The guys know, we’re not idiots," Cutler said Monday during "The Jay Cutler Show" on ESPN 1000. "We all take accountability. Whenever we did mess up, we seemed to mess up pretty big. That last interception was a tough one. I’ve got to throw the ball away or run."
According to head coach Marc Trestman, Cutler address the team following their heartbreaking loss.
"Jay was very clear," Trestman said. "We sit in a group and we all take accountability. I talk to the guys about the mistakes I made during the course of the game, and the guys are upfront. Jay just said, ‘I’ve got to take care of the football. I’ve got to throw it away,’ and that’s exactly what he said in the meeting. I’ve seen Jay in my time here do a lot of the right things with the football. I can’t speak for anything else. I’m disappointed for the team, and I see how hard he works and he puts into it. He lost himself for a minute and made a decision that I know we’ve seen other great quarterbacks make, and he certainly made it there. As I said today he’s taken accountability for that and responsibility for that decision."
The veteran signal-caller also readily accepted the blame following Chicago’s surprising loss.
"Third down or fourth down, no matter what the situation is, I’ve got to do something better," Cutler said. "Anything probably would have been better than what happened, obviously. It’s a huge play there. We’re trying to go down for the game-winning score, and you’re just trying to make a play."
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 12, 2014
The San Francisco 49ers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 0-1 O/U) looked fantastic in laying an emphatic 28-17 smackdown on the overmatched Dallas Cowboys in their Week 1 matchup.
The Niners easily covered the spread as a 3.5-point road favorite as Kaepernick tossed two touchdown passes and running backs Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde combined to rush for 113 yards and another score.
Defensively, San Francisco picked off Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo three times while sacking the beleaguered signal-caller on another three occasions. More importantly, San Francisco found out that it has a real gem in Hyde, the team’s second round pick in this year’s draft.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh knows that he can now rotate Gore and Hyde, though he wouldn’t elaborate on what his plan was against Chicago.
“I think that’s part of game planning and that’s part of a plan and that’s also fluid in the game,” he said. “I think you can understand why we wouldn’t go into great detail there.”
For me, only one question surrounds this Week 2 matchup and it’s a simple one at that.
‘How many points are the Niners going to win by?’
The San Francisco 49ers have gone 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight Week 2 games while also going 5-1 ATS in their last half-dozen games against teams with a losing record.
The Chicago Bears are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games against a team with a winning record. More importantly, I’ll reiterate what I wrote in the preseason. The Bears made a huge mistake by choosing Cutler over veteran Josh McCown, who far outplayed Cutler last season.
Colin Kaepernick and Frisco have also gone 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games overall, making the Niners the easy pick to take down ‘cry-baby’ Cutler and the Bears.
In addition to this pick, I also like the Under to play out against the O/U Total, seeing as how the Under is 4-0 in Frisco’s last four games against their NFC counterparts and 4-0 in their last four games following an SU win.