When the Bears (3-5) travel to Heinz Field to face the Steelers (4-3) to close out NFL Week 9 on “Monday Night Football” (8:15 pm ET, ESPN), they will try to keep their NFC. playoff hopes fade even further against growing opponents from the AFC North. The Steelers have a chance to repeat in their division due to defense and the running game.
The Steelers have been driven a lot on offense by rookie running back Najee Harris, their first-round pick. Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields has struggled to pass despite flashing and doing more as a running back lately.
Pittsburgh is better positioned to win an ugly, low-scoring game than Chicago, as the visiting team will lack two key defenders, lead running back Khalil Mack and safety Eddie Jackson.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Bears vs Steelers betting in Week 9, including up-to-date odds, trends and our expert’s prediction for “Monday Night Football.”
Bears vs. Steelers for Monday Night Football
- Spread: Steelers by 6.5
- Below: 38.5
- Moneyine: Bears +240. Steelers -295
The Steelers have been hovering in touchdown favorite status all week. They are coming off a big road win over the Browns, while the Bears stumbled at home against the 49ers in Week 8. Fields against the Steelers defense is a big reason for the solid number.
(betting odds for FanDuel sports betting)
All-time series Bears vs. Steelers
The Bears lead the series 19-7-1. They have won the last three games in 2017, 2013 and 2009. Before that, the Steelers were on a three-game winning streak. The Bears also had a three-game winning streak before that.
Three trends to know
“70 percent of margin bettors believe the Bears will keep him close enough to cover the substantial number against him.”
—57 percent of over / under bettors think the point total is too low below 40, even when taking into account the limitations of both infractions.
—The Steelers are 5-5 against the spread and 5-5 outright in their last 10 games, including the playoffs. The total has been exceeded in just four of those games. The Bears are 3-7 ATS and 3-7 SU in their last 10 games, with the total also exceeding in just three of those games.
Three things to look at
Fields running free?
Will the Bears take a page of what the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson has done against the Steelers and continue to unleash it as a running back? It would be a welcome inconvenience to continue with offensive-minded coach Matt Nagy returning to his regular band position. The Fields’ extended plays and making plays when they break due to pressure from the Steelers is the key to an upset in Chicago.
Steelers wide receivers
The Bears have a budding young cornerback in Jaylon Johnson. But on any given pass route in this game, he can only cover one wide receiver between Diontae Johnson and the dangerous big-play threat Chase Claypool. Ben Roethlisberger gets a pass and coverage break without Mack and Jackson, but he has to watch out for Johnson when he’s at Johnson or Claypool.
Who will stop TJ Watt?
Between starting offensive tackles Jason Peters and Larry Borom, the Bears have given up 5 of their 30 sacks. That’s the highest total in the league, unfortunately, against Andy Dalton and then Fields. Watt, attacking the passer from the weak side, has 8 sacks in the Steelers’ first seven games. The Bears need to keep him away from Fields as much as possible to have a chance.
Statistics that matter
124.0. That’s the average number of rushing yards per game the Bears defense was giving up in Week 9, putting them at No. 24 against the run in the NFL. They’ve weakened up front and the Steelers offensive line has played better lately. Don’t expect the Steelers to stray too far from feeding Harris often in and around the tackles.
Bears vs Steelers prediction
The Bears’ offense seems a bit outmatched here with the inexperienced Fields getting into a hostile situation facing noisy fans swinging Terrible towels and supporting an emotionally charged Steelers defense. The Bears defense has the wrong biggest weakness against the run that evens out the Steelers who want to run and hit this game with Harris.
Steelers 24, Bears 13