We break down the 49ers-Bears opening line and what a pair of backup QBs could mean for it.
The 49ers and Bears will meet up on Monday Night Football, and it is safe to say oddsmakers have little idea what to make of the game. Furthermore, it is entirely possible the game could be off the board before the end of the week due to the injury situations.
The 49ers were installed as 4 1/2 point favorites over the Bears when the line opened after Chicago's Sunday Night Football game. The game is not available in all the online sportsbooks Odds Shark lists, and in the few listed, only one provides an over/under number. What is incredible is that the one over/under number is 27! They also use 27 for the Eagles-Redskins game, so I have to think it is some kind of placeholder number.
At this point, all the sports books are simply waiting to see what happens with the quarterback situations. If two backups are playing, they will be expecting a lower scoring affair, particularly with the two defenses involved. If both quarterbacks are declared out before the game, I would not be surprised to see this game come off the board entirely. If you really want to get a wager in on this game, I recommend doing it sooner rather than later.
Even if Smith and Cutler play, could we see a repeat of the 13-6 final in the Houston-Chicago game? The rankings will change a bit, but heading into this past week, Football Outsiders ranked the Bears defense No. 1 and the 49ers defense No. 4. The 49ers put together an uninspiring performance against the Rams and will see their ranking drop, but they remain a solid defensive unit.
Even if Jason Campbell is starting for the Bears, the big issue for the 49ers could be handling Matt Forte. He struggled last week against the Texans, but now he faces a 49ers defense that has given up 100+ yards rushing in three of their last four games. Against the Rams, the issue wasn't so much that Steven Jackson rushed for 100 yards on 29 carries (only 3.5 yards per carry), but I think more that Daryl Richardson rushed for 58 yards on seven carries. Before that, Marshawn Lynch rushed for 103 yards and Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 116 yards.
The 49ers defense appears at times to be getting worn down by more physical offensive lines and running backs. This was not an issue last year, but has developed into one in recent weeks. I'll need to do a bit more research on it, but I have to think the Bears will look to take advantage of that, particularly if Jason Campbell is at the helm.