It’s only Week 2, but this week’s Monday Night Football matchup has significant implications for both teams involved.

The Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks both come into tonight’s clash with an 0-1 record, and only 11% of NFL teams who have started 0-2 have gone on to make the playoffs. Factor in that both of these teams are likely chasing down NFC wild card spots at best, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that this is essentially an elimination game for whoever loses it.

I like the Bears to get the job done tonight on their home field. However, I grabbed Chicago -2.5 early last week, and the Bears had steamed up to 4.5-point favorites as of this afternoon. That’s great news for anyone looking to bet Seattle in this spot, but if you’re interested in backing the Bears, any value in the line is basically gone.

Fortunately, there are some other ways to bet on tonight’s action. BetOnline always posts a lot of props for prime time games, and tonight’s MNF clash is no exception. Here are some of the props I’ve identified as good value plays in this one.

All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from at 1:27 p.m. eastern on September 17, 2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

1. TD of 41 yards or longer?

  • Yes -110
  • No -110

Betting Prediction

The ‘Yes’ to this prop is a fun way to bet the game, and the good news is that I see some value here as well.

Place Your Bet Here

Neither of these offenses are necessarily known for quick-strike, big-play volatility, but the Seahawks did produce two huge plays in their opener last week against a tough Denver defense. Will Dissly caught a 66-yard strike from Russell Wilson, while tight end Tyler Lockett – about as unlikely a long touchdown scorer as they come – scored on a 51-yard pass and run play. With Chicago’s defense having to respect the running abilities of Wilson, that opens up room in the secondary for another big Seahawks play in this one.

Chicago wasn’t nearly as explosive in its opener against Green Bay, when Mitchell Trubisky’s two-yard quarterback sneak accounted for the Bears’ only offensive touchdown. However, that game was in Lambeau Field as an underdog, not at home as a favorite. Also, don’t forget that the Bears got a lot more conservative once they built a big lead in that contest. As we all know, it ended up burning Chicago in the end as Green Bay roared back from a 20-0 deficit with three fourth-quarter touchdowns. I expect the Bears to be more aggressive tonight, especially against a Seattle defense that allowed TD throws of 43 and 29 yards last week to the Broncos.

2. Total Sacks

  • Over 5 +100
  • Under 5 -120

Here’s another prop bet that’s fun to cheer for when you’ve got the Over, and that’s the way I’m playing it.

Wilson’s known for being elusive in the pocket and when scrambling, but it didn’t do him much good last week. The Broncos sacked Wilson a whopping six times in the season opener, enough to cash the Over on this prop all by itself. The offensive line has arguably been Seattle’s biggest weakness for years, and it’s hard to see them protecting Wilson from Kalil Mack and a Bears’ pass rush that sacked the equally elusive Aaron Rodgers four times in Week 1.

On the other side of the ball, the Legion of Boom defense may be no more in Seattle, but I think the Seahawks still get at least two sacks tonight. Trubisky went down four times against Green Bay, accounting for 40 yards of lost yardage. It’s clear that the young QB isn’t quite willing to throw the ball away as soon as he gets in trouble, whether it’s because he’s too confident in his legs or not confident enough to force a ball downfield into traffic.
Betting Prediction

I won’t be surprised to see each of these defenses record at least three sacks tonight, which is more than enough to cash the Over on this prop at even odds.

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3. Margin of Victory

  • Seahawks by 1-6 points: +400
  • Seahawks by 7-12 points: +650
  • Seahawks by 13-18 points: +1200
  • Seahawks by 19-24 points: +2200
  • Seahawks by 25-30 points: +4000
  • Seahawks by 31-36 points: +6000
  • Seahawks by 37-42 points: +10000
  • Seahawks by 43 points or more: +11000
  • Bears by 1-6 points: +300
  • Bears by 7-12 points: +450
  • Bears by 13-18 points: +600
  • Bears by 19-24 points: +1000
  • Bears by 25-30 points: +1800
  • Bears by 31-36 points: +3000
  • Bears by 37-42 points: +5000
  • Bears by 43 points or more: +7000

As I mentioned earlier, I really like Chicago in this game. Public perception of Seattle is that the Seahawks are still a pretty good team, but this club has been gutted by the salary cap, injuries and aging. Meanwhile, the Bears are an up-and-coming squad that is overshadowed by Minnesota and Green Bay in the NFC North, leaving them undervalued in my opinion.

Chicago’s big lead in Lambeau last week was no fluke. The defense was smothering and flying all around the field, and that was in Mack’s debut, less than two weeks after the Bears picked him up from Oakland. It’s scary to think that Mack may be even more impactful with an extra week of practice with the Bears under his belt, but that might just be the case tonight.
Betting Prediction

I’m taking a shot here with the Bears to win by a comfortable margin. But while the +1000 odds on a win by 19-24 points certainly looks tempting, I’m not convinced this Chicago offense is capable of opening up that much of a lead either. Instead, I’ll play a couple small wagers on Chicago to win by 7-12 or 13-18 points, paying +450 and +600 respectively.

Place Your Bet Here

4. Will There be a 2-Point Conversion?

  • Successful 2-Point Conversion: +320
  • No Conversion/No Attempt: -390

Don’t look now, but 2-point conversions are on the rise. More and more teams are going for 2 instead of kicking the extra point, partly because more and more single-point converts are getting missed. We’re not even 2 weeks through the NFL season, and 11 teams have already attempted a 2-point conversion. Heck, the Saints, Rams and Chargers have already gone for 2 on 3 different occasions.

Whether the Bears or Seahawks go for 2 tonight is only part of this equation. They also need to be successful on their attempt in order for us to cash this ticket. That’s no guarantee, since 2-point conversions have had a success rate of slightly under 50% since being added to the NFL rulebook in 1994. So if we assume that 1 of the teams tonight goes for 2 at least once, a payout of around +220 on “Successful 2-point Conversion” would be fair value.
Betting Prediction

At +320 odds on a successful 2-point conversion being scored, I think there’s more than enough value to take a bite. And the good news is that if a team fails on a 2-point conversion early in a game, they often end up chasing that lost point by attempting another later in the contest. With so much on the line tonight, both teams will have to be aggressive for every point they can get, exactly the mentality I’m looking for.

Place Your Bet Here

5. First Quarter Margin of Victory

  • Seahawks by 1-6 points: +600
  • Seahawks by 7 points or more: +450
  • Tied: +250
  • Bears by 1-6 points: +400
  • Bears by 7 points or more: +190

At the risk of putting all my eggs in one basket, I’m looking to back Chicago again on this prop. The Bears roared out to a great start last week, and the excitement and motivation of playing at home on Monday Night Football should be an asset for Chicago tonight.

On the other hand, Seattle was one of the worst first-half teams in all of the NFL last season, averaging just 7.8 points in the opening 30 minutes in 2017. That paled in comparison to a 14-point average in the second half, indicating that the Seahawks do their best work after making halftime adjustments. If the ’Hawks don’t do much damage in the first half tonight, that obviously means they probably won’t do a lot of scoring in the opening quarter, either.

Betting Prediction

Bears by 7 points or more is probably the safest play here, but I’m not that interested in the +190 return. Instead, I’ll sprinkle a small wager on the “Bears by 1-6 points” at +400 odds, knowing that a Chicago field goal (or two) would win this bet if the Seahawks don’t score in the first quarter. And even if Seattle manages a field goal of its own, a Chicago first-quarter touchdown and 7-3 lead through 15 minutes would also net us a winner here.

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6. Player to Score the First Touchdown

  • Chris Carson (SEA): +800
  • Rashaad Penny (SEA): +1200
  • Tyler Lockett (SEA): +900
  • Brandon Marshall (SEA): +900
  • Jaron Brown (SEA): +2200
  • David Moore (SEA): +4000
  • Will Dissly (SEA): +1500
  • Nick Vannett (SEA): +2500
  • Russell Wilson (SEA): +1800
  • Jordan Howard (CHI): +400
  • Tarik Cohen (CHI): +1400
  • Allen Robinson (CHI): +650
  • Taylor Gabriel (CHI): +1800
  • Anthony Miller (CHI): +2500
  • Kevin White (CHI): +4500
  • Trey Burton (CHI): +850
  • Mitch Trubisky (CHI): +2000
  • Seahawks Defense/Special Teams: +1700
  • Bears Defense/Special Teams: +1800
  • No Touchdown Scored: +5000

Props like this are much more of a crapshoot, so I wouldn’t recommend investing any serious amount of money here. What we’re looking for is upside and value while also being realistic. So as tempting as the “No touchdown scored” at +5000 odds may look, I suggest passing on it.

I’m also interested in diversifying a bit of risk here, having already invested so much in the Bears first quarter, margin of victory and point spread. If Seattle does reach the end zone first, I’m liking the value on Brandon Marshall at +850. He drew a team-high six targets last week against Denver, and with Doug Baldwin out, there’s a good chance Wilson looks his way in the end zone. Marshall’s also going to be motivated to score a touchdown against the Bears, his former team.
Betting Prediction

For Chicago, why not roll the dice on Mitch Trubisky scoring the Bears’ first touchdown at +2000 odds? After all, he scored their only offensive touchdown last week, showing that Chicago’s happy to let its quarterback handle the rock in short yardage situations near the goal line.

And if Trubisky throws it into the end zone instead, I like the +650 offered on Allen Robinson, who drew the most targets of any Bear in Week 1..

Place Your Bet Here

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