Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#255 Chicago Bears vs.
#256 New York Giants
Sunday, October 2, 2022 at 1:00pm EDT
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford
Written by Eric P.

The New York Giants play host to the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon in a crucial NFC matchup from MetLife Stadium. Not many expected both of these teams to have winning records at this point when the season started, as both come into the weekend with 2-1 records. The quality of the wins is somewhat lacking for both sides, though the opportunity to improve to 3-1 has to be intriguing for whoever can come away with the win in this one. Home field has been crucial for both finding success this season, which could be a precursor for who comes out on top in this one.

The Bears dominated when the two met in January, coming away with the 26-point win at Soldier Field. The Bears have actually won three in a row overall in the series, dating back to 2019, though going on the road could be a challenge in this one.

Bears Looking To Keep Wins Coming

The Bears came into the season looking like one of the worst teams in the NFC but after three weeks of action, the Bears are looking like they at least have the defense to compete with most opponents. A win over the 49ers in week one certainly turned some heads, though with how much weather played a factor in that one, questions remain about how that game might have gone otherwise. A loss on the road against the Packers brought them back to reality slightly, though the score seemed more lopsided than the game actually went, with a goal-line stand setting back Chicago in that one. Last week, the Bears bounced back well, taking advantage of opportunities against the Texans to come away with the three-point win. Luck has certainly factored into quite a few of their wins and now that they'll be on the road, it'll be interesting to see if everything falls in line yet again for this group.

From an injury standpoint, the Bears continue to navigate the growing length of their report. Their depth on offense is a concern, especially considering Byron Pringle (calf) has already been ruled out, while David Montgomery (ankle) is questionable, though trending towards not playing. On the defensive side, the status of Roquan Smith (quadricep) will want to be monitored as well, given his importance in the middle of the field.

While the wins have been coming for this group, the offense has been struggling to do its part. Chicago hits the road ranked last in the NFL when it comes to total yards per game, as well as last in passing offense. Having the league's second-best running game has helped offset those woes, though, without Montgomery, it remains to be seen how they adapt. Khalil Herbert (7.3 yards per carry, 3 touchdowns) has filled in well though. All eyes will be on Justin Fields and unless he can start to become more of a downfield threat, the offense might continue to struggle.

Defensively, the Bears have struggled to stop the run as well, leaving the Giants with a great opportunity to control the clock at home. While ranking in the top ten in the league in passing defense, that's not likely to help in this matchup, considering New York's ability to avoid moving the ball through the air anyway. Having Smith (36 tackles, 0.5 sacks) in the fold at linebacker could go a long way to helping, while Eddie Jackson (21 tackles, 2 interceptions) will be flying around the field as well.

Giants Aim To Bounce Back

The Giants have been bit by the injury bug for seasons and now with a healthy roster underneath them, the wins have come far more than most expected over the first three weeks. Sitting at 2-1 overall, the opening week win over the Titans was certainly impressive, as was their victory over the Panthers. Monday night did see them stumble at home against the Cowboys, though a comeback near the end still has left a nice taste in terms of how this team has performed over the first three weeks of the season. Getting to stay at home for the short week is a massive advantage for this group and with MetLife likely rocking again for this one, the home-field advantage could be all they need to grab the win.

The Giants, have some injuries of their own to worry about as well. Sterling Shepard (knee) was added to the IR this week, which is a massive blow to the offense, while a pair of other wide receivers are questionable as well for Sunday. On the defensive front, a trio of cornerbacks is questionable as well, only adding to issues that could benefit the Bears.

The Giants are built very much like the Bears, mainly with their struggles throwing the ball, but success running the ball. They rank 30th in the league in passing, as well as now adding in injuries that are only going to further hurt their chances to find success there. Daniel Jones continues to be more dangerous with his legs than his arm, though the emergence of Saquan Barkley (6 yards per carry, 3 touchdowns), has been a jolt to this offense. Moving the ball on the ground and controlling the clock is likely to dictate how this game goes, so expect a heavy dose of Barkley.

Defensively, the Giants will surely be focused on stopping the Bears from controlling the trenches and forcing them into more of a passing attack. The Giants overall have been strong, ranked right near the middle of the league in total defense, while peaking at tenth in pass defense. With Fields struggling to show much confidence through the first few weeks, it's even more imperative that the Giants put some pressure on him early and often on Sunday. Julian Love (27 tackles) leads the way for this team from the safety position and the more his name is called near the line of scrimmage, the more success New York will find.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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The Bears might have two wins to their name but haven't really looked great in any of their three games. The opener saw weather help even the playing field, while last week saw a late miscue for Houston hand Chicago the game. The Giants have a dominant run game to control this one throughout and with how their defense has been playing as well of late, especially on the ground, they have the ability to slow down Herbert and make sure Chicago has quick possessions. Additionally, according to covers.com, the Bears are 1-11 in their last 12 road games against a team with a winning home record and 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall against a team with a winning record. Adding to that, the Bears are also 2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings between the two teams.

Prediction: New York (-3)

Full-Game Total Pick

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There's no doubt that this will be one of the lowest-scoring games of the weekend. Both teams come in as two of the top rushing teams in the league, which isn't expected to stop either from continuing down that path. An emphasis on controlling the clock and moving the ball on the ground will be key in this one, as well as necessary, given the injuries to the wide receiver groups for both teams, as well as their general reluctance to move the ball through the air anyway. Additionally, according to covers.com, the under is 4-1 in the last five meetings between the two teams, while for the Bears, the under is 9-1 in their last ten games in October.

Prediction: Under 39
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Written By Eric Ploch , "Eric P."

Eric grew up surrounded by sports, whether it was spending the weekend catching games in person or on tv, or heading out to the fields to play whatever sport was in season. What started as a hobby, soon became a passion, as he became the sports editor of his high school newspaper, then wrote for his university newspaper during his undergrad years. After obtaining a degree in Sports Operations and Promotions, and spending 8 years deeply immersed in the sports world, Eric decided to take his love for analytics and predictions, and his experience, to online sports fans everywhere. James is now an integral part of our team here at StatSalt and has also been a very successful sports bettor over the years. Be sure and follow him daily.