TNF: Buccaneers-Bears Player Props
Welcome to Week 5 of the NFL season! The Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears as 3.5-point road favorites on Thursday night. Injuries are a concern on the Buccaneers side with wide receiver Chris Godwin missing his second straight game due to a hamstring injury. Tampa Bay running back Leonard Fournette is also doubtful with an ankle injury. Let’s take that information and apply it to finding valuable props.
David Montgomery Under 45.5 Rushing Yards
The Bears backfield lost its pass-catching running back, Tarik Cohen, to a torn ACL, leaving David Montgomery and Cordarrelle Patterson handling the run game. Last week Montgomery racked up 27 rushing yards on 10 carries against the fourth-best defense versus the run, the Indianapolis Colts.
On Thursday night, the Bears are tasked with the second-best defense against the ground game in Tampa Bay. The Bucs have allowed just 64.3 rushing yards per game. With Montgomery’s rushing prop at 45.5, I could see Tampa forcing the Bears new quarterback Nick Foles to pass the ball under pressure resulting in less yardage on the ground for Montgomery.
Rob Gronkowski Anytime Touchdown Scorer
It has been four-straight weeks of an end zone drought for Buccaneers’ tight end Rob Gronkowski. With Bucs tight end OJ Howard out for the season due to a torn Achilles, the focus shifts to Gronkowski and Cameron Brate. The first reception of Brate’s career with Tom Brady at quarterback was last week in the end zone scoring a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers.
This season, the Bucs offense has relied more on Gronk’s blocking than receiving game. I expect Brady to get blitzed for a majority of the night by Bears All-Pro Khalil Mack. With that said, no Bucs player knows Brady as well as Gronk. What better time to reopen the Gronk floodgates than under pressure, under the lights in prime time?
Bears Under 20.5 Total Points
There’s not much of a sample size for the Bears new quarterback Nick Foles. Last week was Foles’ first start, and they put up just 11 points. This is a low total with two good defenses going up against each other. This season, the Bears offense has scored the eighth least points per game, averaging 21.3. Switching over to the defensive side of the ball, the Bucs allow the 10th least points per game of 23. Granted, the Bears defense allows even less than that, averaging 20.3 points allowed per game; however, I’d rather bet against Nick Foles than Tom Brady.
In regards to who these teams have faced, I believe the Bucs have seen the tougher competition. Tampa opened up their season against the NFC South preseason favorites the New Orleans Saints, a better than expected Carolina Panthers team, the Broncos, and the Chargers, who are 3-1 ATS this season. As for the Bears, they’ve seen the Lions, Giants, Falcons, and Colts. Last week was the Bears’ first dose of a top-five NFL defense, and they put up 11 points. The same goes for this week, where the Bucs rattle the Bears just enough to keep them under their 20.5 team total.