Coming off another .500 week, we’re back with more TNF picks. Last week‘s picks got off to a rough start early, with Nyheim Hines exiting the game on the first drive, eliminating any possibility of a TD. Michael Pittman finished just one catch short of hitting his prop, but we got the under, and despite a 37-yard grab on the final drive, Jerry Jeudy finished under his number of 60.5.
If you’re new here, each week for the Thursday game I’ll be giving out four picks, brought to you by our presenting sponsor No House Advantage:
- One game line pick (spread or total)
- One player prop OVER via No House Advantage
- One player prop UNDER via No House Advantage
- One TD scorer
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Thursday Night Football travels to Chicago this week, as the 2-3 Bears play host to the 1-4 Washington Commanders. Both teams are coming off heartbreaking losses in Week 5 and desperately need a win to stay relevant in the NFC. There’s been some fluctuation in the lines for this one, but currently, the Bears are 1-point underdogs at home, with the over/under set at 38, one of Vegas’ lowest totals of the year so far.
Season Record: 9-11, -2.3 units
GAME LINE: BEARS +1
With primetime unders hitting at a 73% clip through five weeks and two struggling offenses matching up, a low-scoring game seems imminent on Thursday night in Chicago. But with the total set so low, I decided to go elsewhere for this one.
The Bears come into this game 2-3, but their two wins have both come at Soldier Field, including a slopfest win in the rain in Week 1 against San Francisco. They’ve also kept their last two games close until the end against the Giants and Vikings, who have a combined 8-2 record through five weeks. The Bears still have one of the lowest-scoring offenses in the league, but you could argue things are trending upwards. Justin Fields appears to be getting more presence in the game plan as a passer, throwing for 208 yards and a TD with a completion percentage over 71% last week, and David Montgomery returned from his one-game absence and logged a rushing TD and 62 yards on four receptions.
The Commanders have some talent on offense and have shown glimpses of competence over their first five games, but I don’t have any faith in Carson Wentz‘s ability to generate much against a Chicago defense that’s holding opposing QBs to under 200 yards per game. Wentz is also dealing with a shoulder injury, and one of his favorite targets, rookie Jahan Dotson, hasn’t practiced this week and looks likely to miss his 2nd straight game with a hamstring ailment. It may not be pretty, but I liked Chicago earlier in the week at -1, and like them as home dogs even more.
EQUANIMEOUS ST. BROWN OVER 1.5 RECEPTIONS
As mentioned above, Chicago’s passing attack has been steadily progressing after a very slow start. Justin Fields threw for more yards last week than he had in Weeks 1 and 2 combined, which isn’t saying a whole lot, but it’s certainly something. Darnell Mooney has obviously been the primary beneficiary of the increased aerial efforts, but Equanimeous St. Brown has solidified his role as their No. 2 wideout and is 2nd on the team in targets with 13 and yards with 110.
I’m certainly not implying that the Bears are going to come out on Thursday night and sling the ball around a la prime Tom Brady, but they seem more confident by the day in their 2nd-year QB, and Washington’s secondary hasn’t excelled in slowing down opposing passing games. St. Brown may not be in for a massive day, but two receptions seem like a safe bet to me.
ANTONIO GIBSON UNDER 45.5 RUSHING YARDS
By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the video — Brian Robinson, just six weeks after being shot in the leg twice in an attempted robbery, taking the field for the Commanders to “Many Men” by 50 Cent.
Despite the obvious emotional lift from Robinson’s return, nothing could save Washington’s rushing attack from a terrible day against Tennessee. But what jumped out at me was the usage — Robinson logged nine carries on the day, while Antonio Gibson had four targets to only three rushing attempts. It seems clear that Washington wants Robinson to be their main focus in the run game, and they see Gibson as their secondary, more receiving-focused option alongside JD McKissic. This could still be a lucrative role for Gibson in an offense that’s attempted the third-most passes in the league so far this year, but it doesn’t bode well for his rushing totals. Gibson’s rushing lines will likely be significantly adjusted in future weeks once these roles are more solidified, so take advantage while you can.
ANYTIME TD SCORER: BRIAN ROBINSON +225
If you skipped the last section, here’s a recap: Brian Robinson has basically already overtaken Antonio Gibson as Washington’s lead back. He tripled Gibson’s carry count in his first game back and seems primed for a significant role in the rushing attack after a preseason that had his hype at an all-time high.
Once Washington gets close to the end zone, they may still have PTSD from the goal-line interception Wentz threw to seal their fate in Week 5. Also, we know the NFL is all about storylines, and a rookie running back recovering from multiple gunshot wounds to score his first career TD in primetime certainly fits that bill. With all of this in mind, I love Robinson’s value here at +225.
Do you disagree with one of my picks, or have a better one of your own? Of course, you do. Feel free to let us know @RotoStJournal on Twitter or @Rotostreetjournal on Instagram, or hit me up @Seankeegs16 on Twitter.