Today's Free Picks for
bet365 operates pursuant to an agreement with iGaming Ontario.
Posted at 11:00 AM EST and odds are subject to change.
Chicago +6½ over San Francisco
1:00 PM. Football can be a fickle business. Just ask 49ers’ pivot, Jimmy Garoppolo. Dude was the talk of the league after making the move to the Bay Area and leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2019. Now, just two years later, Jimmy G is on clipboard duty, as former first-round pick Trey Lance has taken over the starters’ reins. Garoppolo has said all the right things and even restructured his deal to stay in San Francisco, but you know he’s just biding his time and chomping at the bit to get back in there.
Back to Lance, who has all the weight of the world on his shoulders. The 49ers are Super Bowl contenders and have been pegged by more than one publication to cash that ticket. However, rarely are these things so easy. Lance stepping into the starter’s block is a big step up from coming in relief or sport starting as he did last season. Is it unreasonable to expect a stumble on the road in a hostile environment in Week 1?
The Bears are starting over from scratch. Again. Because of this, nobody is really talking about them. Out are general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy, and in are new GM Ryan Poles, who comes over from the Chiefs' personnel department, and his first hire, former Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. The pair inherits quarterback Justin Fields, who showed some flashes last season. Perhaps the biggest offseason acquisition was new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, whose last stop was coaching the quarterbacks in Green Bay. Getsy was with the Pack in some capacity for eight years, with his only break coming in 2018 when he was the OC at Mississippi State. Getsy has promised to craft his offense around what Fields does best. That’s more than one could say for Matt Nagy.
We don’t know if the 49ers are ready for prime time, but we do know that Trey Lance is not ready to lay this kind of lumber on the road in his first game as the true starting quarterback of a team that is expected to win now. Meanwhile, Poles and Eberflus are going to be given time to work. There is no pressure to win this season. A change in culture and a step forward will be plenty. The Bears have little to lose and they are playing with house money.
Chicago +6½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)