Don’t look now, but the total is climbing in Sunday’s matchup between the Chicago Bears and the Houston Texans.
When the betting lines were first released, the total in this week’s Bears-Texans tilt opened at 39 via Caesars Sportsbook. It marked the lowest total on the Week 3 slate at the time, with the Thursday Night Football matchup (Browns vs. Steelers) and Monday Night Football contest (Giants vs. Cowboys) being the only other games with a total lower than 40.
But that all changed within 24 hours.
Thanks to some influence from the betting market, Sunday’s showdown between the Bears and Lovie Smith’s Texans now has a total of 40.5. A 1.5-point movement might not seem significant, but it is for these two teams. Both the Bears and Texans are 2-0 to the under to start the 2022 campaign.
The Bears at least had unfavorable conditions to blame in Week 1, when their 19-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers finished under every number. Last week’s total against the Green Bay Packers also got bet down from 44.5 to 41.5, a steam that was ultimately justified in the end. Still, a Justin Fields’ touchdown run that was stuffed on fourth-and-goal proved to be the difference on the total.
It hasn’t been as close for the Texans through two weeks. The Texans have recorded 29 total points, finishing well below the point total during a 0-1-1 start to the season.
Both teams have not received inspiring play out of their second-year quarterbacks to start the season. Fields ranks 29th among all quarterbacks in EPA per play, while Texans’ Davis Mills is right behind him at 30th. Only Baker Mayfield, Trey Lance and Dak Prescott are ranked lower through two weeks.
Perhaps the movement on the total is implying some of that will change this week, especially on the Bears’ side of things. Fields has only attempted 28 passes through two games, including a 7-of-11 effort during a 27-10 loss to the Packers on Sunday Night Football.
The Bears might be rebuilding with this young roster, but the primary goal should be figuring out if Fields is the guy to build around. They haven’t given him the chance to prove anything yet, but maybe that will change in a home meeting with the Texans this weekend. That has to be what over bettors are counting on.
2022 Chicago Bears totals
Game 1 vs. 49ers: Under 38
Game 2 at Packers: Under 42