The Chicago Bears will be without starting running back David Montgomery in a Week 4 road tilt with the New York Giants. But backup Khalil Herbert appears to be more than capable of stepping up in his absence, especially since we just watched it happen last weekend.
Montgomery exited last week’s game in the first quarter after having his leg rolled up by a Texans defender. Herbert proceeded to carry the Bears to a 23-20 win after piling up 157 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
As a team, the Bears finished 281 rushing yards on the day for the 14th-best mark in franchise history. It marked the highest total since the Bears ran for 283 yards against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 30, 1984.
The obvious caveat to all this is that it came against the Texans, who currently are last in the league in rushing defense by giving up a total of 506 rushing yards through three weeks. But the Giants haven’t fared much better against the run, if we are being honest.
So far this season, the Giants have given up an average of 5.2 yards per carry, which ranks 28th in all of football. According to rbsdm.com, opposing teams have recorded a rushing EPA (expected points added) of 0.079 against the Giants — only three teams have been worse in that metric.
This is a matchup that Herbert should be able to thrive in. Herbert has a player prop of 79.5 rushing yards at Caesars Sportsbook, which is the official odds partner of Bet Chicago Sports. That is lower than Saquon Barkley’s over/under of 80.5 rushing yards, despite both running backs having an advantageous situation on Sunday.
Herbert started two games for the Bears last season, both of which would have cleared this yardage prop by a comfortable margin. He recorded 97 yards on 19 attempts against the Green Bay Packers, following that up with 100 yards on 18 carries against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the next week.
Now in his second season, Herbert has flashed even more of that home-run ability that he showed in college. Herbert’s 52-yard run at the start of the second half was an example of that, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Herbert recorded 42 yards over expected on this particular run, which ranked ninth among all NFL rushes so far this season and No. 2 in Week 3.
The Bears would obviously prefer to have a fully healthy backfield. Montgomery ran for 122 yards against the Packers in Week 2, and he is a big reason why this team has the No. 2 rushing attack in the entire league with 560 total yards through three weeks.
But Herbert is certainly capable of filling in this weekend, and I believe bettors should count on that.
Pick: Over 79.5 rushing yards for Khalil Herbert (-115)