Commanders vs. Bears: Best Bet for Thursday Night Football on first-half Washington moneyline

Bears have been outscored 80-39 in the first half this season

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus watches play from the sidelines during the second quarter of an NFL football game, against the New York Giants Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Chicago Bears broke the huddle in plenty of time on the first offensive play during last week’s 29-22 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. They just didn’t have everybody they needed on the field.

Fullback Khari Blasingame came rushing on the field with about seven seconds left on the play clock, forcing the officials to intervene. The Bears were charged with a delay of game and moved back five yards before their first offensive snap.

Announcers Adam Amin (play-by-play) and Mark Schlereth (analyst) certainly didn’t mince any words on the Fox broadcast when it happened.

“That’s terrible,” Amin said. “They had personnel issues out of the gate on play one.”

“Adam, how do you open up a game (like that)?,” Schlereth said. “You just gave up a 12-play touchdown drive and you don’t have the right personnel on the football field. You only go out on the field with 10.”

Now, running back David Montgomery got it all back and then some on the ensuing play on a 30-yard screen pass. But the opening play exemplified a concerning theme for the Bears during their 2-3 start in Year 1 of the Matt Eberflus era.

I’ve written plenty about how well the Bears have done in the second half, but it is the complete opposite in the first half. The Bears have been outscored by a 80-39 margin during the first half through the first five weeks. The Bears haven’t won a single first half yet this season and have failed to even record a draw in the opening half.

GameOpponent’s first-half scoreBears’ first-half score
vs. 49ers70
at Packers247
vs. Texans1413
at Giants149
at Vikings2110

Eberflus said all the right things about the short week during his media availability, but the reality is that there is a reason why rookie head coaches struggle on Thursday Night Football. It is tough create a game plan and get their players prepared on a short week, something I’m sure they get better at over time.

Dating back to 2015, rookie head coaches are 8-18 (30.8%) against the spread on Thursday Night Football. Rookie head coaches are 0-2 ATS with a pair of outright losses in that scenario so far this season, both of which took place over the past two weeks.

I think there is an argument to back the Commanders in a game that is listed as a pick ‘em at Caesars Sportsbook, which is the official odds partner of Bet Chicago Sports. But the Bears’ staff has shown the ability to make in-game adjustments, as evidenced by their 50-23 advantage in the second half. And I don’t feel like sweating out the Carson Wentz experience for a full four quarters.

Instead, I’m taking the Commanders on the first-half moneyline for a price of -110 at Caesars Sportsbook. This allows me to fade a rookie head coach on a short week and lean into the Bears’ first-half struggles, but fans can still root for their team to ultimately prevail at home.

Regardless, make sure to sign up with Caesars Sportsbook today to get a special offer for your first bet.

Bet: Commanders 1H moneyline (-110)

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Shane Jackson

Shane Jackson

Shane Jackson is the Sports Betting Content Director for the Shaw Media Local News Network.