The Pittsburgh Steelers know how they need to win this season. We saw it last week.
It's not with Ben Roethlisberger peppering his receivers with targets and throwing for 5,000 yards anymore. Roethlisberger is on the back nine of his career, maybe even on the 18th hole, and the Steelers don't have the offensive line to protect a 39-year-old quarterback anyway. The Steelers had a grind-it-out 15-10 win at the Cleveland Browns last week. That works.
The Bears (31st in points, 32nd in yards) don't really know how to generate offense with rookie quarterback Justin Fields. Fields ran it more last week and had 100 yards rushing, and he'll get better as his confidence grows. But it's not like he'll light up a good Steelers defense. He's just not there as a passer yet.
The Steelers (26th in points, 24th in yards) might not be able to pull away though. Their wins have come by 7, 8, 3 and 5 points. It's not an offense built to score much. They'll pound it on the ground with Najee Harris and let the defense win a close game.
The Bears aren't a strong play, but it seems like this game will be low-scoring, ugly and close. Therefore, take the touchdown and the underdog. Better yet, grab the under of 39.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:
How about some props for MNF?
I generally like to play some correlated props. All three props I'll be on are based around how I think the Steelers' offense will attack the Bears.
Give me the under on Roethlisberger's passing yards, which is 250.5. That number isn't too high, but the Bears have a solid pass defense and I think the Steelers would rather keep it on the ground. They know the Bears won't score much. I'll get Diontae Johnson under 70.5 receiving yards, presuming there won't be a ton of passing from the Steelers. Then it also makes sense to take Harris over 70.5 rushing yards. We should see plenty of the rookie running back.
What games do we have on the NBA schedule?
There are eight NBA games, including an interesting one in Philadelphia. The New York Knicks have been a little up and down this season, and after losing at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday they get the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. The 76ers, who are off to a good start, are 4.5 point favorites. Another good Eastern Conference showdown happens in Chicago, with the Brooklyn Nets at the Chicago Bulls. The Nets did play Sunday, but played well in a win over Toronto. James Harden in particular had a good game that maybe indicates he's breaking out of an early season slump. The Nets are 1.5-point underdogs and it's worth taking them getting points.
The best game of the day could end up being the Atlanta Hawks at the Golden State Warriors. There should be plenty of shots and points in that one. The Warriors are 2.5-point favorites and seem like the right side.
There are three hockey games on Monday night, including the 10-0-1 Florida Panthers at the New York Rangers. Both teams have -110 odds, and while the Panthers aren't going undefeated this season, there's nothing wrong with riding a winning streak.
What's the best bet?
Even though the football game will get everyone's attention, the chance to grab the Nets as an underdog is hard to pass up. The Nets have won five in a row, Harden is playing better, and while the Bulls are good, this seems like a good spot for Brooklyn even on a back-to-back situation.