Rookie Chicago Bears passer Justin Fields continues his attempt to usurp Andy Dalton's role as starting quarterback as the second week of NFL preseason betting arrives with the Buffalo Bills visiting Soldier Field.
Both teams covered the spread in victories in Week 1 of the preseason, so which side will get the edge in Week 2? Read on for our free Bills vs. Bears picks and predictions for August 21.
Bills vs Bears game info
• Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
• Date: Saturday, August 21, 2021
• Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
• TV: NFL Network
Bills vs Bears odds
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Bills at Bears betting preview
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Bills: Cody Ford OT (Questionable), Isaiah Hodgins WR (Questionable), Forrest Lamp OG (Questionable), Zack Moss RB (Questionable), Josh Allen QB (Out), Stefon Diggs WR (Out).
Bears: Roquan Smith LB (Questionable), James Daniels OG (Questionable), Robert Quinn EDGE (Questionable), Cole Kmet TE (Questionable), Akiem Hicks DT (Doubtful), Eddie Goldman DT (Doubtful), Badara Traore OT (Out), Germain Ifedi OG (Out), Tarik Cohen RB (Out), Danny Trevethan LB (Out), Teven Jenkins OT (Out).
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Betting trend to know
The Over is 4-1 in the Bears' last five games as a favorite. Find more NFL betting trends for Bills vs. Bears.
Against the spread (ATS) pick
Quarterbacks are center stage when betting the preseason, but that is particularly true here with the NFL's most prominent QB battle taking place in Bears camp (apologies, Drew Lock enthusiasts). Despite Justin Fields making the most out of his opportunity against the Dolphins last weekend (14 of 20 with two total scores) while Andy Dalton led just a pair of three-and-outs, Fields is yet to work with the first team in camp. So, while Fields may get a drive or two behind the starting offensive line as he did a week ago, the expectation should be Dalton receiving an extended run with the rest of the starters before Fields enters.
Regardless of your opinion on the Red Rifle, the Bears' two options under center are a considerable advantage over the Bills, who have already ruled Josh Allen out. Starting in Allen's place for a second consecutive week will be an old friend in former No. 3 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky.
As the de facto starter a week ago, Trubisky led a pair of drives before bowing out in favor of Davis Webb. Webb got the longest run of the day, going 11 for 16 with a touchdown before Jake Fromm finished the game off completing eight of 13 attempts. Trubisky is a fine backup and serviceable as a spot-starter, especially in preseason play, but the drop-off to Webb and Fromm compared to the boost Fields will provide is considerable.
Also considerable here is where the respective franchises are ahead of 2021. Buffalo is a bona fide contender with an established core, and Allen and Diggs, in addition to most starters on both sides of the ball, sitting out in this one is evidence of as much. The Bills' preseason is to get a look at fringe contributors and allow however few battles for roster spots there is play out, while making sure they enter Week 1 healthy and ready to push for the AFC crown.
The Bears, meanwhile, are a team in transition (despite their stubborn refusal to hit reset after a laughable end to 2020), and teams in transition are often the most competitive in the preseason. Though Chicago does have a handful of players being held out as well, more jobs are up for grabs and the impact of second-stringers is heightened due to the QB they are playing with. (Wide receiver Rodney Adams, for example, was terrific against Miami and then received a vote of confidence from Fields).
Chicago has the quarterback advantage in this one, and appears to be the more competitive team this August. Take the favored Bears at home.
PREDICTION: Bears -4.5 (-110)
In a Week 1 that featured 13 Unders in 16 games, the Bears were one of nine teams to reach the 20-point mark despite their starting QB leading just two drives. Dalton will play considerably more in Week 2, with starters expected to rotate in and out in order for both Fields and Dalton to have a solid supporting casts. Between an extended run for the starters and the presumptive impact Fields will have, as he did last week, it's fair to expect an even better showing on offense for the Bears in Week 2.
The Bills will remain a ghost ship for the most part on Saturday, but those in charge of steering it do offer some reason for optimism. Trubisky, like Dalton, is fully capable of leading a scoring drive or two in limited work after leading a field goal drive in Week 1. Though his receiver corps will be thin out of the gate, running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss are both expected to feature. Moss missed Week 1 with an injury but Singletary was promising in limited work, as he played like the spry, elusive tailback he was at Florida Atlantic.
Davis Webb, who had a team-high four drives last week, ended with modest numbers — 11 of 16 for 90 yards and a pair of 13-yard runs — but Buffalo's offense looked at its best with him under center. Touchdown and field goal drives preceded a drive that stalled out around midfield after a pair of first downs, then his final drive which was killed by a fumble that set up a third-and-long that was not converted.
It's not difficult to envision at least four quarterbacks leading scoring drives on Saturday, especially with both defenses operating without key pieces. Despite a relatively high total after a sleepy Week 1, take the Over at Soldier Field.
PREDICTION: Over 38.5 (-110)
Bills vs Bears betting card
- Bears -4.5 (-110)
- Over 38.5 (-110)
Picks made on 8/19/2021 at 5:45 p.m. ET
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