No, your eyes do not deceive you. For the third time in the first seven weeks of the 2022-23 NFL season, the Chicago Bears will be playing a primetime game for all of America to see. This time, they’ll face off against the New England Patriots in Foxboro on Monday Night Football.
The Bears managed to score just 17 combined points in their first two primetime games of the year, so let’s hope we see a more competitive and entertaining game in Round 3. To help with that cause, let’s target three first touchdown scorer bets for Monday Night Football between the Patriots and Bears.
Damien Harris +650
It’s starting to look like the Rhamondre Stevenson show in the Patriots backfield. The second-year running back has racked up 266 total yards and two touchdowns over the last two weeks with Damien Harris sidelined, and he should serve as New England’s No. 1 RB for the rest of the season.
But that doesn’t mean Harris will be completely phased out of the offense. Bill Belichick still loves to use Harris near the goal line, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he dominated the red-zone snaps in his return to the lineup on Monday night.
Stevenson’s +430 price isn’t juicy enough to warrant a bet, so I’ll take a chance on Harris at +650 (FanDuel) for a bigger payout.
Tyquan Thornton +1200
Who’s jumping on the Tyquan Thornton bandwagon with me? Seats are filling up quickly, so you better hop on now.
Thornton missed the first four games of the season due to a collarbone injury, but he played 57% of the team’s offensive snaps last week and scored two touchdowns (one in the air, one on the ground) on seven touches. The Patriots clearly want to find creative ways to get the speedy rookie the ball, and he should be a major part of this offense moving forward.
Cole Kmet +2900
If you look at the Bears’ passing stats to start the season, you might think they’re running the service academy option offense. Chicago is averaging an NFL-worst 122.8 passing yards per game, and Justin Fields has thrown only four touchdown passes in six starts.
Cole Kmet has been held out of the end zone so far this year, but he currently has the second-most targets (15) on the team behind Darnell Mooney. The Bears want (and need) to get Kmet more involved in the red zone. I think he could be a prime candidate to score first with the Patriots loading up the box to stop the run.
At 29/1, I’ll take a shot on the talented tight end.
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