Panthers vs. Bears Point Spread: NFL Pre-Season Week 1 Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated Aug 01, 2019

ron rivera panthers

Former Bears linebacker Ron Rivera leads his Carolina Panthers into Chicago on Thursday night as the teams open the 2019 pre-season against one another.

Carolina
5-11
AT
August 08, 2019, 8:00 PM ET
Soldier Field
Chicago
8-8
Pointspread +3 -114
Moneyline +129
Over / Under o +35.5
Pointspread -3 -105
Moneyline -155
Over / Under u +35.5

The fans in Chicago should give Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera a nice welcome on Thursday as Rivera played linebacker for the Bears from 1984-92 and was the team’s defensive coordinator from 2004-06. Many believe “Riverboat Ron” is on the hot seat this year. Carolina began 2018 at 6-2 and looked like a Super Bowl contender but then lost seven straight.

No such job security worries for Chicago’s Matt Nagy as he led the Bears to a 12-4 record last year and the team’s first division title since 2010. Nagy was named NFL Coach of the Year and already is the most popular coach in the city since Mike Ditka.

The Bears are one of the biggest favourites on the Sports Interaction board.

NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis

It’s the first pre-season meeting between the franchises since 2013, which Carolina won 24-17. The Panthers have covered the spread in the past three exhibition meetings. The last regular-season meeting was in 2017 when Chicago was a 17-3 upset winner. The Bears were not a good team that year under former coach John Fox, while Carolina went 11-5 and was a Wild-Card team.

These teams don’t play in the 2019 regular season.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are 18-14 all-time under Rivera in exhibition games and were 3-1 last year. The only time they finished with a losing record was Rivera’s first year in 2011. On reason that Carolina’s 2018 season went downhill was a shoulder injury suffered by quarterback Cam Newton. He had off-season surgery for it and will be on a “pitch count” before the regular season. Highly doubtful he plays in this game if much at all in the pre-season.

Look for plenty of third-round rookie QB Will Grier, the first quarterback the team chose in the draft since Newton. Backup QB Kyle Allen also should play plenty Thursday.

Chicago Bears

Chicago went 2-3 under Nagy in his first pre-season – five games because the Bears played in the 2018 Hall of Fame Game. This team is largely back intact from last year other than at three key spots: No. 1 running back, kicker and defensive coordinator. While the Bears have a Pro Bowler in Tarik Cohen in the backfield, he’s used more as a receiving weapon. The team traded Jordan Howard to the Eagles and coaches have been raving about third-round rookie David Montgomery. Former Colts coach Chuck Pagano takes over at DC for Vic Fangio, who is now Denver’s head coach.

By far the biggest thing Bears fans care about is finding a reliable kicker after Cody Parkey’s double-doink cost the Bears the win in their Wild-Card round playoff game vs. the Eagles. Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro are competing for the job and neither has kicked in a regular-season game. Nagy will not be going for it on fourth downs in Panthers territory as he wants to see these guys kick under game conditions.

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