Denver Broncos vs. Chicago Bears
Date and Time: Thursday, August 10, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
Preseason NFL Week 1 Opening Odds: Pick 'Em, O/U 36
Broncos vs. Bears TV Coverage: NFL Network
The Broncos have a lot of decisions that have to be made in the next few weeks. Though it's assumed that Trevor Siemian is going to be the starting quarterback in Week 1 of the campaign, new coach Vance Joseph has curiously avoided making that announcement as we go into the first week of the preseason. Siemian is projected to start this game, and we wouldn't expect anything different, but the competition between he and Paxton Lynch should be interesting.
With Joseph being in his first season as a head coach, it's anyone's guess what in the heck he's going to do with his quarterback rotation in the preseason. Chad Kelly is set to be put on IR for the season, and that will leave Kyle Sloter as the only other quarterback on this roster. Sloter was undrafted and doesn't figure to be anything more than a camp arm, though you never know when a team is going to need a third quarterback at some point.
Interesting, too, is the rotation at quarterback in the Windy City. John Fox really has two men who could start this year in Mike Glennon and Mitch Trubisky.
Glennon was the high-dollar free agent who came to Chicago in hopes of finally getting a chance to be a starting quarterback after backing up in Tampa for the mass majority of his career. However, the Bears turned around and traded up to get Trubisky with the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft this year in one of the more curious moves we've seen in the draft in years.
Mark Sanchez is here as a third-stringer, and he'll surely get a few reps in this one, as will Connor Shaw. But all eyes are going to be on the North Carolina product in his professional debut. Expect the offense to be awfully simple for Trubisky, as he wasn't expected to do a ton with his arm in college and won't be expected to do anything too drastic in his first NFL game either.
26:46 – The amount of time of possession the Bears had in the preseason last year per game.
The Bears really didn't try to do much fancy in the preseason last year with their passing game, and we have to imagine that things are going to be even more dumbed down this year. Chicago's passers completed just 54.9 percent of their attempts, and they had just one offensive play cover more than 40 yards in four games.
The other big problem Chicago got itself into was with its offensive line. Bears quarterbacks were sacked 13 times in four preseason games, more than any other team in the NFL in the exhibitions. If that's the same problem that plagues this team this year, opportunities are going to be few and far between to score.
Broncos vs. Bears Free Picks
The total in this game is one of the lower on the board at 36, and we think there's a reason for that. Though Joseph is a bit of a question mark, Fox is a known commodity, and he's proven time and time again that he's going to run his backs into the ground in the preseason just to get games over with as quickly as he can. There's plenty of experience in this backfield, but you can bet that we'll see more of guys like Tarik Cohen and Josh Rounds than Jordan Howard or Jeremy Langford.
That said, the best play while shopping around online sportsbooks is clearly on the under. Seeing these teams combine for more than five touchdowns seems unlikely.
Broncos vs. Bears ATS Pick: Under 36 at BookMaker.eu
Broncos vs. Bears Score Prediction: Broncos 16, Bears 14