NFL Thursday Night Football predictions: Washington Commanders vs Chicago Bears picks and best bets from expert analyst Clevta

The Washington Commanders

Clevta’s Washington Commanders vs Chicago Bears best bet: Commanders +1 (-110)

Commanders +1 available at time of publishing. Playable at that number.

I guess having a Thursday night game is better than nothing? This is far from the sexiest matchup but I will just go with the more talented team, an offense that can actually complete the forward pass and fade a rookie head coach on TNF. Absolutely nobody wants to back this Commanders team and I totally get it. But they still have the ability to get the ball down the field with multiple weapons in the receiving corps and Carson Wentz, while not playing “well,” is 23rd in PFF grade and 22nd in completion percentage over expected.

Those numbers compare much more favorably versus Justin Fields who is bottom 5 in both categories. The one area that Wentz has succeeded is in throwing the deep pass. Wentz is 5th in the NFL in PFF grade on deep throws and 6th in big-time throw percentage. From a drop-back to drop-back perspective, Wentz and this offense has struggled, but they can connect down the field when needed.

Defensively, the Commanders are very underrated and a much better defense than the Bears. They sit 6th best in success rate and 15th in EPA on defense but they rank last in EPA created by turnovers, so they have lacked the ability to turn the opponent over. They have only forced 1 fumble all season and did not recover it. The Commanders are the only team that is ranked top 10 in success rate allowed and bottom 10 in turnover EPA created. Washington is 5th best in defending the run and that is obviously where the Bears can do some damage. The Commanders are coming off a game against Tennessee in which they held Derrick Henry to only 3.6 ypc and the Titans’ offense as a whole to only 3.9 yards per play.

Chicago, meanwhile, is bottom 5 in the NFL in success rate allowed and 29th in opponent drives gaining 2 first downs or a TD. They are 9th in EPA created off of interceptions and could use some of that turnover magic against a QB like Wentz.

As we saw with Nathaniel Hackett of the Broncos last week, rookie head coaches continue to struggle mightily on Thursday Night Football. They are now 8-19 ATS (47%) on Thursday nights since 2015. In a game that is lined essentially at a pick ’em, I will go with the better passing QB, more talented team and the coach more prepared for this situation.

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Clevta has been a successful NFL handicapper for over a decade. His approach is a combination of bottoms-up fundamental team and matchup analytics along with a deep knowledge of the betting market to help drive success.

He has been a regular contestant in the Westgate NFL Supercontest and Circa Millions, where he has posted an aggregate 56% winning percentage, including four separate seasons with a win percentage of at least 60%. Now he brings his expert NFL handicapping skills to Pickswise.

You can find more of Clevta’s weekly NFL game analysis at

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