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Week 3: Wind in the Windy City

We have a few areas we will be monitoring this week, with the main concern being an enhanced wind risk over Chicago for the Houston Texans at Chicago Bears game at 1pm on Sunday. Our current algorithm has this game listed as an "Extreme", but we feel at this time an "Elevated" designation is more appropriate, meaning impacts won't be quite as significant.

We will also be monitoring additional rain risks along the east coast, especially over Florida where there is a chance of thunderstorms over Tampa and Miami. We will also monitor areas including Charlotte and Washington DC, however we are not forecasting weather related impacts over any of these locations at this time.

Forecast Summary:

Forecast surface winds for 1pm ET Sunday (9/25)

An area of low pressure will push through the Great Lakes/Midwest this weekend bringing with it areas of high wind and precipitation. Although the storm system will pass by Chicago by game time, a strong pressure gradient will intensify winds over the Chicago area, and will increase throughout the day. As a result, wind gusts of 25-30 mph could make things more difficult for two offenses that already struggle to throw the ball. There could also be periods of light rain to accompany the wind, which could make things more problematic for QBs and WRs.

Game Impacts: Houston Texans @ Chicago Bears (1:05 pm ET)

DK Sports Book O/U: 39 pts

Rating: Elevated

Quarter-by-quarter breakdown of weather conditions and associated risk

The Chicago Bears have already been a part of a (majorly) impactful weather game this season in week 1 vs. the 49ers. Their passing game struggled in that matchup (to be expected), but they showed us very little in their matchup last week vs. Green Bay where they were only able to score 10 points with Justin Fields throwing 11 (yes, 11) passes for 70 yards. You would hope the coaching staff starts to right the ship this week against a Houston secondary that has allowed 270 passing yards per game on average thus far this year. However, Fields may have a tougher time making big plays downfield if winds are gusting near 30 mph and there is a possibility of rain.

The O/U line on Davis Mills passing yards is 213. Our analytics show (below) that there is a 65% chance of Mills hitting the under on this line due to weather. There also is a 10% drop in the number of expected completions in similar weather conditions. To top it off, it is worth mentioning that Chicago currently ranks 7th in terms of passing yards given up to opponents at 183 yards per game. As a result, other than Brandin Cooks who is almost a lock for getting 8-10 targets a game, it is hard to trust any other pass catchers in this one. We would discuss these numbers in terms of the Justin Fields led offense, but feel the combined totals of Cole Kmet and Darnell Mooney last week of 1 catch for -4 yards is telling enough.

Passing yards (green bars) for QBs in similar weather conditions

Passing completions (green bar) for QBs in similar weather conditions

The running game is where you want to focus this week. Both Dameon Pierce and David Montgomery are shaping up to be smash starts this week, and for good reason. We actually see a 10% increase in production in terms of yards and attempts in similar weather games for RBs and it doesn’t hurt that there should be a high floor due to volume. The Vegas rushing yard lines on Pierce and Montgomery are 60.5 and 70.5 respectively. We also think the 16.5 attempts Vegas line for Montgomery is low, and think 20+ carries is a possibility. We would suggest taking the over on all these considering the weather conditions and the Texans and Bears both ranking in the bottom 3 in terms of rushing yards given up this year to RBs.

Rushing yards (green bars) for RBs in similar weather conditions

Upside plays: Dameon Pierce, David Montgomery

Concerning plays: Davis Mills, Justin Fields, all pass catchers expect for Brandin Cooks

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