Developing a quarterback in the NFL is an art. Some organizations can never seem to get it right. Very rarely is there a prospect talented enough to overcome dysfunctional surroundings. Even the most talented of prospects can bust in a bad situation.
That is now officially a concern in Chicago with Justin Fields. Fields flashed at times in his rookie season, but overall, didn’t have a great first year. This past offseason, the Bears hired a defensive-minded head coach in Matt Eberflus, who was the former defensive coordinator of Indianapolis. They didn’t do much to upgrade the weapons around Fields. In fact, they let arguably their most talented receiver walk in Allen Robinson. The offensive line projects to be one of the worst in the league.
Maybe we’re being too quick to dismiss the Bears this season. However, on paper, they’re one of the worst teams in the league. They’re certainly not putting their second-year quarterback in the best position to succeed, at the very least. Yahoo’s Frank Schwab has the Bears ranked 28th in his preseason power rankings. The betting market is a little higher on the Bears, but bettors are fading them at almost every chance they get.
Bettors are fading the Bears
Last season, the Chicago Bears won six games. Andy Dalton started the year as the starting quarterback before Justin Fields took over. Chicago wasn’t very good, but they didn’t completely bottom out. Chicago’s win total for the upcoming season is set at 6.5 wins. With Fields entering his second season, it’s not a crazy thought to expect the Bears to be slightly better.
However, bettors don’t agree. Chicago to go under their win total is currently the most popular under bet of any team in the league. The Bears’ win total has received the second most action of any team in the league (behind Detroit), and the majority of that Bears’ action has been on the under. Currently at BetMGM, 77% of bets and 85% of the money is on Chicago to go under 6.5 wins. The Bears to go under 6.5 wins opened at +115 but with all of the action, the under is now a heavy -190 favorite.
The Bears are -600 favorites to miss the playoffs. Those odds suggest Chicago misses the playoffs nearly 86% of the time. Once again, bettors are fading the Bears here as well. Chicago to miss the playoffs has received the second-most action of any bet in the make/miss playoff market. Only the Lions to make the playoffs have received more love from bettors. Currently, 60% of bets and an impressive 98% of the money are backing Chicago to miss the postseason. If you want to fade the public, the Bears to sneak into the playoffs as a wildcard team pays out at +600.
Chicago is 11-to-1 to win the NFC North this upcoming season. Those are the worst odds of the four teams in the division. Despite finishing in third place last season, the Bears are odds-on favorites to finish this season in the basement of the division. Chicago is -125 to finish in fourth place in the NFC North. The Bears are +350 to occupy one of the top-2 spots in the division, ahead of Green Bay, Minnesota and Detroit. Bettors aren’t wasting their money with Chicago here, as just over 5% of bets are backing the Bears to win the division. That’s the lowest number in the division by a significant margin.
The Bears are +800 to finish with the fewest wins in the NFL. Those odds are tied for fourth best with the Seattle Seahawks. Only the Texans, Falcons and Jets have better odds. Chicago finished with the seventh worst record last season. Oddsmakers are expecting the offense to be the downfall for Chicago. The Bears are +550 to finish the season with the fewest points scored. Those odds make them the co-favorites alongside the Texans. Chicago scored the sixth fewest points last season.
If you’re looking for positive angles, the Bears are 100-to-1 to win the Super Bowl. Those are the 24th best odds, just ahead of Detroit and Carolina but just behind Washington and Pittsburgh. The Bears are the third least popular Super Bowl bet, ahead of only Jacksonville and Atlanta. The Bears are 40-to-1 to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Those odds are tied for 10th best in the conference with Washington. Once again, the Bears are the third least popular bet. This time, they’re ahead of only Seattle and Atlanta.
Bears player props and awards
What does the betting market think of some key Bears’ players?
Justin Fields is 100-to-1 to win NFL MVP in 2022. This is among the worst odds for a starting quarterback and puts him in a tier with players like Baker Mayfield, Zach Wilson, Daniel Jones and Ryan Tannehill. Fields is 100-to-1 to lead the league in passing yards, which are the 29th best odds tied with Jared Goff and Mitch Trubisky. He’s also 100-to-1 to lead the league in passing touchdowns, odds that are tied for 29th best with Trubisky and Marcus Mariota. He finished 31st and 34th in the two categories last season. One area where Fields is projected to excel is throwing interceptions. He has the third best odds to lead the league in picks behind only Wilson and Davis Mills. Fields is currently the fifth most popular bet to lead the league in interceptions.
In terms of season-long props, Fields’ over/unders for the upcoming season are set at 3299.5 passing yards, 18.5 passing touchdowns and 14.5 interceptions. Last year, Fields played in 12 games, starting ten of them. He had just 1870 yards, 7 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Fields is one of the more mobile quarterbacks in the league, so if you’re looking to back his legs instead of his arms, you can bet his season-long rushing props. Those are set at over/under 499.5 rushing yards and 3.5 rushing touchdowns. He had 420 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground last season.
Darnell Mooney enters his first season as the clear No. 1 option in Chicago after the departure of Allen Robinson. Last year, Mooney posted 81 receptions, 1055 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. His season-long props for the upcoming season are set at over/under 74.5 receptions, 949.5 receiving yards and 5.5 receiving touchdowns. If Mooney stays healthy, he should be a good bet to hit these numbers simply because there isn’t much else to throw the ball to.
David Montgomery is 50-to-1 to lead the NFL in rushing this upcoming season. He finished 17th last season despite playing just 13 games. He’s 30-to-1 to lead the league in rushing scores, tied for the 17th best odds with Saquon Barkley, Aaron Jones and Elijah Mitchell. Montgomery’s over/under for rushing yards this upcoming season is set at 825.5 yards. He had 849 last season and has gone over this number in all three seasons he’s played.
Other Bears’ players
Robert Quinn is 25-to-1 to lead the NFL in sacks after finishing second last season. Those odds are tied for 14th best with Von Miller and three others. Quinn’s over/under for sacks this season is set at 10. He had 18.5 sacks last season.
After his brief hold-in and trade request, Roquan Smith has returned to practice with the Bears. Smith is 50-to-1 to win Defensive Player of the Year.
Jaquan Brisker is 40-to-1 to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. The former Penn State safety is the 8th most popular bet, ahead of even first overall pick Travon Walker.
First-year head coach Matt Eberflus is 30-to-1 to win NFL Coach of the Year. Those odds are tied for 20th best with the likes of Mike Tomlin and Kliff Kingsbury.
Bears open as sizable underdogs
The Chicago Bears open their season at home against the San Francisco 49ers. The Bears are a sizable 7-point home underdog to open the season. Chicago is one of only three teams getting at least a touchdown in Week 1. The Jets and Texans are the other two.
These two teams met last year with the 49ers pulling out a 33-22 win on the road. This time, it’ll be Trey Lance under center for the 49ers as opposed to Jimmy Garoppolo.
The total for this game is set at 41.5 points. That’s tied for the lowest total on the Week 1 slate.