Ahead of the 2022 NFL season, Post Action Betting will release a betting overview for all 32 National Football League teams, covering the schedule, predictions, total wins over/under picks and prop bets for each team. Today we will be covering the Chicago Bears. Be sure to check out our New York Giants preview, released earlier this week.
Chicago Bears (150/1 to win Super Bowl, Caesars)
Record 2021: 6-11, 3rd in NFC North
The Bears pushed their chips down the middle in 2018, swinging a massive trade for Khalil Mack to anchor what they believed to be a championship defense. The problem was that Mitch Trubisky was the quarterback and Matt Nagy was the head coach. It didn’t work, and now they’re footing the bill. Nearly everyone involved in this era of Bears is gone, and years of below-average investment and project trading have left the roster barren.
Now they’re starting over with a first-time head coach (Matt Eberflus), first-time general manager (Ryan Poles) and second-year QB Justin Fields, who was drafted by the latest regime in a last resort (and without success) efforts to save their jobs. The Poles gutted the roster, added several draft picks (including one via a Mack trade) and created more than $100 million in cap space in 2023, giving the team a fast track to improve if Fields jumped this year. But even if that happens, the roster isn’t high in 2022 – so bettors looking for a breakout team with a young quarterback will want to look elsewhere.
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Bears offseason moves: Draft, trades, free agent signings, injury report
- Head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace were fired. Hiring of Matt Eberflus and Ryan Poles
- Traded Khalil Mack to the Chargers for a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 sixth-round pick. Traded the 2024 seventh-round pick for WR N’Keal Harry
- Signed WR Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown, C Lucas Patrick, DT Justin Jones
- Drafted CB Kyler Gordon (#39), S Jaquan Brisker (#48), WR Velus Jones Jr. (#71), OT Braxton Jones (#168)
Calendar Bears 2022
Week 1: against the San Francisco 49ers
Week 2: at Green Bay Packers
Week 3: against the Houston Texans
Week 4: New York Giants
Week 5: at Minnesota Vikings
Week 6: Against the Washington Commanders
Week 7: New England Patriots
Week 8: Dallas Cowboys
Week 9: against the Miami Dolphins
Week 10: vs Detroit Lions
Week 11: at the Atlanta Falcons
Week 12: at the New York Jets
Week 13: against the Green Bay Packers
Week 14: GOODBYE
Week 15: Against the Philadelphia Eagles
Week 16: vs Buffalo Bills
Week 17: at the Detroit Lions
Week 18: against the Minnesota Vikings
NFL Betting Lines: Bears Win Overall
Over/Under 6.5 (FanDuel)
It’s a little curious that the Bears’ win total was set (and stayed) at 6.5 — a full game higher than the Jets and Seahawks. The general consensus around Chicago is that they sport one of the worst rosters in the league, despite remaining hopes of Fields making a sophomore jump. The new regime stripped the roster of its plays, trading Mack and leaving players such as Allen Robinson and James Daniels to walk in free agency.
The remaining group of unproven young players – particularly in attack – led the betting public to pounce on the Unders. Per Caesars, 86.6% of his Bears total win handful was under 6.5 last week. Obviously, the public and the betting market are disconnected on this one.
I trust the market on anything, and in situations like this I would generally look to make an ‘Over’ contrarian bet. But it’s really hard to see a scenario in which this Bears team wins seven. They have a rookie head coach. Fields showed flashes as a rookie but was inconsistent and struggled with turnovers. Luke Getsy, the new offensive coordinator in charge of his development, has never called plays in a regular season game. The top four pass catchers are likely to be Darnell Mooney, Cole Kmet, Byron Pringle and Velus Jones.
Yes, their schedule is easier, but it is dangerous to buy into the force of the schedule before the start of the season. And while it’s possible Fields will have a breakout year, it’s just as possible that the team’s lack of depth will bury him in 2022. The offensive line improved when Chicago signed Riley Reiff and Michael Schofield last week, but if they (or any of the other OL veterans) get injured, there are several fifth-round or higher rookies waiting behind them on the depth chart. I’d be careful since the “Under” is at -145, but there’s too much uncertainty around this team to expect them to reach seven wins.
Bears O/U 6.5 Wins: The Pick
SLIMMING Less than 6.5
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Bears +6.5 Week 1 vs. 49ers (FanDuel)
I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, you just spent several paragraphs tearing up the Bears roster, and now you’re picking them to cover against a team that just attended the NFC Championship Game?” Fair point. But listen to me.
Week 1 is a week of uncertainty in the NFL, and there are few teams with more pre-season uncertainty than the 49ers. Trey Lance, who was drafted eight picks ahead of Fields, was named the starting quarterback. Lance got two starts in his rookie season, losing 17-10 to the Cardinals and beating the lowly Texans, 23-7. The previous year he had played an exhibition game during the COVID-shortened season, and the previous year was his only year as a college starter — at FCS North Dakota State.
Lance may eventually become a star, but will it happen right away? On the road the first week of the season? Six and a half is a huge number for any road favorite, even against a bad team.
Fields faced the 49ers last season at home and had a good game — one that would have been a closer scorer had the Bears secondary staged some semblance of a fight against the experienced Jimmy Garoppolo. The Bears may not win, but I’d bet they’ll keep it closer than most expect to the lakeside in Chicago.
Khalil Herbert will lead the NFL in rushing yards: 200/1 (Caesars)
It’s a huge long shot, so bet responsibly, please. Really, that’s the only bet for Herbert I could find in a book, and a way to believe he’s arguably the best full-back on this team. And that’s not to belittle David Montgomery at all; he’s also a stallion, but much more of a tackle crusher than an ideal fullback for the new outside zone program that offensive coordinator Luke Getsy wants to lead. Herbert brings speed Montgomery arguably doesn’t have — his 4.48 40-yard dash at the combine beat Montgomery’s 4.63 — and great vision to boot.
Montgomery will start the season as a starter, but while the new regime has said some glowing things about him in the media, they weren’t the ones who drafted him and may find Herbert more suitable. The Bears are going to be a rush-heavy team in 2022, and if an injury or performance pushes Herbert into the starter position, he could rack up the yards. 200/1 is a lottery ticket – if you find yardage over 300 or 400, take that instead. But there is a universe where Herbert plays 17 games and ends up near the top of the yardage list at the end of the season.