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  • Writer's pictureAvoid the Vig

2023 Chicago Bears Season Betting Preview




As part of our 2023 NFL Preseason Preview Series, we look at the current state of each team in an attempt to identify reasons for optimism and causes for concern and, most importantly, what can be exploited in the current betting marketplace.



CHICAGO BEARS: REASONS FOR OPTIMISM

After having arguably the hardest schedule last year, the Bears now have one of the easiest in the league. They bring back Justin Fields, who looks like their franchise quarterback after a season he finished 6th in rushing yards per game and amassed 8 TDs and 4 rushes over 50 yards. Chicago brought in DJ Moore via trade and added 2 offensive and 4 defensive starters via free agency. The Bears’ defense, which finished dead last in most significant categories, was stripped of talent last year because they traded Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, and Robert Quinn. With their salary cap back in order, they spent freely to fix many of these holes. They are the only team that does not play a single game with less rest than their opponents. The Bears also finished 1-7 in one-score games in ‘22. Their offensive line which finished 4th in the league and top-5 in both pass and run block win rates added two additional starters this offseason. If Justin Fields continues his ascension, the division could be in play for the Bears.


CHICAGO BEARS: CAUSE FOR CONCERN

Chicago has seemingly moved forward with Justin Fields as their starting quarterback. After all, he was electric and made the Bears bearable to watch last season. With that being said, he hasn’t taken the strides as a passer that you would have expected. The Bears did bring in DJ Moore, which should help the cause, but I still have my doubts about Fields taking a gigantic leap in that department. Although Chicago addressed several holes in their defense, it is unlikely to be enough. There are still considerable concerns in their secondary and with their pass rush that finished last in sacks last season. The Bears finished last in EPA by a wide margin and were 2nd worst in explosive pass percentage allowed. They finished third in net field goals over expectations and the 6th highest fumble recovery over expectations. There are real reasons to expect a big improvement in Chicago this year, but the marketplace projects the Bears to improve by 4 wins. That is a big ask.


CHICAGO BEARS: BETTING OPPORTUNITIES

The Bears are an enigma. They will certainly improve on last year. Their personnel has improved, Fields looks like he could be the franchise quarterback, and Eberflus has another year to implement his system. To win 4 more games is asking a lot, but with the easy schedule, that is what my power ratings suggest they will win. The Bears finished with the 2nd best “over” record this past season, clearing their total by 3.4 points per game. There is an expectation that this will resort back to the mean, especially considering the expected defensive improvement. But with DJ Moore at his disposal, Fields should take more shots down the field, which should open everything up on offense. I wouldn't be shocked to see the Bears winning their division or only winning 5 games this upcoming year. There is a lot of potential variance with this team, especially with a risk of injury to a running quarterback with PJ Walker backing him up.


Best Bet: Week 9 NO -2.5 (play to -3)




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