A new era of Chicago Bears football under first-year head coach Matt Eberflus begins Week 1 against the visiting San Francisco 49ers – who will be at quarterback for the Niners? -- and concludes against the NFC North-rival Minnesota Vikings. It's expected to be another losing season in the Windy City as the Bears are given an Over/Under win total of 6.5 following a 6-11 mark last year under ex-coach Matt Nagy.
New general manager Ryan Poles has a massive rebuilding job on his hands and purged most of the roster this offseason, including trading former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack to the Chargers for draft picks. Rather strangely, Poles did little in the draft to help second-year franchise quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears decided against taking either a receiver or offensive lineman – two glaring weaknesses on Chicago's roster – with one of the team's top two picks. Instead, Poles drafted cornerback Kyler Gordon and safety Jaquan Brisker. Chicago grabbed a wideout in the third round in Velus Jones Jr., but Jones put up modest numbers in college and is already 25. Chicago was quiet in free agency and Poles is surely looking to have plenty of salary-cap space available for next offseason.
If Fields were to get injured, his new backup is Trevor Siemian after the Bears cut loose former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles – one of many poor decisions made by former GM Ryan Pace. The receiving group and offensive line are easily the worst on paper in the NFC North, if not the entire conference.
In terms of strength of schedule, Chicago is tied for the eighth-easiest in the league with its opponents combining for a .471 winning percentage last year.
- Last season: 6-11 SU/6-11 ATS
- Over/Under win total: 6.5
- To make playoffs: No -400, yes +300
- Odds to win NFC North: +950
- Odds to win NFC: +5000
- Odds to win Super Bowl 57: +10000
Week 1 vs. 49ers: The teams have alternated wins the last seven meetings with the Niners prevailing 33-22 last year in Chicago
Week 2 at Packers (SNF): The Bears and Packers play at least one prime-time game every season; Chicago is 1-5 ATS in past six at Lambeau.
Week 3 vs. Texans: This will be the first (and one of few) times Chicago is favored this season
Week 4 at Giants: The teams will play each other for the fifth straight year; Chicago beat the visiting Giants 29-3 in Week 17 last season
Week 5 at Vikings: Chicago had three-game winning streak snapped in Twin Cities last year in 31-17 loss
Week 6 vs. Commanders (TNF): The Bears have lost eight of past nine home games to the Commanders, including playoffs
Week 7 at Patriots (MNF): Since beating New England in Super Bowl XX, the Bears have lost eight of nine in the series
Week 8 at Cowboys: First time in past six meetings the game isn't in prime time; first meeting since 2019
Week 9 vs. Dolphins: Miami is 2-0 SU/ATS in the past two meetings, last in 2018
Week 10 vs. Lions: Detroit lost 24-14 in the Windy City last year and is 1-3 SU/ATS in past four there
Week 11 at Falcons: Nick Foles led a huge Bears fourth-quarter comeback win in Atlanta last meeting (Sept. 27, 2020)
Week 12 at Jets: Matchup of 2021 first-round quarterbacks in Justin Fields and the Jets' Zach Wilson
Week 13 vs. Packers: The last nine Bears head coaches have split the season series with the Packers in their first year
Week 14 BYE
Week 15 vs. Eagles: Chicago has lost eight straight SU/ATS following a bye week
Week 16 vs. Bills (Saturday): Christmas Eve; Bears' last three NFC North titles came during seasons they beat the Bills
Week 17 at Lions: Chicago won its fourth straight (2-2 ATS) in Detroit last season, 16-14
Week 18 vs. Vikings: Minnesota 2-0 SU/ATS in past two in Chicago – both low-scoring games
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