Week 10 of the NFL season went about as well as possible for Chicago Bears fans, and I know because I happen to be one. It was not so much anything to do with this season, but in the team's status for the 2024 NFL Draft and beyond. The Bears beat the one-win Carolina Panthers last Thursday, and the one-win Arizona Cardinals were upset winners Sunday over Atlanta in Kyler Murray's season debut. Carolina now has the league's worst record to itself again and is the +155 favorite to finish that way.
Of course, the Bears own Carolina's 2024 first-round pick thanks to shipping the top 2023 pick to the Panthers in the Bryce Young trade. Whether Carolina made a huge mistake by moving up from No. 9 overall and giving up quite a bit to take Young over C.J. Stroud is a story for another day -- but it sure seems that way, at least so far. Young threw for less than 200 yards and was sacked three times in the 16-13 loss in the Windy City in Week 10. Stroud, meanwhile, is setting records and not only is running away with Offensive Rookie of the Year, but now is in the MVP conversation.
A Carolina win this Sunday would be one of the upsets of the season. The Panthers are double-digit home underdogs vs. Dallas, which as we know crushes bad teams and loses to good ones. The Panthers aren't going to be road favorites at all so their most realistic shots at winning again would be in Week 15 vs. Atlanta, Week 16 vs. Green Bay and Week 18 vs. Tampa Bay.
The Panthers have an updated over/under season win total of 3.5, with the Over a slight -115 favorite. That's tied for the lowest win total with the New York Giants, who might be stuck with undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito at quarterback the rest of the season.
The Giants (+275 to finish with worst record) were thoroughly embarrassed on Sunday in Dallas in a 48-19 loss, in which they allowed an incredible 640 total yards. It was the second-most yards allowed in a game in franchise history. Dallas scored 12 touchdowns against the Giants this season; New York has totaled 12 TDs. Big Blue's minus-148 point differential through 10 games is second-worst in team history (-169 in 1966) and worst by any team since the 2020 Jets (-153).
New York is +10 on Sunday at Washington but has very winnable home games in Week 12 vs. the Patriots, Week 14 after a bye vs. the Packers (a candidate to be flexed off Monday night), Week 17 vs. the Rams and Week 18 vs. the Eagles if Philly has locked up its playoff seed.
Arizona and New England are both +400 to finish with the worst record, and both have an updated win totals of 4.5, but the Cardinals looked like a completely different team with Murray under center. They aren't going to be pushovers the rest of the way, even if management likely wouldn't mind losing out. The Patriots enter their Week 11 bye in the worst shape of Bill Belichick's tenure.
It remains to be seen if Mac Jones will be the New England starting QB in Week 12 after being pulled on Sunday's loss in Germany to Indianapolis. At this point, there's no doubt the Pats would take a QB high in the 2024 draft if a good one fell to them.
While USC has disappointed this season -- blame that on the defense -- and quarterback Caleb Williams will not repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner, he remains the -400 favorite to be the top pick in 2024, followed by North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye at +275 and Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. at +2000.
The full odds board to finish with the league's worst record looks like this:
Here's how the SportsLine Projection System forecasts the draft order at the end of the season:
No. 1 Pick
Qualifying SportsLine members receive a 30-day free trial of Paramount+ premium. Sync your account right here.
Share This Story