Bears 2023 NFL schedule analysis, odds: Chicago has top rest advantage in league this season
All 32 NFL teams knew who they were going to play this season by the end of the 2022 campaign, but the official schedule with dates and times came out last week and the Bears were big winners in one regard: Chicago is the only team in the NFL that doesn't have a single game for which it will be less rested than its opponent, per Sharp Football Analysis.
Justin Fields & Co. have one Monday night game in Week 12 at Minnesota – although another could be added as MNF games can be flexed later in the year now – but Chicago has its bye in Week 13, meaning an opponent won't be able to catch the Bears on short rest. Coach Matt Ebeflus' team is tied at No. 1 in the NFL with a net rest edge of plus-12 days. The Bears are 0-9 straight up and 1-8 against the spread the past three seasons when their opponent has more rest than they do.
(On the flip side, the San Francisco 49ers have an NFL-worst net rest of minus-20 days, in large part because they face four teams coming off their bye week: Cleveland in Week 6, Cincinnati in Week 8, Jacksonville in Week 10 and Arizona in Week 15.)
As recently as last year, Chicago's opening three-game stretch Green Bay, at Tampa Bay and at Kansas City would have been murderous from a quarterback matchup standpoint against Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. But Rodgers is now with the Jets, and Brady has retired. The Bears will face a Packers team without Hall of Fame quarterbacks Brett Favre or Rodgers on the roster for the first time since 1991. Chicago will face all four of their AFC West opponents in a six-week span from Weeks 3-8.
This year marks the first time that NFL teams can play two Thursday night games in a season. The Bears will make two appearances, visiting the Commanders on Oct. 5 and hosting the Panthers on Nov. 9. Chicago will travel 12,253 air miles overall, the third fewest in the NFL behind only the Bengals (11,956) and Packers (11,942).
By opponents' 2022 winning percentage, the Bears have the league's 18th-toughest schedule in 202. Its foes were a combined 143-155-1 (.497) last year. Sharp Football Analysis rates strength of schedule by opponents' averaging betting win total for 2023. Chicago has the fifth-easiest by that metric. It plays games against four 2022 playoff teams: two vs. the Vikings and one apiece vs. the Chargers, Chiefs and Buccaneers. Tampa Bay made the playoffs with a losing record.
Bears NFL futures odds from Caesars Sportsbook
- To win Super Bowl 58: +5000
- To win NFC: +2200
- To win NFC North: +350
- Regular-season win total: Over/Under 7.5
- To make playoffs: Yes +160, No -190
Bears 2023 NFL Schedule
Week 1 vs. Packers: The Bears will open the season against the rival Packers for the 35th time and are 17-15-2 in those games.
Week 2 at Bucs: The home team has won the last five meetings between the teams, most recently an easy Tampa win in 2021.
Week 3 at Chiefs: The teams have alternated wins over their last 10 meetings, and Kansas City won the last one in 2019.
Week 4 vs. Broncos: Neither team has scored more than 19 points in seven of the last eight meetings.
Week 5 at Commanders (Thurs.): Washington beat Chicago in a brutal 12-7 affair on a Thursday night in Chicago in Week 6 last year.
Week 6 vs. Vikings: The road team has won five of the last seven meetings between the teams.
Week 7 vs. Raiders: The Bears won the last meeting 20-9 in Las Vegas in 2021.
Week 8 at Chargers: It's the first time the Bears will play the Chargers in Los Angeles since they originally moved from L.A.
Week 9 at Saints: Chicago has lost its past six in the Superdome.
Week 10 vs. Panthers (Thurs.): First NFL meeting between Justin Fields and Bryce Young if both are healthy.
Week 11 at Lions: The Bears have won four of their last five games at Ford Field.
Week 12 at Vikings: First time the Bears will play both of their games against the Vikings prior to Nov. 30 since 2002.
Week 13 BYE
Week 14 vs. Lions: Chicago somehow has lost nine straight games out of its bye week.
Week 15 at Browns: Justin Fields' first NFL start was a disastrous nine-sack effort in a 26-6 loss in Cleveland two years ago.
Week 16 vs. Cardinals: The teams have alternated victories over their last six meetings with Chicago losing the most recent in 2021.
Week 17 vs. Falcons: The Bears have won six of their last seven against the Falcons at Soldier Field.
Week 18 at Packers: The Bears' streak of playing at least one prime-time game against the Packers for 17 straight years will end if this isn't flexed.
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