The Bears do not face a 2017 playoff team until a Week 7 date hosting the Patriots. This is great news for first-year head coach Matt Nagy and staff, as they get a chance to build some much-needed confidence and momentum to improve on a 5-11 season in 2018.
Below you will find the Bears’ straight-up and against-the-spread records from last year’s NFL regular season, including average margin of victory, 2017 average odds (at 5Dimes), 2017 win totals and 2018 pre-scheduled figure, and projected strength of schedule using opponents’ combined record from 2017.
2017 SU Record: 5-11 (-3.5 avg. margin)
2017 ATS Record: 7-7-2 (1.3 avg. margin)
2017 Average Line: 4.8
2017 Win Total: 5.5 (+105)
2018 5Dimes Win Total (pre-schedule): 6.5 (-130)
2018 Strength of Schedule: T-8, opponents were 133-123 (.520 percent)
Three Games to Back ATS
@Bills, Week 9 & @Giants, Week 13
Despite a string of woeful seasons, the Bears typically field a solid defense capable of keeping them competitive. They have proven a good bet over the last decade when catching points on the road versus opponents struggling to score. Since 2008, Chicago is 7-9 SU and 11-5 ATS against teams putting up fewer than 21.5 points per game entering. It is covering a 4.8-point spread by 5.2 points per tilt. The defense surrenders an average of 20.7 points, which is just low enough to allow for an upset and the handicap to come into play. The Giants (15.4) and Bills (17.9) owned two of the worst scoring offenses last season, and appear headed for another poor showing in 2018. Both should kick off slight favorites with home-field advantage factored in, which makes the Bears a strong pick.
Rams, Week 14
The Rams will enter this matchup overvalued. Chicago has covered the spread in 11 of the last 16 meetings. A cold, December Lake Michigan wind will help disrupt one of the most potent attacks in the NFL. L.A. likely wins, but by not as much as the market implies.
Three Games to Fade ATS
@Packers, Week 1; @ Lions, Week 12; @Vikings, Week 12
Chicago's division record reads like a horror novel in recent years. Since 2012, it is 12-30 SU and 14-24-4 ATS in the NFC North, losing its last nine straight. Outside of Soldier Field, the Bears’ record slumps to 4-17 SU and 6-14-1 ATS in this span. The games are hardly competitive either, losing by 10.3 points per contest. New leadership in a division likely to see two teams make the playoffs is a bad betting combination. Fade Chicago in each.
Trap Game Potential
Buccaneers, Week 4
Advanced lines will see this game near a pick ‘em with the Bears leaning favorite status with home-field advantage. If the young coaching staff gets off to a poor start, they’ll be looking to get to its Week 5 bye week quickly to reassess. Preparation and motivation could stall here. The Bears are 1-3 SU and ATS hosting Tampa with a spread between 5 points.