Forecasting Chicago Bears' 2014 Weekly Games with NFL Picks

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:15 AM GMT

Wednesday, Jul. 30, 2014 7:15 AM GMT

Chicago Bears have high hopes for the 2014 NFL season but can they deliver in a strong NFC North division? Here's our game-by-game predictions with an overall NFL betting verdict. 

Chicago Bears Look to Improve
The Bears are tasked with improving on an 8-8 mark in 2013 in order to give the Green Bay Packers a serious run for their money in a strong NFC North Division, cornered in the Packers’ camp by oddsmakers on -138 NFL odds to win outright. Bears, matched at +300, definitely have a perceived shot. But a tough schedule could be their undoing, not to mention 100-million dollar man Jay Cutler, who is yet to really step up to his role. Can you trust Cutler to carry the Bears to over 8.5 wins on the season? We’re not so sure. Here’s our early preview complete with best guess predictions.

 

Week 1 vs. Buffalo Bills
An opening home win against a Buffalo side that boasted a rather porous defense last season would appear to be on the cards. It’s an improved Bills side this season, but how much better on the defensive side of the ball they are remains to be seen.
Free NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 2 @ San Francisco 49ers
Taking on a Superbowl contender in week 2 is hardly ideal. It’s downright tough, not to mention on the road. The Niners are one of the league’s premier teams with an offense that should drive Cutler and his Bears out of the sunshine state licking their wounds.
Free NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 3 @ New York Jets
A lot of talk centres on Jets’ suspect secondary, which could prove detrimental to the hosts. As well, the quarterback situation remains up in the air between Geno Smith and Michael Vick. Assuming Bears rise to the occasion, they could take the road win here. That said the game follows a cross-country trek to San Francisco and then back to New York, so don’t write off the Jets from the home win. Chicago were only 3-5 on the road last season.
Free NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 4 vs. Green Bay Packers
After trekking back-and-forth between the west and east coast, the Bears take on the Packers at home, only their biggest rivals in the division. In a short week no less, after playing the Jets on Monday. Once again, it’s not an ideal situation for the Bears to be in so early in the season. On paper, this could be a close contest. In reality, however, it could be a one-sided affair with the Packers clinching the road win. Rodgers vs. Cutler? No brainer.
Free NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 5 @ Carolina Panthers
Beating the Panthers at home is no mean feat. Last season, they only dropped one home game (7-1). Granted there are question marks about Cam Newton and his offense altogether. But the Panthers have a decent defense to lean on (second-ranked in scoring in 2013). It’s also worth noting, it’s the Bears’ third road game in four weeks. This could be quite the uphill battle for the Cutler on the road.
Free NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 6 @ Atlanta Falcons
After the Falcons’ abysmal 2013 season, just about every NFL team fancies a win at their expense. Certainly, the Bears will travel to Atlanta with high hopes. That said playing four road games in the first six weeks of the new season is brutal. The wear and tear might catch up to them. The Bears should win but we’re prepared to be wrong about this game. It’s a better Falcons side this season as well.
Free NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 7 vs. Miami Dolphins
It remains to be seen how well the Dolphins put behind them the whole Incognito brouhaha this season. There is also the fact that Ryan Tannehill spent most of the season on his back, as he was sacked 58 times last season. This could be a game that plays right into the Chicago defense nicely.
Free NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 8 @ New England Patriots
The Patriots will be ready for the Bears, having a Thursday game with the Jets prior to this one. They will be well rested and raring to go. The Bears at this point should be travel-worn, playing a fifth road game in eight weeks. Brady to show Cutler how it’s done.
Free NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 9 - Bye

 

Week 10 @ Green Bay Packers
The NFL schedulers have taken pity on the Bears, giving them a bye week ahead of their second clash with the Packers on the season. Finally, something to be thankful for in an otherwise brutal start to the NFL season. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. In 2013, the pair split the series with each side winning on the road. It’s important to note, however, the Bears didn’t face Rodgers in either game. This time around it should be different.
Free NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 11 vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings and Bears split their series last season with each side winning at home. Chicago won 31-30 in week 2 while Minnesota won 23-20 in overtime in week 13. This could go either way if it’s as close as it was last season. Bears have home advantage so we’ll give it to them.
Free NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lovie Smith and Josh McCown will be eager to face off against their former team in Chicago. McCown stepped in for an injured Jay Cutler last season and didn’t do too badly. Certainly, he’s impressed Lovie Smith, who’s had nothing but praise for the sensible quarterback. This could prove an unhappy reunion for the Bears.
Free NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 13 @ Detroit Lions
Once again, the NFL schedulers show no mercy, sending the Bears to Detroit on Thanksgiving Thursday, just four days after their clash with the Buccaneers.  Last season, the Bears lost both clashes to Detroit, 40-32 in week 4 and 21-19 in week 10. The Lions have made some improvements on the defense side of the ball, which don’t bode well for Jay Cutler.
Free NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 14 vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Bears dismantled Dallas Cowboys at home last season, winning 45-28 as McCown accounts for five touchdowns. With Cutler at the helm, it’s hard to see the Bears replicating such a one-sided performance. Then again, with the brutal cold playing a factor and a weakened, aged Cowboys defense arriving in Chicago, the win is possible.
Free NFL Pick: Win

 

Week 15 vs. New Orleans Saints
The Saints were unbeatable at home but not as supreme on the road as they finished 3-5 on the away. That said they did beat the Bears 26-18 with some high-octane offense. Meanwhile Cutler struggled to make plays. More of the same could be on the cards.
Free NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 16 vs. Detroit Lions
Last season, the Lions swept the series towards a 4-2 record against divisional rivals (as a result, Bears went 2-4 in the NFC North). This season, the Bears have a chance to level the playing field on a home win, so long as the improved defense steps up.
Free NFL Pick: Loss

 

Week 17 @ Minnesota Vikings
Last season, the Bears succumbed to the Vikings in overtime 23-20, a result that proved costly. This season, they meet on the final game of the season. This is a winnable game for the Bears but it remains to be seen whether they’ll be playing for something meaningful at this point in the season, over and above the win. If things go according to our predictions (we could be wrong), but it might not be the case.
Free NFL Pick: Uncertain

 

NFL Betting Verdict
According to our best-guess predictions, the prognosis isn’t bright for the Chicago Bears. Simply put, we’re just not ready to trust Jay Cutler to step it up. We’re going against the NFL betting grain therefore and predicting the Bears nosedive below 8.5, which is an NFL Pick you can back at +105. 

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