Bears Rate Playoff Team with Bettors but Not NFL Analysts

Although DraftKings had the Bears going off among team favored to make the playoffs, there's plenty of pushback from league analysts.
The Bears look like a playoff team to some during OTAs but the so-called experts say otherwise.
The Bears look like a playoff team to some during OTAs but the so-called experts say otherwise. / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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Gambling sites continue taking bigger money on the Bears hitting the over on the 8 1/2-win betting total and making the playoffs for 2024, even while so-called experts turn thumbs down.

According to DraftKings, the Bears on Wednesday went off at -120 to make the playoffs. They had a better chance, according to odds, than the Rams (+100), Browns (+150), Steelers (+185), and Buccaneers (+145), and all were 2023 playoff teams.

Their playoff odds were better than the Vikings (+300), Jaguars (+130), Panthers (+550), Cardinals (+300), Buccaneers (+145), Patriots (+900), Commanders (+260), Seahawks (+180), Titans (+425) and Rams (-100), and those teams constitute 11 of the Bears' 17 games in 2024.

Even with odds like this, analysts say the Bears are headed for a losing season.

Pro Football Focus and CBS Sports just posted over/under outlooks for the NFL and The 33rd Team has put up a divisional outlook. None see the Bears as being playoff qualifiers unless teams with losing records make the postseason.

Will Brinson's look for CBS Sports at over/under has the Bears under the 8.5-win line.

"There's just a lot of new parts here that are going to try and meld quickly in a short offseason with a rookie quarterback," Brinson wrote. "And that gives me major pause at the idea of laying massive juice on Chicago winning nine-plus games in a really difficult division."

Then again, Brinson doesn't exactly show in-depth knowledge of the Bears. When he refers to last year's departure of defensive coordinator Alan Williams, he says it was a "... REAL weird midseason situation."

Williams' situation happened during the week after the season opener and he had resigned before Week 3's game at Kansas City. That's not remotely close to midseason.





As for PFF, Jim Wyman and Dalton Wasserman collaborated on something called "NFL Roster Rankings All 32 Teams 2024 Strengths, Weaknesses, X-Factors." This was actually an over/under ranking by any other name.

They determined the Bears were headed for under 8 1/2 wins. Their assessment of the situation showed proper insight, although they wound up with a questionable determination.

"On one hand, the Bears are a team with an ascending defense and a loaded receiving corps," they wrote. "On the other, they are a team with a rookie gunslinger, a new offensive coordinator and bottom-five trench units on both sides of the ball. Expectations are high, but patience will likely be needed as the Bears try to build a sustainable future."

The "bottom five" trench units are the questionable part. While they can definitely improve, Pro Football Network called the Bears offensive line the 10th best. And there is no doubt the defensive line could use a boost, but that line last year displayed a total mastery of the Detroit Lions offensive line, one which PFF and their secretive grading system treats like a modern day version of the 1990s Cowboys O-line.

In giving an assessment of each 2023 division winner's chance to repeat, Jeff Diamond of, Jeff Diamond actually goes through every team's chance and provides little hope in the NFC North to the Bears or the Vikings.  He bases it on the quarterback inexperience for both teams.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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Twitter: BeatDigest@BearsonMaven

Gene Chamberlain

GENE CHAMBERLAIN publisher Gene Chamberlain has covered the Chicago Bears full time as a beat writer since 1994 and prior to this on a part-time basis for 10 years. He covered the Bears as a beat writer for Suburban Chicago Newspapers, the Daily Southtown, Copley News Service and has been a contributor for the Daily Herald, the Associated Press, Bear Report, CBS and The Sporting News. He also has worked a prep sports writer for Tribune Newspapers and Sun-Times newspapers.