Even Though Oddsmakers Don't Believe It, the Bears Will Be Better in 2018 and Other Bullets

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Even Though Oddsmakers Don’t Believe It, the Bears Will Be Better in 2018 and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

ESPN’s Todd McShay uses a set of early projected records for the 2018 NFL season to project next year’s draft order, and things aren’t looking all that great for the Chicago Bears from that perspective.

In McShay’s first 2019 mock draft, he has the Bears landing the second pick and using it on Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa. The younger brother of Los Angeles Chargers stud pass rusher Joey Bosa also has a big-game reputation to go along with being a big-name player. He picked up 8.5 sacks last season and could be a game-changer on defense to whatever team drafts him.

If it’s the Bears, great. But if it’s with the No. 2 overall pick, then something has gone terribly wrong.

  • The oddsmakers at Bovada don’t think all that highly of the Bears’ futures either. Chicago’s odds to win Super Bowl 53 currently sit at +10,000 – or 100/1 if you’re one of those wagering types who prefers to see it in fractional form. The Bears are joined with the Bills, Browns, Dolphins, Bengals, and Jets as teams with the longest odds to take home a title. That’s not the kind of company you’d like the Bears to keep, but it does provide a chance to make a wager with tremendous upside.
  • And if you’re curious about the Week 1 outlook, the Bears are 8-point underdogs against the Packers on Sunday Night Football. I’d be hesitant to make a move on such a game at this stage of the offseason, but put a pin in that number and store it away for future reference.
  • Over at 670 The Score, Joe Ostrowski analyzes the potential move gamblers can make with the over/under for Bears wins in 2018 set at 6.5 wins. Ostrowski presents points for and against the Bears surpassing that mark. It’s understandable if your gut says to stay away from it altogether, but there is something about the potential of the Bears exceeding our expectations that makes me want to play the over and not have any regrets about doing it.
  • To be clear, the Bears have a steep hill to climb if they want to get where they ultimately want to go. Online sportsbook BetDSI lists the Bears as the longest of long shots to win the division. Chicago’s odds are at +700 (or 7/1) to win the NFC North. The Packers (+115) are the odds-on favorites, but the Vikings (+135) aren’t too far behind them.
  • It’s tough to imagine the Bears being worse than they were last year, especially after an offseason of wholesale changes. New coaches and players should lead the Bears into a new direction … a winning direction. Should the Bears be better than they were last year, odds are we’ll be able to point at Allen Robinson as one of the main reasons why. NFL.com analyst (and 2002 top overall pick) David Carr lists his top-10 offseason additions heading into 2018, which features free agents, traded players, and draft picks. Robinson checks in at No. 10 overall, with Carr expressing a belief that the Bears’ newest receiver will “be utilized in all the right ways” under new head coach Matt Nagy.
  • I’m not sure I’d agree with the idea that Robinson was under-utilized in Jacksonville, it’s just that his upside was limited because of an inaccurate quarterback. Robinson had his most productive season when Blake Bortles was at his most accurate. And while Robinson was still a playmaker when Bortles was misfiring at an uncomfortably high rate, there is no doubt his numbers would have been better had Bortles been able to refine his skills.
  • Perhaps Robinson’s presence on the field could help other Bears receivers reach their potential elsewhere on the gridiron. That’s one of the hopes I have for this new-look offense. As we learned while watching the Eagles win the Super Bowl, the mere presence of a No. 1 receiver target forces defenses to do different things and allows other pieces to break out while attention is elsewhere.
  • With Robinson as an established presence on the outside, the Bears should be able to work well underneath. Second-round draft pick Anthony Miller could very well benefit from defensive attention being placed on outside receivers. Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune catches up with David Johnson, who was Miller’s position coach at Memphis for a scoop on what makes the Bears’ newest pass-catcher tick.
  • Over at Da Bears Blog, Andrew Dannehy isn’t ready to give up on Kevin White, who is one of those wideouts who could benefit from Robinson lining up across from him. Dannehy believes it would be foolish to rule out White being a productive member of the offense in 2018, and I’m inclined to agree.
  • It’s understandable that Bears fans are tired of playing the waiting game on White, who was Ryan Pace’s first draft pick as the team’s general manager. However, White’s situation feels all too similar to that of Kyle Fuller from a year ago. Like Fuller before him, White is a player who has lost some time due to injury and the team spared no expense at upgrading the position around him. And just like Fuller was put in a spot where he had to play his way onto the roster, White will soon be in that position. As of right now, it looks like White will be battling for the fourth or fifth receiver spot. No matter how it’s sliced, it’s a make-or-break year for White – especially after the team declined to pick up his fifth-year option.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.