I know we have a ton to dive into in after Sunday’s glorious Bears victory – and we will get to all of it! – but there’s a part of me that’s ready to jump into next Sunday’s primetime showdown against the Vikings.
In what will be a battle for supremacy in the NFC North, the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas has installed the Bears as a 3-point favorite over the Vikings. The oddsmakers expect the Bears’ return to primetime to be a tight-knit bout isn’t surprising, but it’s still eye-opening at first blush … and kind of a big deal if you peel back the layers. So let’s do exactly that.
Getting three points means Vegas sees the Bears and Vikings on almost a perfectly even footing (home teams — as a rule — get three points on the spread just for being at home). Who would’ve predicted that entering the 2018 season?
Heck, who would’ve dared to suggest that a couple weeks ago? Frankly, it’s still a bit difficult to wrap my head around as of writing this sentence and I’ve been as high on the Bears as anybody. I mean, just think of it this way: The Bears entered Week 10 as a 40/1 shot to win the Super Bowl, but are seen as even with a Vikings team that entered the week more than twice as likely to win the big game (16/1). If you take that information at face value, Vegas appears to believe the Bears are the real deal. Maybe it’s time for others to join them. Besides, who am I to bet against the house?
Joke aside, I don’t want to put too much stock in the importance of being a 3-point favorite at home against a divisional opponent, but it does say a lot about what GM Ryan Pace has done to re-tool this roster and what Head Coach Matt Nagy has done to put the players at his disposal in the best position to succeed.
The FIRST PLACE Bears are a home favorite against an NFC North foe who happens to be the division’s defending champions. That’s quite the step in the right direction as far as public perception is concerned. Obviously, the next step is to make reality. So to that end … is it Sunday yet?