The NFL’s schedule is out.
We know whom the Bears will play, where the games will take place, and what time festivities will kick off. But what we don’t know who will start the season under center for Chicago’s football team.
Oddsmakers have an idea, though:
Monitoring this market for obvious reasons… pic.twitter.com/ObrLR83Zor
— Funky Cold Luda (@lcm1986) May 13, 2021
Andy Dalton is the heavy favorite to be the Bears’ Week 1 starter at -200. Or, to put it in a way for those of you who aren’t hip to wagering lingo, the implied odds of Dalton beginning the season as Chicago’s QB1 is 66.7 percent. In other words, the perception is that Dalton is quite likely to begin the season as the Bears’ starter.
To further put it in perspective, Nick Foles — at +1400 — has implied odds of 6.7 percent to be Chicago’s Week 1 QB1. And if one felt strongly about Foles’ odds at starting in Week 1 and felt an itch to put down a wager, a $100 bet would pay out $1,500 if that played out. Of course, we’d probably be talking through a whole mess of things if it got to the point where Foles was starting in Week 1.
So, where does this leave Fields?
Well, at +170, the implied odds suggest Fields has a 37 percent chance at being the Week 1 starter. He is a true underdog/something of a long shot. Let’s provide some additional perspective with a cross-sport comparison. Take today’s Spurs-Knicks game for example. The middling Spurs (33-36) are +180 underdogs against the playoff-bound Knicks (38-31). Could the San Antonio knock off New York in an upset? Certainly. And there is definitely value in the underdog. But in the implied odds suggest it isn’t likely. Possible? Sure. Likely? Not so much.
In the end, the oddsmakers are making it tempting enough to want to roll the dice on Fields becoming the Week 1 starter. And at +170, I like it enough to throw some small change on it. Foles didn’t show enough last year to keep the Bears from signing Dalton to a one-year deal to be the bridge QB. And Dalton didn’t show enough during his stint in Dallas to coax a better offer than what the Bears handed him this offseason. Meanwhile, Fields showed enough to be considered QB2 last January before other hype trains took off and pushed him down the board.
Fields’ talent, upside, and potential make him the value play here. Because, while it’s a long shot, betting on an upside play pays off once in a while. At minimum, this is a market worth watching.