Chicago Bears Betting: 2018 Season in Review & Highlights
The Chicago Bears “worst-to-first” season saw the team evolve both on the field as well as with the sportsbooks. A long shot to win the NFC North let alone the Super Bowl before the year kicked off, as Chicago’s season marched on so did the team’s appeal to NFL betting fans.
Chicago came into the year with a hefty 100-1 odds on Super Bowl betting, tied with Buffalo and Cincinnati and only ahead of the 150-1 Dolphins and 200-1 Jets.
But by the time the division title was in hand and the postseason set to begin, Chicago became one of the favorites to win it all at as one of the top-five picks with 12-1 odds.
In most cases Chicago exceeded pre-season gambling expectation in nearly every category:
- Win Over/Under: 7.5 (+110/-130)
- Make NFC Playoffs: +350 (29%)
- Win NFC North: +900 (9%)
2018 Bears Betting Trends
When the 2018 schedule was first released, Chicago was listed as a favorite only three times. That number changed significantly near the second half of the year and the Bears were listed as favorite in nine of the last 10 regular-season games.
The combination of one of the leagues best defenses, thanks in no small part to the late preseason addition of All-Pro lineman Khalil Mack from Oakland, with an at times unstoppable offense helped push Chicago to a Divisional Playoff Round game against Philadelphia.
They were a 6.5 point-favorite at home in that game. Not only did the Bears not cover, they lost the game outright when a field-goal attempt to win by kicker Cody Parker bounced off the upright in the “doink” heard round Chicago.
That ended the Bears season as well as a 9-1 run both straight up and against the spread.
Chicago’s November match-up against division rival Minnesota encapsulated the team’s 2018 fortunes. Flexed to a Sunday night game, the national spotlight provided a playoff spotlight to the Soldier Field tilt. Chicago was a three-point favorite and the tide was definitely turning in the team’s favor.
Khalil Mack had a sack and fumble recovery, Eddie Jackson returned an interception for a touchdown and Chicago tightened its grip on the division with a 25-20 victory.
It was the team’s fourth straight outright win to run its record to 7-3. But by covering the spread, the Bears remained one of the surest bets in the NFL.
Things did not go well in a pair of regular season overtime games Chicago should have won outright. An October 31-28 loss to Miami and a 30-27 defeat at the hands of the Giants were low points of the season.
The Bears were three-point favorites coming into the Miami game, which looked like a sure thing thanks to the Dolphins already anemic offense that was without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill due to injury.
Enter back-up Brock Osweiler, who threw for a career-high 380 yards and three touchdowns.
Chicago made a series of mistakes late in regulation to send the game into OT and when rookie kicker Jason Sander made a 47-yard field goal as time expired in the extra quarter it ended an embarrassing afternoon in south Florida.
The locale was different but the outcome the same a few weeks later when Chicago traveled to New Jersey to take on the Giants. The Bears were 8-3 after a Thanksgiving Day win over Detroit and were giving three points to the scuffling Giants who limped into the weekend at 3-8.
But turnovers and the absence of starting QB Mitch Trubisky, who was nursing a shoulder injury added up to disaster for Chicago. Replacement Chase Daniel threw a pair of interceptions to put Chicago in a hole.
Even a 1-yard touchdown pass on a trick play from halfback Tarik Cohen to Anthony Miller as time expired in the fourth quarter to send the game into OT couldn’t save Chicago.
Aldrick Rosas kicked a 44-yard field goal in overtime, snapping the Bears' five-game winning streak.
Bears 2019 Betting Odds
A consensus of early sports books for the 2019 season has Chicago in the top-five of teams to win Super Bowl LIV.
- Los Angeles Rams: 6-1
- Kansas City Chiefs: 7-1
- New Orleans Saints: 8-1
- New England Patriots: 10-1
- Chicago Bears: 12-1
However keep in mind after playing the eighth toughest strength of schedule in 2018 (tied with Arizona, Minnesota and the Giants), Chicago’s challenge gets much stronger next season.
The Bears will line up with the league’s fifth toughest schedule versus opponents that combined for a .520 winning percentage this past season.
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