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Chicago Bears Betting Odds

When he was acquired from the Denver Broncos last year, Jay Cutler was crowned as a savior in Chicago; it didn’t work out.

Both Cutler and the team stumbled in 2009, and fans and bettors alike are hoping for a rebound. Some of the optimism is generated by new offensive coordinator Mike Martz; others simply believe Chicago can’t be that bad again, at least with Cutler at the helm. Bovada has set the team’s projected win total at eight games, with +500 odds at to win the NFC North. Bears Odds to Division: +500 Bears Regular Season Win Total: 8 (OV +115, UN -145) Bears Super Bowl Odds: 35/1 Martz is still living off his reputation from the Rams’ glory days. Sure, he can churn out fine fantasy numbers (Jon Kitna, Detroit Lions, 2006-2007), but that doesn’t necessarily translate into victories (Detroit Lions, 10 total wins, 2006-2007). And while many expect him to suddenly resuscitate Cutler’s game-which isn’t at all far-fetched-he probably won’t have any answers for a disastrous offensive line.

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In fact, Cutler has performed absolutely terribly during the preseason, largely because he doesn’t trust his line. The former Pro Bowler is rushing throws, getting sacked like crazy and has been considerably inaccurate. It doesn’t matter if Joe Montana is under center and Bill Walsh is calling the plays-if the passer doesn’t have time to find anyone, it’s all moot.

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Don’t be surprised to see a resurgence from Matt Forte, though. The third-year pro struggled in 2009 after an impressive rookie campaign, but he was hampered by injuries that sapped his burst. Forte has looked much more explosive during the preseason. He was already a good receiver; combined with Martz running the show, Forte could be the biggest surprise in the NFL this year. Defensively, the Bears are expecting a boost from high-profile free agent Julius Peppers. Peppers is unquestionably one of the most talented players in the NFL. What is questionable, however is his effort. Peppers doesn’t always show up on a weekly basis and, considering the money Chicago heaped on him, he damn well better. Peppers’ presence might help Mark Anderson regain his rookie form (12 sacks in 2006), or at least some semblance of it. With Tommie Harris lining up at tackle-though he’s admittedly a shell of his potential All-Pro self-the line certainly looks like Chicago’s biggest weapon on “D.” Ultimately, though, there are just two many question marks. Yes, the offense should be better, but is it any better than what we’ll see in Green Bay or Minnesota (or, for that matter, Detroit)? The Packers and Vikings also field better defenses than Chicago, meaning the Bears will likely have to wait at least one more year before returning to the postseason.