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Bears are Starting Fresh, but Questionable Offseason Decisions Loom Large

The Chicago Bears are one of the oldest and proudest institutions in the NFL, but the glory days for this club are well in the rear-view mirror. In the wake of a dreadful 3-13 SU campaign, the Monsters of the Midway have nowhere to go but up in 2017.

This year’s version of Da Bears is going to look a lot different. The biggest change is at the quarterback position, as the Jay Cutler era is (mercifully) over in the Windy City. Initially, Chicago decided to sign ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer Mike Glennon to a three-year, $45-million deal in free agency – a move that shocked the league – before trading up in the NFL draft to select former UNC signal-caller Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick.

For a franchise that’s reached the postseason only once in the last decade, it was only the latest in a series of puzzling decisions made by Ryan Pace and the rest of the Bears front office. After signing the well-traveled Mark Sanchez, Chicago is now paying $21 million to its signal-callers this season.

The Bears were hit with a litany of injuries last year and were recently dealt a huge blow when wide receiver Cameron Meredith sustained what looks to be a season-ending injury in the preseason. Needless to say, it’s shaping up to be another long campaign in Illinois. Here’s my betting breakdown for the Bears:

Super Bowl +15000

OVER/UNDER win total – 5.5

Chicago has been on a downward spiral in recent years, as the franchise has posted records of 10-6, 8-8, 5-11, 6-10 and 3-13 since 2012. Even when they won 10 games, they still missed out on the postseason. Such is life for the Bears.

As far as the 5.5 number goes, I think it might be a bit generous. Glennon will be given the shot to lead the team but could easily squander the job to Trubisky if he falters early, so betting on the OVER/UNDER win total is a real crapshoot for that reason alone.

Odds to make the playoffs +900

I’m going to make this decision nice and easy for you: Don’t do it. With better teams like the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions above them in the NFC North, the Bears are seemingly on the track for another finish in the division basement.

Most regular-season rushing yards – Jordan Howard +1000

Jeremy Langford was being groomed as the running back of the future when longtime star Matt Forte departed in free agency for the New York Jets in the 2016 offseason, but then Jordan Howard came along.

The 22-year-old was a boon for fantasy football waiver-wire hawks, as the Alabama native rushed for 1,313 yards and had a combined seven touchdowns. Langford is still on the roster in a reserve role but the reins of the position belong solely to Howard now.

Oddsmakers are expecting him to improve even more in his sophomore season, giving him the third-best odds to win the rushing title behind superstars Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson.

2017 Chicago Bears Futures Odds
Super Bowl+15000
NFC Championship+7500
NFC North+2000
Win Total5.5

Odds as of August 29 at Bovada