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Chicago Bears Betting – Shaky Offense Keeps Bears From Going To Next Level

Posted by Stan Simmons on 6/16/2011 11:51:16 AM
chicago bears betting

Chicago’s online betting odds for the upcoming season are going to depend on their offense finally coming together, but they’ve got some big problems up front and not enough targets for their strong-armed quarterback, and that is going to keep them from reaching the postseason for the second straight year.

  • Head Coach:Lovie Smith 
  • Offensive Coordinator:;Mike Martz
  • Defensive Coordinator:Rod Marinelli
  • Owner:Virginia Halas McCaskey
  • Stadium:Soldier Field
  • Capacity: 61,500
  • Super Bowl Wins: 1

Offense

Quarterback Jay Cutler improved in his second year in coordinator Mike Martz’s offense, and the biggest improvement came in the interception category, where he went from 26 in 2009 to 2010 in 2010. But the Bears were still 30th in offense, coming in 22nd on the ground and 28th through the air, and they have lots of room for improvement. The offensive line is still awful, allowing the most sacks in the NFL, which led to Cutler having a concussion early in the season, and they hope that first-round pick Gabe Carimi can step right in and help. Johnny Knox, Devin Hester and Earl Bennett are good NFL receivers, but neither of them are a No.1 wideout, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Bears went after Plaxico Burress, who was just released from prison, when the lockout was up. Running back Matt Forte is their best offensive option, racking up over 1,000 yards on the ground and over 500 yards in the air, and he cut his turnovers in half from six in 2009 to three in 2010.Tight end Greg Olsen is also a dependable target over the middle, and probably the one that Cutler looks to when he is in trouble.

However, this offense isn’t going to get much better until the line is fixed, and the Bears have to try and pull off a move in free agency: the problem is, they may not have much time, if any at all, because of the lockout. They’re in a division where the opposition have great defensive lines in Green Bay, Detroit and Minnesota, and Cutler can’t be expected to do much when he’s running for his life, even though he did show last year that he was more mobile than anyone thought.

Grade: C

Special Teams

Chicago’s NFL betting odds are predicated on their defense’s ability to keep it a low-scoring game because their offense isn’t going to win any shootouts. The Bears were ninth in total defense, coming in second against the run and 13th against the pass, with end Julius Peppers and the linebacking duo of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs going to the Pro Bowl. The Bears are very deep in the secondary, and that allows the front seven to put pressure on the quarterback, especially Peppers, who was the constant target of double teams, and he was also aided by the emergence of Israel Idonije, who has always been solid, but he was a playmaker last year and that means teams may not be able to double-team Peppers has much. The defense is also much better when Urlacher and Briggs are both healthy, and you may have to look to Pittsburgh to find a team that has better linebackers; the third piece of the puzzle, currently Pisa Tinoisamoa, only has to be decent in order for the Bears to be effective.

That being said, the Bears should look to improve that spot in their defense, and if you want to be picky, Chicago’s pass rush should be better. Urlacher and Briggs combined for six sacks and should be able to generate a better blitz, but their strength is in run defense. If they could find a linebacker to blitz and let Urlacher and Briggs do their thing, the Bears would be an A+ defense.

Grade: A-

Special Teams

Coach Lovie Smith finally relented, realizing that Hester’s special-teams work was the most dangerous weapon that the Bears had, and due in large part to their Pro Bowl returner, the Bears were first in the NFL in punt return average and second in kickoff returns. Look for more of the same unless teams smarten up and just kick out of bounds. Hester isn’t impressed by the league’s new kickoff rules, which are going to spawn more touchbacks, but that means he could be more of a danger as he knows he won’t get as many opportunities to run one back.

Kicker Robbie Gould hit 83.3% of his field-goal attempts in 2010, but the Bears are going to try Richmond McGee at punter again after finishing last in gross average and second-last in net average with Brad Maynard handling that duty.

Grade: B

Prediction

The Bears are rated at +450 to win the NFC North, according to NFL betting odds, and they’re a +3000 bet to win their second Super Bowl, and they’re going to have their hands full in a division with the Super Bowl champion Packers, who beat them in the second round of the playoffs in Chicago, and a young Detroit team that is getting better by the day. The onus is on the offense for the Bears, because they know the defense is going to hold up their end of the bargain. The key is the offensive line and whether the Bears can find a receiver for Cutler, who should be motivated to prove his critics wrong after the fiasco surrounding his injured knee in the playoff loss against the Packers. That offense is holding back the Bears from winning the NFC North, and they’re a borderline team to snag a wild card. We would avoid the Bears’ odds in your sports betting book.

2011 Schedule:

  • Week 1 – vs. Atlanta (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 2 – at New Orleans (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 3 – vs. Green Bay (4:15 PM ET)
  • K4 – vs. Carolina (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 5 – at Detroit (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
  • Week 6 – vs. Minnesota (Sunday, 8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 7 – at Tampa Bay (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 9 – at Philadelphia (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
  • Week 10 – vs. Detroit (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 11 – vs. San Diego (4:15 PM ET)
  • Week 12 – at Oakland (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 13 – vs. Kansas City (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 14 – at Denver (4:05 PM ET)
  • Week 15 – vs. Seattle (1:00 PM ET)
  • Week 16 – at Green Bay (Sunday, 8:20 PM ET)
  • Week 17 – at Minnesota (1:00 PM ET)

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