Chicago Bears Odds, Predictions, and Season Preview for 2023: Second City Success Story?

Will the Chicago Bears be the NFL's latest worst-to-first story? The door is certainly open to the NFC North crown despite the Bears winning only four games last season. Our NFL betting picks have the lowdown on this team ahead of the 2023 campaign.

Jason Logan: Senior Betting Analyst at Covers
Jason Logan • Senior Betting Analyst
Sep 6, 2023 • 14:47 ET • 4 min read

Aaron Rodgers’ departure from Green Bay has shaken the NFC North to its core and created a power vacuum atop the division standings.

The Packers and Vikings — longstanding gatekeepers of the division — are projected to take a tumble in the NFL futures, leaving the door open for the Chicago Bears to make a major improvement on a league-worst record in 2022. 

Chicago was busy wheeling and dealing this offseason via trades, free agency, and the draft. It addressed needs on both sides of the ball and has high hopes for dynamic third-year quarterback Justin Fields. 

It all adds up to eight wins for Da Bears. At least, that’s the projection given the season win total and lookahead lines for Chicago.

I weigh those expectations and the NFL odds for the “Monsters of the Midway” with my 2023 Chicago Bears betting preview.

Chicago Bears futures odds

Future bet DraftKings FanDuel Caesars
Win Super Bowl +5,000 +6,000 +5,000
Win conference +3,000 +2,500 +2,200
Win division +400 +400 +400
Make playoffs +155 +172 +175
O7.5 wins -130 -122 -125
U7.5 wins +110 +100 +105

Best futures bet: Second place in NFC North (+275)

As mentioned, the division is up for grabs. Green Bay and Minnesota are at their weakest in years, leaving the road to the division title unguarded from the likes of Detroit and Chicago. 

Preseason projections and lookahead lines see the Bears as favorites in seven games, with two other contests pegged as pick’ems. In fact, a dozen of the 17 spreads for the 2023 campaign have the Bears between -3 and +3. That’s means a ton of tight finishes.

Last season, Chicago stunk in one-score games, finishing the season 1-7 SU (3-4-1 ATS) in games decided by eight points or less, including a 1-5 SU mark in contests decided by less than six points. 

Given improvements, upticks in experience, and a softer slate (both inside and out of the NFC North), those one-score fortunes will flip — or at least balance out — and the Bears will do just enough to finish in second place in the division.

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Chicago Bears betting overview

What will win bets: Justin Fields

If you bet on the Bears, you find yourself cursing out Justin Fields just as much as you praise him. 

The cagey QB was a one-man offense for this team in 2022, doing most of the damage with his legs. Fields’ ability to keep plays alive and create something from nothing made him a golden god with prop bettors taking the Over on his rushing yards and longest run props every week.

Fields must take the next steps as a pro passer and has a fantastic fit in new receiver D.J. Moore, who made Sam Darnold look like frickin’ Tom Brady at the end of last season. Chicago wants better decision making from Fields and a passing offense that can stretch defenses after finishing 29th in plays of 25 yards or more.

The threat of a big run will always keep opponents guessing, and the additions in the receivers’ room and offensive line set Fields up for improvement in 2023. It also helps that the schedule sees Chicago run into only two defenses ranked out Top 10 in the preseason polls and faces five stop units sitting 22nd or worse.

What will lose bets: Pass Defense

The Bears defense got better with the additions of linebackers T.J. Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds, which will help stop the bleeding on the ground after Chicago finished 28th in EPA per handoff allowed in 2022.

Slowing down the pass is another story. 

The Bears were dead last in EPA allowed per dropback and 32nd DVOA versus the pass at Football Outsiders. The defensive line remains the weak spot, and without a pass rush generating any pressure (15.9% pressure rate — second lowest — drummed up NFL-low 20 sacks), a so-so secondary is hung out to dry.

If Chicago gives up quick points via the pass, it forces Fields and the offense to lean into the passing game and play faster than they would like. The Bears ran the fourth-slowest attack in the NFL last season (29.63 second per play) and threw fewer passes than any team. Fields’ wonky decision making could come back and bite bettors in the ass if he’s pushed out of his comfort zone.

Chicago Bears 2023 schedule

Week Opponent Spread
1 vs Packers Green Bay Packers -3
2 Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1.5
3 Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs +9.5
4 vs Broncos Denver Broncos +1.5
5 @ Commanders Washington Commanders +1.5
6 vs Vikings Minnesota Vikings +1
7 vs Raiders Las Vegas Raiders -1
8 @ Chargers Los Angeles Chargers +5.5
9 @ Saints New Orleans Saints +2.5
10 vs Panthers Carolina Panthers -2
11 @ Lions Detroit Lions +5
12 @ Vikings Minnesota Vikings +3.5
13 BYE
14 vs Lions Detroit Lions +1.5
15 @ Browns Cleveland Browns +3.5
16 vs Cardinals Arizona Cardinals -4.5
17 vs Falcons Atlanta Falcons -2
18 @ Packers Green Bay Packers +2

Spreads courtesy of DraftKings sportsbook.

The strength of schedule rankings have the Bears’ calendar dialed in at No. 26, but the way those opponents trickle down presents challenges. 

They play most of their toughest non-divisional foes on the road, and a pair of Thursday Night Football appearances squeeze Chicago in a road-heavy stretch before their bye in Week 13. After that, the Bears have three of their final five games in the brisk winter weather at Soldier Field — all coming against indoor opponents.

The lookahead lines have Chicago as a favorite in seven games, with two other outings listed as pick’ems. An advantageous start to the season sees the Bears as pups just once in the first seven weeks (+9.5 at Kansas City, pick vs. Denver and at Washington).

Chicago can stake its claim in the NFC North with a win over Green Bay in Week 1. Bookmakers have the Bears as 3-point home chalk while my NFL power ratings cook up a spread of -4, but you do have to temper those projections when it comes to divisional rivalries. 

Overall, Chicago sits 20th in my rating (45.59/100), which is ahead of Green Bay (22nd) and just behind Minnesota (19th) with Detroit sitting 10th. The Bears have to be better inside the NFC North after going 4-14 SU and ATS in divisional games the past three years.

Chicago Bears schedule spot bet

Week 5: vs. Washington

A short week is always tough, but the Bears’ Week 5 trip to Washington is compounded by the fact that this Thursday nighter will be the team’s third road stop in four games, all played within an 18-day period.

The early odds have this game set as a pick’em, while some books are dealing Chicago +1.5 given the tough situational spot. The Commanders will also be the toughest defense this club will face all season (ranked sixth in preseason polls).

I expect this spread to look very different by kickoff, considering the games leading up to Week 5. As mentioned, the Bears have winnable games early on, taking on Green Bay, Tampa Bay, and Denver, while Washington will be coming off likely shit-kickings from Buffalo and Philadelphia the two weeks prior.

Covering as favorites has been a challenge for the Bears in past seasons. Expect Chicago to see slight road chalk by the time this tough schedule spot shows up on Oct. 5.

Star power: Justin Fields props

Prop DraftKings FanDuel Caesars
MVP +2,000 +2,000 +2,500
OPOY +2,000 +2,500 +2,200
Pass yards leader +7,000 +10,000 +10,000
Pass TD leader +10,000 +10,000 OTB
O18.5 pass TD +110 OTB +110
U18.5 pass TD -130 OTB -140
Pass yards total 2,850.5 2,775.5 2,875.5
Rush yards total 825.5 850.5 875.5

Best prop: Over 18.5 passing touchdowns (+110)

Fields finished with 17 passing touchdowns in 2022, heading up one of the slowest offenses and the most run-centric playbook in the NFL, throwing on less than 44% of its snaps. He had just two passing touchdowns through the first four weeks before connecting for 13 strikes in the final 11 games.

Everything points to Fields throwing the ball more, from the addition of D.J. Moore as a true No. 1 target to extra beef on the offensive line. And if the defense can’t slow down opponents, Chicago will be pressed to pass more in a game of catchup.

Several 2023 NFL player projections have Fields north of 18.5 touchdown passes, with an average forecast of 21 TDs. Beyond Moore (who snagged seven TDs in Carolina), Fields has speedster Darnell Mooney back from injury and big bodies in the red zone with 6-foot-4 Chase Claypool and 6-foot-6 tight end Cole Kmet.

Chicago Bears betting insights

Covers Writer Icon

Bearish on Fields & Co.

By Josh Inglis

Covers Betting Analyst

Let’s pump the brakes on Justin Fields and the Bears’ 7.5-win total. Fields has a lot to improve on as a passer in 2023 including throwing into tight coverage and getting the ball out quicker. There have been some upgrades to the right side of the O-line but this is the returning No. 32-ranked defense that has five new starters.

The strength of schedule might be overpriced here as well. In 2022, they had a Top-5 easy SOS but finished with one of the toughest in terms of finished win% — they aren’t guaranteed. A lot has to go right for this team to get eight wins and if Fields were to miss any time (a solid chance), I’m not happy to see PJ Walker as a Bears backer.

Covers Writer Icon

Temper your expectations

By Joe Osborne

Covers Senior Betting Analyst

The Bears are a popular sleeper pick this season, but I’m not buying it.

Yes, Justin Fields is a human highlight reel, but this offense had too many no-shows last season and was too reliant on Fields’ running ability. DJ Moore is a nice addition, but Fields has a long way to go as a passer after throwing for over 200 yards just twice all of last season.

The defense also needs a lot of work after allowing the most points in the league in 2022. While there is some promise for a brighter future, this team is starting at the bottom and expectations need to be kept in check.

Chicago Bears trend to know

The moneyline may be the way to go when the Bears are laying the points. Chicago is 24-8 SU as a favorite since 2018 but has managed to go just 16-15-1 against the spread when giving the points in those games.

Home field has been the advantage, however, with the Bears boasting a 14-5 SU count and 11-7-1 ATS record (60.5%) as chalk inside Solider Field during that span.

Last season, the Bears were faves only twice, going 1-1 SU and 0-1-1 ATS. This season, expectations are higher with Chicago laying the points in seven outings. Six of those games take place in the Windy City.

Chicago Bears games as home favorites

  • Week 1 vs Green Bay -3
  • Week 6 vs Minnesota -1
  • Week 7 vs Las Vegas -2.5
  • Week 10 vs Carolina -3
  • Week 16 vs Arizona -6
  • Week 17 vs Atlanta -2.5

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