This is the second of an eight-part series breaking down each NFL division and its future market.
Lead by first-team All-Pro Khalil Mack and one of the most stout defenses in the NFL, the Chicago Bears were the class of the division last season going 12-4 and running away with it by November. Coming into 2019, Aaron Rodgers and new head coach Matt LaFleur will certainly have something to say about that as they look to put the Packers back in the playoffs.
Throw two more veteran quarterbacks in the mix with Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford, and it’s obvious why this one of the most wide-open divisions in the NFL. Let’s dive in and see where we can find an edge. Check out all NFC North future odds here.
What are the odds?
These odds were taken from FanDuel Sportsbook on August 6, 2019.
|Team||Super Bowl||Division||Win Totals||To Make Playoffs|
|Chicago Bears||+1800||+180||o9.5 (+120) / u9.5 (-140)||Yes (-110) / No (-100)|
|Green Bay Packers||+1900||+185||o9 (-125) / u9 (+105)||Yes (-104) / No (-118)|
|Minnesota Vikings||+3000||+210||o9 (-120) / u9 (+100)||Yes (+138) / No (-166)|
|Detroit Lions||+8000||+1200||o6.5 (-130) / u6.5 (+110)||Yes (+490) / No (-700)|
What happened last year?
|Team||SU Record||ATS Record||O/U||Points For||Points Against||Net Points|
|Green Bay Packers||6-9-1||6-9-1||8-8-0||376||400||(24)|
After an unexpectedly strong 2018 campaign, I can’t look away from fading a Chicago team that I have projected to come crashing back down to earth this season. After a missed 43-yard field goal from Cody Parkey in the playoffs, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio bolted for the head job in Denver. Also, opponents have another full season of tape on the increasingly mediocre Mitchell Trubisky.
One metric that jumps off the page from the Bears’ 2018 season was their +12 turnover margin (third-best in the NFL) which also came with a league-best six defensive touchdowns. Not only do I expect their defense to regress slightly under new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, but turnover margins have proved to be largely random, meaning regression is coming there as well.
Scheduling also fell the Bears’ way in 2018 which appears to be going the other way this season. Not only do the Bears draw the Rams and Chiefs, but following a bye in week six, they play four out of five games against teams who reached at least the divisional round of the playoffs last season. Mix in a much improved NFC North, and I think the Bears finish with well under nine wins this season.