Even after an offseason of changes, the 2018 Chicago Bears are viewed to be among the longest of long-shots to end the franchise’s postseason drought.
Eric Eager and George Chahrouri of Pro Football Focus recently shared an NFC North forecast which featured playoff projections and win-loss totals. Optimism has reigned supreme throughout what has been a fun and active offseason for the Bears, but reality will soon set in … starting with some sobering odds from PFF. When it comes to seeing through the crystal ball and into the postseason, the Bears’ chances don’t look all that great. In fact, the Bears’ chances of winning the NFC North, making the playoffs, and winning the Super Bowl are the longest of any team in the division.
PFF has set Chicago’s Super Bowl chances at 1 percent and the probability of wearing the NFC North crown at the end of the season at 16 percent. I suppose you could say the team’s odds of making the playoffs are a bit on the rosy side, but a 25 percent shot still says the odds are not in the Bears’ favor.
From a gambling perspective, OddsShark shared the opening odds for teams to make the playoffs this season, and the outlook isn’t all that bright for Chicago:
Opening odds to make the 2018 NFL playoffs (@betonline_ag):
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) July 5, 2018
As you can see, only the Browns, Dolphins, Jets, and Cardinals have worse odds at this stage of the game. That three Bears opponents make this part of the lists tells me that there are some winnable games on this upcoming schedule that this team will need to take advantage of if it wants to prove the wagering community wrong.
It should come as no surprise that the Bears are among a group of perennial bottom feeders. It’s hard to gain favorable sentiment among the oddsmakers when you’re coming off a four-year stretch with double-digit losses, no matter how many offseason changes or proclamations your team makes. Maybe if the Bears were to ever go on a Packers-like run and make the postseason nine times in an 11-year stretch, you’ll see the perception (as well as the odds) change.
With that said, come on. We know the rub. And we also know NFL history is littered with long-shot surprises making the postseason. Eight teams that weren’t in the playoffs in 2016 made it in 2017. Seven teams who secured playoff berths in 2016 were on the outside looking in in 2015. Four teams made the playoffs in 2015 that didn’t make the party in 2014. We could go on and note the postseason turnover that occurs annually, but I think you get the idea.
Slim odds aren’t necessarily a precursor for what will happen in the season to come, and it’s safe to say that someone who isn’t expected to make the playoffs in 2018 is going to come up and be a pleasant surprise. As far as we’re concerned, it might as well be the Bears.