Their games haven’t been pretty, but the undisputed fact is that the Bears are 4-1 and currently have one of the best records in the NFL.
Despite only having a +5 point differential and making a switch at the quarterback position midway through the third game of the year, the Bears have found their way near the top of the NFC and in strong contention for the top spot in the NFC North. They still have over two-thirds of the season left to play, but their strong record could prove to be beneficial for their playoff hopes down the line.
As of now, the Bears have the sixth-best odds to make the playoffs out of the NFC at -160. They trail undefeated teams such as the Packers and Seahawks, as well as the Rams, Saints and Buccaneers. This is a step up from their initial odds, as they were given the 10th-best odds out of 16 NFC teams for essentially the whole offseason.
In any other season before 2020, placing behind both the Rams and Buccaneers would see Chicago on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, as both teams are slated behind another team in their division. However, with the NFL expanding to a 14-team playoff with seven teams in each conference, the current odds would see the Bears make it into the postseason as the seventh seed.
The Packers were the initial favorites to come out of the NFC North on top, and though they swapped back and forth with the Vikings throughout the offseason, they have come away as the heavy favorites to win the division at -358, with the Bears now in second with +350 odds in the divisional race. Minnesota tied for the sixth-best odds of making it into the playoffs late in March, but with their 1-4 start to the year, they now find themselves with the fifth-lowest playoff odds in the NFC at +290. They’re still ahead of the Lions, though, who have the fourth-lowest odds at +490.
Another notable change in odds involve the 49ers, who started off the season with the second-best odds in the NFC to make the playoffs, but are now sitting with the 11th-best odds after numerous injuries to key players and the rest of the NFC West’s hot start.
There’s plenty of football left to be played, but starting off with as good of a record as the Bears have is historically a good sign that a playoff appearance could be in their future this year.