Thanks to an 8-8 season, a postseason expansion and a little bit of help from the Rams in Week 17, the Bears were able to make it to the playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons.
Granted, their performance in the Wild Card round against the Saints wasn’t exactly impressive. In the end, a postseason appearance is still a favorable outcome for an NFL team, no matter how many asterisks one puts behind it.
Heading into the 2021 season in which they face a tough schedule, though, bettors don’t seem to like the Bears’ chances of repeating with another playoff appearance.
As minicamp continues along, the Bears find themselves with the 10th-best odds among NFC teams to make the playoffs in 2021 at +185. Among their division rivals, they find themselves trailing the Vikings — who have the 8th-best odds at +122 — while leading the Lions, who have the lowest odds in the conference at +575.
It is worth noting that there are no given odds for the Packers at any point after the 2021 NFL Draft. They were initially listed as having favorable -670 odds, but the uncertainty that looms over Aaron Rodgers’ future in Green Bay has taken them off the board for the time being. Their ability to make the playoffs this season likely hinges heavily on the on-field presence of Rodgers, barring a major breakout season from Jordan Love in his place.
Another interesting takeaway is the Bears’ increase in playoff odds upon drafting Justin Fields in the first round of the draft. While they were still given the 10th-best playoff odds in the division as of Apr. 8, their line came in at +220. Upon selecting Fields, however, their odds improved to +157. While those numbers have since mellowed slightly, it is noteworthy that Chicago saw their odds improve with that draft selection.
Though the Bears have a handful of obstacles to climb in order to make it to the playoffs in 2021, just about anything can happen in the NFL. With improved quarterback play and a strong defensive support system, they could find a way to make their way into the postseason yet again this year.