Will the Bears make the playoffs?

Chicago Bears 2015 Super Bowl playoff odds Jay Cutler

LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – One of the better playoff values heading into the 2014 NFL season could be the Chicago Bears.

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According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Bears are 8/5 to make the playoffs and also have 1/2 odds to miss the postseason altogether. They also have an over/under of 8.5 for number of projected wins for Chicago in the 2014 regular season, while the Bears’ 2015 Super Bowl odds are currently sitting at 14/1.

For the better part of 10 years the Bears have been known for defense but that all changed last year when Marc Trestman was hired as head coach. He installed a system that helped the Bears rack up 27.8 points per game, which ranked second in the league behind only Denver’s 37.9 PPG. (New England also averaged 27. 8 points as well.) With Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte back in the fold, coupled with a healthy Jay Cutler, the Bears shouldn’t have any problems generating touchdowns again this year.

That said, the defense was one of the worst in the league a year ago, ranking tied for 30th in points allowed, 30th in yards allowed per game, and dead last in rushing yards allowed per game. Changes needed to be made this offseason and GM Phil Emery did a great job acquiring new talent in Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller.

If the defense greatly improves then there’s no reason to think the Bears won’t qualify for a playoff spot in 2014. The Packers and Lions will be competitive within the division but the Bears have enough talent on offense to hang with both Green Bay and Detroit. From a betting standpoint, there’s value in Chicago’s 8/5 odds to make the playoffs and that’s the way we’d bet. They’re a top-6 team in the NFC, assuming they can stay healthy.

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