Chicago Bears Playoff Chances September 2023: Tracking the Bears Playoff Picture

By Matty Simo
Fact Checked by Wes Roesch
Justin Fields throws the ball

Key Takeaways:

  • After finishing with the worst record in the NFL and losing their first two games by double digits, the Chicago Bears currently have a 13.3% chance to make the playoffs in 2023. This is down significantly from a 39.2% chance to make the playoffs heading in to this season
  • The Bears currently hold a 7.1% chance to win the NFC North after sitting at 9.1% after Week 1.
  • Chicago now owns just a tiny 0.7% chance to win Super Bowl LVIII.

After seeing their Super Bowl odds were cut in half after a disappointing season opener from +5000 to +10000, the Bears dropped even further into the abyss on the futures betting board at +15000 and continue to be considered among the worst teams in the NFL. What initially looked like it would be a promising rebound campaign for Chicago has turned out to be more of the same so far through the first two weeks, with a tall task at hand now in visiting the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs are listed as double-digit home favorites against the Bears, and the latter's playoff chances are hanging by a thread at 13.3% while their opponent is almost a sure thing at 85.7%. This despite the fact that Kansas City is 1-1 and lost its previous home game to the Detroit Lions 21-20 in the season opener. The difference for the Chiefs now is the return of a pair of All-Pros in defensive tackle Chris Jones (contract holdout) and tight end Travis Kelce (knee injury). Jones and Kelce will pose serious matchup problems for Chicago on both sides of the ball, and all the team can hope for is progress.

Sometimes finishing with the worst record in the NFL can work out in terms of helping a team build something positive for the future. That is certainly what the Chicago Bears hope happens following a dismal 2022 campaign that saw them finish with the league's lowest win total and worst mark at 3-14. However, the Bears did not stand pat after earning the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, parlaying that into a blockbuster trade with the Carolina Panthers that landed them one of the most underrated wide receivers in D.J. Moore. The presence of Moore should help further develop quarterback Justin Fields as a passer, although the defense remains a bigger concern after the Bears allowed the most points per game in the NFL and had the fewest sacks. Improving defensively is the team's biggest key.

Chicago is hoping head coach Matt Eberflus can be a difference-maker in his second season and get the most out of his players, including Fields. The Bears have not had a winning season since 2018 but did make the postseason at 8-8 in 2020. As the season continues, we will provide the latest odds and playoff chances for the Bears to end that drought.

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Will the Bears Make the Playoffs 2023?

The Chicago Bears playoff chances are 13.3%, so they arenโ€™t expected by oddsmakers to make the playoffs and saw their odds plummet following their season-opening loss to the Packers. Below is a look at Chicagoโ€™s current odds of making the postseason and more:

โญ Bears Playoff Chances13.3% chance
โ›” Bears Miss Playoffs91.7% chance
๐Ÿ‘‘ Bears Win Super Bowl0.7% chance
๐Ÿ† Bears Win NFC1.3% chance
๐Ÿ”ฅ Bears Win NFC North7.1% chance
๐Ÿ—ฝ New York Times Postseason SimulatorNot available yet
๐Ÿˆ ESPN Football Power Index (FPI)-2.4 FPI (24th)
โœ… Data Verified by ExpertSeptember 20, 2023

To come up with the current percentages for the chart above, we used odds currently listed at DraftKings Sportsbook and calculated implied probability. Many other Illinois sportsbooks such as BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook offer odds to win the Super Bowl. The Bears are listed at +650 to make the playoffs which calculates to a 13.3% chance. The 91.7% chance to miss the postseason comes with a moneyline of -1100.

The Bearsโ€™ 7.1% chance to win the NFC North โ€“ or a +1300 moneyline โ€“ is last in the division, with the Detroit Lions continuing to lead the way as -105 favorites (51.2 percent chance) despite losing in Week 2 at home to the Seattle Seahawks 37-31 in overtime. Chicago holds just a 1.3% chance to win the NFC and only a 0.7% chance to win the Super Bowl.

The New York Timesโ€™ Postseason Simulator and ESPNโ€™s Football Power Index (FPI) are also helpful tools in determining a teamโ€™s playoff chances. Last year, the Seattle Seahawks were the only team with a negative FPI to make the playoffs.

Chicago Bears Pre Season Win Total 2023

The Chicago Bears' season win total was set at 7.5 across the sports betting market. While the Bears certainly made drastic moves to improve, their 0-2 start shows that there is still a lot of work to be done, and they will be hard-pressed to even come close to seven wins at this point.

Chicago Bears Week-by-Week Playoff Chances

Starting Week 1, I'll track the Bears' week-by-week playoff chances to see how they fluctuate throughout the 2023 season.

Week 1: 39.2%

Week 2: 20.8%

Week 3: 13.3%

At 0-2, the odds are stacked against the Chicago Bears making the postseason this year. Roughly 10% of teams with that record have made the playoffs since 1970, and only three have won the Super Bowl. So that 13.3% is a little generous, and one reason is because the top two teams in the NFC North are 1-1. If Detroit or Green Bay would have gotten off to a 2-0 start, Chicago's odds would have likely been closer to 10%. The Bears are expected to lose again this week, so things cannot get much worse.

Chicago Bears Schedule and Betting Lines

Week 1 vs. Green Bay Packers | L 38-20 (ATS L Bears -1)
Week 2 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers | L 27-17 (ATS L, Bears +3)
Week 3 at Kansas City Chiefs | +12.5, ML +500
Week 4 vs. Denver Broncos | +1.5, ML +102
Week 5 at Washington Commanders | TBD
Week 6 vs. Minnesota Vikings | TBD
Week 7 vs. Las Vegas Raiders | TBD
Week 8 at Los Angeles Chargers | TBD
Week 9 at New Orleans Saints | TBD
Week 10 vs. Carolina Panthers | TBD
Week 11 at Detroit Lions | TBD
Week 12 at Minnesota Vikings | TBD
Week 13 BYE | N/A
Week 14 vs. Detroit Lions | TBD
Week 15 at Cleveland Browns | TBD
Week 16 vs. Arizona Cardinals | TBD
Week 17 vs. Atlanta Falcons | TBD
Week 18 at Green Bay Packers | TBD

It is easy to write off the Chicago Bears again in Week 3, as they are visiting the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, who are double-digit home favorites. However, Chicago's playoff chances do not figure to take another big hit from an odds perspective assuming the team loses again for an 0-3 start even though statistically the chances shrink even more. Only five teams have made the postseason in that exact situation dating back to 1980, and that is the likely scenario for the Bears here.

Chicago Bears Playoff Chances: Key Offseason Updates September 2023

Stay up to date with the latest Bears news and how it impacts their postseason chances.

  • ๐Ÿ“† August 22: Rookie RT Darnell Wright exits practice with an apparent ankle injury.
  • ๐Ÿ“† August 21: LG Teven Jenkins is ruled out indefinitely with a leg injury.
  • ๐Ÿ“† July 27: The Bears training camp opens.
  • ๐Ÿ“† May 22-June 8: The Bears host 10 OTA (organized team activities) practices.
  • ๐Ÿ“† May 5-6: The Bears conduct rookie minicamp.
  • ๐Ÿ“† April 27: Selected T Darnell Wright (Tennessee) with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
  • ๐Ÿ“† March 16: Signed RB Dโ€™Onta Foreman. Foreman led the Panthers with 914 yards rushing and five touchdowns last season.
  • ๐Ÿ“† March 15: Signed DL DeMarcus Walker. Walker had a career-high seven sacks last season for the Tennessee Titans.
  • ๐Ÿ“† March 15: Signed LB Tremaine Edmunds. Edmunds is a two-time Pro Bowler and has recorded at least 100 total tackles in each of his five seasons in the NFL.
  • ๐Ÿ“† March 15: Acquired multiple draft picks and WR D.J. Moore from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick. Moore has three seasons with 1,100-plus yards receiving in five years.

Make sure to bookmark this page to stay up to date with recent Bears news and developments.

Key Contributors Toward Bears Playoff Chances

Quarterback Justin Fields is the most obvious key to the Chicago Bears' playoff chances, and his odds have already risen from +2000 to +5000 to +10000 to win NFL MVP honors. Fields has yet to find a groove in the passing game for the Bears even though he got top target D.J. Moore more involved, going from two catches for 25 yards in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers to six for 104 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2. That connection with Moore remains critical to Chicago's playoff chances, as opponents need to respect his presence in order for other parts of the offense to shine. As the team's starting signal caller, Fields must do a better job of avoiding sacks too, as he has already been taken down 10 times for 69 yards and could end up getting hurt if that continues.

Besides Fields and Moore, the most important players in 2023 will continue to be a couple new additions on the defense, linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards. The duo should help shore up a big weakness from last season. Edmunds and Edwards were both leading tacklers for playoff teams a year ago, so they know what it takes to win. While neither figure to be in contention for Defensive Player of the Year, they are two leaders who can make a positive impact and help take pressure off Fields so he does not have to do too much offensively. The duo has done a great job so far with a combined 50 total tackles in two games, including 26 solo and two tackles for loss. New defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has only one sack and two tackles for loss in the first two games, and he and the rest of Chicago's other defensive players must play better to support Edmunds and Edwards. The Bears did not have a sack as a team last week and finished last in that category last year.

Where Can I Bet on the Chicago Bears to Make the Playoffs?

Fortunately for fans in the Windy City, sports betting is legal in the state of Illinois. DraftKings Sportsbook is the Illinois platform where fans can currently bet on the Bears to make or miss the playoffs, win the NFC North, NFC or the Super Bowl.

Those props are available at other sportsbooks such as BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook and FanDuel. All currently have Super Bowl odds for the Bears. BetMGM currently has Chicago as the longest shot at +25000.

Looking Ahead: Chicago Bears Playoff Picture

Oddsmakers continue to push the Chicago Bears down the betting board all the way around, from playoff chances to Super Bowl odds. The Bears cannot move much further down the board, as they are an extreme long shot to earn a playoff spot right now. The only thing that can change the minds of oddsmakers is seeing Chicago get a win or two, and that may not happen until the next few weeks.

While he has not yet produced the way many had hoped for at the NFL level as a passer, Chicago remains committed to quarterback Justin Fields, who has proven to be a dynamic runner. The Bears worked hard to add weapons and protection for Fields this offseason with the addition of wide receiver D.J. Moore as his top target and the selection of offensive tackle Darnell Wright to protect him in the first round of the draft.

The Bears were in the lower third of the NFL last season in yards and points per game, but the biggest issue was the defensive side of the ball. Chicago worked to revamp the front seven with the additions of defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker and linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards. The Bears also used a pair of second-round picks to address the defense with the selections of defensive lineman Gervon Dexter and cornerback Tyrique Stevenson. Then they just picked up a top pass rusher in Yannick Ngakoue. Of that group, only Edmunds and Edwards have made a positive impact so far.

A trip to the playoffs is unlikely for the Bears in 2023, especially following their 0-2 start. Keep in mind, they were originally favored to win their first two games before the season started, and instead they are headed down the same path they were on this time last year en route to finishing with the league's worst record and earning the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. A win or two over the next month or so could change their fortunes slightly, but they also need the other teams in the NFC North to keep losing.

Do the Bears Have a Chance to Make the Playoffs?

Given the +650 odds, the Bears are one of the worst bets to make the playoffs, but they still have high hopes for the future. Looking ahead to the rest of the 2023 schedule, there are promising spots for them to pick up some wins down the road starting next week when they host the winless Denver Broncos and then two weeks after that when the winless Minnesota Vikings visit Soldier Field. In between is a trip to visit the Washington Commanders, one of the surprising 2-0 teams that could be coming off consecutive losses after facing the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles. Then the Las Vegas Raiders come to town in Week 7, and Chicago may have a better record than them by then.

Are the Bears Out of Playoffs?

Not quite yet, given that the regular season has barely started. No teams have been eliminated from the playoffs yet, even the worst ones like Chicago. The Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings also lost in Week 2, so the Bears are only one game out of first place in the division.

Where Do the Bears Rank in the NFC North?

Right now, the Bears still look like the worst team in the NFC North even though the four teams went a combined 0-4 in Week 2. The Lions are -105 favorites to win the division with the Packers second at +200, improving from +260 the week before despite losing 25-24 to the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday.

Here are the current standings look like through Week 2:

  1. Detroit Lions 1-1
  2. Green Bay Packers 1-1
  3. Minnesota Vikings 0-2
  4. Chicago Bears 0-2

Here is what the final standings looked like last year:

  1. Minnesota Vikings 14-3
  2. Detroit Lions 9-8
  3. Green Bay Packers 8-9
  4. Chicago Bears 3-14

Where Do the Bears Rank in the NFC Playoff Standings?

Chicago is currently 75/1 to win the NFC after opening at 30/1, and that says a lot about the team's place in the conference. Only the Carolina Panthers (100/1) and Arizona Cardinals (200/1) have worse odds in the NFC, and fortunately for the Bears, they host both of them later this season. Then again, each of them visits Soldier Field in the second half of the year, and all three could be fighting for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft by then.

Where Do the Bears Rank in the NFC Wild-Card Race?

While only one team from the NFC North may make the playoffs, there is an outside shot two could qualify depending on how things turn out down the road. The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers look like the class of the division so far, but both of them are coming off losses to drop them down to 1-1.

Can the Bears Get the No. 1 Seed?

There is virtually no chance for this to happen for Chicago if the team continues to play like it has in the first two weeks of the season. An 0-3 start seems highly likely, although the schedule after the trip to Kansas City gets much easier over the next month or so. Still, to earn the No. 1 seed, the Bears would have to essentially win out and maybe even upset the Chiefs this Sunday to make that a possibility.

Who to Root for if Youโ€™re a Bears Fan

Again, fans want to see a repeat of Week 2 where all the teams in the NFC North continue to lose - except Chicago. Detroit hosts the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3 and Green Bay plays the New Orleans Saints, and both of their opponents are unbeaten at 2-0. Then Minnesota is 0-2 and a home underdog to the Los Angeles Chargers, so it would not be shocking if all those teams lost again. What would be shocking is the Bears upsetting the Chiefs, which is another thing fans should be rooting hard for.

Bears Postseason Outlook and Predictions

As mentioned earlier, just five teams have ever made the NFL playoffs after starting out 0-3 since 1980, and that is a more than likely scenario for Chicago based on this week's opponent. The Bears would like to simply take a positive step forward and show some improvement heading into the next part of their schedule, which features four winnable games over the next month, including three at home.

The odds of Chicago's Matt Eberflus winning NFL Coach of the Year honors went from +1400 to +10000 over the past week, and that is all you really need to know about what oddsmakers think about this team. The Bears seemingly got a bit of a pass after their season-opening loss to the Packers, as Eberflus had opened at +1100, but losing in similar fashion to the Buccaneers with the defense looking gassed in the second half is not a pattern they can afford to see continue. A fast start by the Chiefs could make that irrelevant, putting even more pressure on Fields and the offense to produce early on.

The Bears are not going to earn a playoff spot by winning on Sunday, but they need to at least show some life and try to be competitive for a full 60 minutes. They have been outscored 42-21 in the second half of their first two games after hanging tough in the first half both times. They are playing the defending Super Bowl champions and should expect a bit of a letdown from them in this spot off two tough games but not play like they expect it if that makes sense. Chicago plays only one NFC North opponent in the next eight weeks, so this is the measuring stick the team needs right now. Try hard and cover the spread at Kansas City, and the outlook will appear a little brighter.

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Matty Simo is a Las Vegas-based writer who has resided there for more than 20 years and covered sports since the age of 16 in suburban Chicago. "Vegas Matty" (as he is known in Sin City) has been involved in the sports gambling scene since graduating from Syracuse University, writing betting articles and helping grow Vegas football contests through his popular proxy service. He is an avid fan of the Vegas Golden Knights, Las Vegas Raiders and Las Vegas Aces, adopting them as his favorite teams upon their arrival.

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