Bears fans are known for their fierce loyalty.
In fact, that loyalty is so universally recognized that it’s been grist for the humor mill on Saturday Night Live with the likes of John Goodman, George Wendt and the late Chris Farley, among others, donning Bears gear, hoisting brews and proudly hailing “Da Bears!”
However, with Illinois sports betting legal throughout the state, both at retail sportsbooks and on computers and smart phones via apps, how does the Bears faithful collectively rank as also fans of sports betting?
How We Determined Our List
Well, IllinoisBet.com wanted to find out. We used Statista’s 2022 “Attitudes Toward Sports Betting” survey of NFL fans -- which included 1,020 respondents -- to determine the NFL fanbases who currently indicate that they are a “sports betting user.”
Note that this is a sample size of NFL fans who indicate they are followers of a specific NFL team. The percentage represents how many people are sports bettors out of the sample.
You can also follow the Bears Super Bowl odds for the upcoming season.
Top Fanbases For NFL Betting Interest
Bears Fans High on Wagering List
As it turns out, Bears fans rank fairly high for their activity on Illinois betting apps.
In the rankings, Chicago’s fanbase came in at a tie for No. 4 with the Dallas Cowboys.
Ranking ahead of the Bears fanbase were fanbases of the New York Giants, the Buffalo Bills and the Arizona Cardinals. There’s a reasonable suspicion that some of that Arizona fanbase may be Chicago transplants as evidenced by the proliferation of Chicago-themed bar-restaurants in the Valley of Sun, such as the Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill, where Walter Payton jerseys are de rigueur.
However, just focusing on the specifically measurable Chicago Bears fanbase – who can take advantage of Illinois sportsbook promos – the percentage of “sports betting users” registers at 6%. That’s ahead of top-10 fanbases representing Carolina, the N.Y. Jets, Atlanta, the L.A. Chargers, Green Bay, Baltimore, Denver, San Francisco, and Minnesota.
Bears A Big Disappointment Recently
That’s some pretty admirable and stubborn resilience, considering Bears fans who may be wagering on the hometown team have been pummeled by the sportsbooks in recent seasons.
In 2022, the Bears were a disappointing 5-11-1 against the spread, which happened to be better than their real record in the NFC North (3-14). That was the next-to-worst ATS record in the NFL, ahead of only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were 4-13. No wonder Chicago had preseason Super Bowl odds of +15000 at BetMGM Sportsbook Illinois entering last season.
In 2021, the Bears were 6-11 against the spread; in 2020, they were 8-9 ATS, and in 2019, they were an NFL-worst 4-12.
You have to go back to 2018 to find a Bears winning season ATS. In that campaign, Da Bears roared to a 12-4 record in the NFC North in the regular season before losing in the playoffs to the Eagles on a heart-breaking doinked field goal try.
On a happier note for Chicago, against the spread that season the Bears rewarded their betting backers with an NFL-best 12-5 mark.
Stay with IllinoisBet for the latest on the Chicago Bears playoff chances all season.