One of the best teams in the NFC last year didn’t even make the playoffs.
The Chicago Bears started 7-3 in 2011 with their only losses coming against three of the conference’s best regular season teams, the Packers, Saints and Lions. Had they finished 3-3, the Bears would have secured a second straight postseason appearance and would have had a legitimate chance at a Super Bowl run.
Instead, Jay Cutler went down with a season-ending thumb injury, Matt Forte missed the last month with a banged-up knee, and the Bears tumbled to a 1-5 finish while losing to teams like the Chiefs, Raiders and Seahawks.
Could the Bears be a strong bounce-back team in 2012? The early action on Cantor Gaming’s NFL win totals seems to suggest that they might, as Chicago is one of only two teams whose total has moved off the opening number.
The Bears opened at 8.5 but are currently at 9, with the over juiced at -125.
A few reasons for Bears optimism:
- The schedule. The Bears will play five games against teams who have an over/under win total of 6 or less, including games against the Jaguars, Rams, Colts and Vikings (twice).
- New coordinator. Mike Martz has been replaced by Mike Tice, who is expected to implement a passing game that relies more on underneath routes and quick strikes. In other words, Jay Cutler can expect to be upright far more frequently.
- Offseason additions. The signing of Brandon Marshall gets all the attention, but don’t be surprised if Alshon Jeffery makes an immediate impact, too. Also: the offensive line should be improved with the return of Gabe Carimi.
The Bears aren’t the only team drawing attention. Below, we’ve provided updated win totals for all 32 teams, and as you’ll see, there have been eight teams whose totals have moved quite a bit.
All “big moves”—those that have moved 50 cents or more—are highlighted in bold.
* * *
|New England Patriots||12 (over -120)||12 (over -125)||Up|
|Green Bay Packers||12 (over -125)||12 (over -125)||Neutral|
|Philadelphia Eagles||10 (over -135)||10 (over -150)||Up|
|Houston Texans||10 (over -140)||10 (over -150)||Up|
|San Francisco 49ers||10 (under -135)||10 (under -120)||Up|
|New Orleans Saints||10 (over -125)||10 (under -145)||DOWN|
|Baltimore Ravens||10 (under -120)||10 (over -115)||Up|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||10 (over -125)||10 (under -135)||DOWN|
|Detroit Lions||9.5 (under -135)||9.5 (under -145)||Down|
|San Diego Chargers||9 (over -130)||9 (over -120)||Down|
|Denver Broncos||9.5 (under -120)||9.5 (under -180)||DOWN|
|New York Giants||9.5 (under -120)||9.5 (under -170)||DOWN|
|Chicago Bears||8.5 (over -135)||9 (over -125)||UP|
|Atlanta Falcons||9 (under -135)||9 (over -145)||UP|
|New York Jets||8.5 (over -115)||8.5 (over -135)||Up|
|Dallas Cowboys||8.5 (over -125)||8.5 (over -150)||Up|
|Kansas City Chiefs||8 (over -120)||8 (over -120)||Neutral|
|Cincinnati Bengals||7.5 (over -130)||7.5 (over -170)||Up|
|Miami Dolphins||7.5 (under -120)||7.5 (under -160)||Down|
|Carolina Panthers||7.5 (over -115)||7.5 (over -125)||Up|
|Buffalo Bills||7 (under -120)||7.5 (over -125)||UP|
|Seattle Seahawks||7 (under -120)||7 (over -145)||UP|
|Tennessee Titans||7 (over -130)||7 (over -150)||Up|
|Oakland Raiders||7 (under -120)||7 (over -115)||Up|
|Arizona Cardinals||7 (under -120)||7 (under -135)||Down|
|Washington Redskins||6.5 (under -130)||6.5 (under -145)||Down|
|Minnesota Vikings||6 (under -130)||6 (under -135)||Down|
|St. Louis Rams||6 (over -120)||6 (over -125)||Up|
|Tampa Bay Bucs||6 (under -120)||6 (over -115)||Up|
|Indianapolis Colts||5.5 (under -135)||5.5 (under -170)||Down|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||5.5 (under -135)||5.5 (under -160)||Down|
|Cleveland Browns||5.5 (under -130)||5.5 (under -145)||Down|