Bernstein: Despite Loss, Bears' Odds Improve

September 13, 2018 - 2:37 pm

(670 The Score) A funny thing happened after the Bears choked away a chance for a resonant victory Sunday night.  In the eyes of oddsmakers, it showed that they might actually be better than previously estimated.

Their chances of winning Super Bowl LIII in February are now twice as good as they were when Bovada's last slate was posted, moving from 66-1 in September 6th to 33-1 as of today.  That's not to say that this is an objective assessment of their possibility of victory, but it could reflect bettors jumping on what was perceived to be a market inefficiency at the previous number.  It's a wide-angle indicator of a general growth of confidence in the Bears, and a fairly significant one for just one game.

The previous number had already reflected the astonishing acquisition of Khalil Mack, but actually seeing him doing what he does -- and disrupting just about everything on the field -- may have moved the needle further.

Who knows how much action came in at halftime, with fans intoxicated by the Bears across-the-board success (and very possibly something else) choosing to act on what we now know was some irrational exuberance, but the effect remains the same.  The nation saw a Bears team good enough to be in full control of the Packers in Lambeau Field, and only undone by the historic performance of one of the best quarterbacks of all time, aided by a series of unlikely and unfortunate outcomes that broke against the Bears, albeit most by their own doing.

Losing so painfully may have obscured an important conclusion to be drawn, that the Bears are clearly better than many thought relative to the rest of the league, and now won't return as much on the investment in their prospects of winning a championship.​

For a team that had so many things head in wrong directions for so long, any kind of positive sign feels foreign, and particularly after a defeat that stung as much as that one did.  It wasn't all bad.