Fans of the Chicago Bears were eagerly awaiting news about the quarterback their team was trying to acquire—but then the front office signed Andy Dalton. Had they acquired Russell Wilson, their odds would have improved because the Bears would have become a better bet.
The same certainly cannot be said about Dalton.
While his best days are behind him, Dalton is not a bad quarterback. He led the Cincinnati Bengals to two division titles and five playoff berths in his first five seasons. So, then how come fans are not excited about his acquisition? Could it be because Dalton’s last Pro Bowl-worthy season was in 2016? Or could it be because the last time he played a whole season was 2017?
It would be unfair to lay all the blame for the Bengals failures the last few years on him, though. Did he play well? No! However, he did not have a lot to work with, and the Cincinnati defense was short on talent in those years. While he was not great with the Dallas Cowboys last season, once he got comfortable in the offense, the team did not look terrible (bad, but not terrible).
The Bears are not a talent-packed team, but they have some and could acquire more in the draft. So, is there a chance the Chicago Bears became a team worth betting on with the Red Rocket at quarterback in 2021?
Andy Dalton and Michael Gallup coming in super clutch for the #Cowboys. This is an incredible grab.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) October 11, 2020
Odds On The Chicago Bears in 2021
To be fair, little was expected of the Chicago Bears before the team acquired Andy Dalton. Mitchell Trubisky appears to be a bust, and the Nick Foles experiment did not work out last year. The only expectation fans had was for Trubisky not to come back.
While the Bears and Trubisky have yet to officially part ways, rumor has it that the plan is for them to do just that.
With no discernable solution at quarterback (among other issues), the odds on the Bears to win anything were understandably long. Acquiring a quarterback that gives fans no reason for hope failed to make them any better:
|Chicago Bears 2021-22 Odds||William Hill||PointsBet||DraftKings|
|Division- NFC North||+600||+500||+550|
While they will still probably be better than the Detroit Lions, it is hard to make a case for the Bears competing with the Minnesota Vikings, let alone the Green Bay Packers. Chicago has better odds to win the NFC than the Vikings do (+2500 via PointsBet).
But the Bears odds of winning the NFC only give them a 4.76 percent chance, and that might be a little generous. As for the Super Bowl, their odds match up with what the Bears are– a mediocre team on a good day. Their odds at William Hill actually fell from +4000 to +5000.
Before acquiring Dalton, the Bears were considered a longshot to win the division, conference, and Super Bowl. After acquiring him, they still are. However, that does not necessarily mean they are a bad bet.
It does not mean you should bet on them, either.
Why would the Bengals draft Joe Burrow with Andy Dalton completing passes like this pic.twitter.com/4Qmqxj5kt7
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) December 15, 2019
The Bears needed a change at quarterback heading into the 2021 season. Andy Dalton was not the change they wanted to see, but it is the one they are going to get. While he is an uninspiring addition to the roster, he is an upgrade over Trubisky and Foles. How much of one, though, remains to be seen.
Chicago’s front office is probably hoping that Bill Lazor can revive the Pro Bowl-version of Dalton. The Bears offensive coordinator was the quarterbacks coach in Cincinnati during Dalton’s last Pro Bowl season (2016).
If he does not, there is a strong chance head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace get fired before the season ends. Even if he does, there is no reason to bet on the Chicago Bears. In the division, it is hard to see them getting by the Green Bay Packers. If they cannot do that, then there is no way they can win the NFC or Super Bowl.
So—does Andy Dalton make the Bears a better bet?
Maybe, but only slightly and not enough to impact their odds in a positive way. He does not even make them a longshot worth throwing a couple of bucks on. There are simply too many other things wrong with the Bears to warrant betting on them in 2021.
However, on the outside chance he does play well and the Bears are competitive, Dalton could be worth throwing a few dollars down on for Comeback Player of the Year. It will be a while before sportsbooks post odds for that, though.
Then again, there is still a chance the Bears draft a quarterback that beats Dalton out for the starting job, so maybe not.