The Chicago Bears will open the 2021 season against the Los Angeles Rams on the road. It’s a Sunday Night Football game, so the Bears will kick off the year in prime time.
The big question for Chicago that we’ll be asking for the next several months: Who’s starting at quarterback? Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy have said that Andy Dalton is the Week 1 starter, but the clamoring for Justin Fields has already begun.
Right now, Dalton is -200 to be the opening day starter at DraftKings, while Fields is +180.
The Bears have lost to the Rams on the road the last two years and will hope to avoid the same fate for a third consecutive year. But that won’t be easy.
Let’s check out the Bears’ odds at Illinois mobile sportsbooks.
Bears @ Rams Week 1 odds
Here are the Bears vs. Rams lines:
While there’s plenty of offseason buzz surrounding the Bears thanks to the Fields pick, opening on the road against the Rams is a very tough draw.
The Rams were an extremely talented team to begin with, and they acquired quarterback Matthew Stafford this offseason. Chicago knows Stafford well, having faced him several times over the years when he was with the Lions.
At DraftKings, Los Angeles is +600 to win the NFC. Those are the second-shortest odds in the conference, so the Rams are a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Thus, it’s easy to see why the Rams are clear favorites. And taking a look at the Bears Week 1 odds board, Chicago vs. Los Angeles is expected to be one of the most lopsided matchups of the slate.
DraftKings only has one game, the 49ers vs. the Lions, with a higher point spread gap than Bears vs. Rams.
Can Chicago’s offensive line hold up?
While Fields has given the franchise a much more promising long-term outlook, 2021 could still prove to be a tough season. At most sportsbooks, the Bears projected win total is about seven games.
And keep in mind, the NFL will play a 17-game schedule this season. So, seven wins are even less impressive than it would look in previous years.
The Bears recently cut former starting left tackle Charles Leno as a salary cap casualty. While Leno certainly wasn’t great, at the very least, he was a known commodity.
Chicago will likely start Oklahoma State rookie Teven Jenkins at left tackle in Week 1, who was a second-round pick. Jenkins appears to be a nice prospect, but his inexperience could be cause for concern.
At right tackle, the Bears have said rookie fifth-round pick Larry Borom will battle veteran Germain Ifedi for the starting job. That means there is a decent chance the Bears will be starting rookie offensive tackles against one of the best pass rushes in the league.
The Rams, led by Aaron Donald and former Bear Leonard Floyd, led the league in sacks in 2020. They also finished first in yards allowed per play.
Chicago, of course, had a subpar offense in 2020. If Dalton is the starter, the Bears’ success will mostly hinge on how much better or worse he is than Mitchell Trubisky.
2021 Chicago Bears schedule
|Week 1||7:20 p.m.||Sunday Night Football, Sept. 12||at LA Rams||L 34-14||NBC-5|
|Week 2||Noon||Sunday, Sept. 19||Bengals||W 20-17||Fox-32|
|Week 3||Noon||Sunday, Sept. 26||at Browns||L 26-6||Fox-32|
|Week 4||Noon||Sunday, Oct. 3||Lions||W 24-14||Fox-32|
|Week 5||3:05 p.m.||Sunday, Oct. 10||at Raiders||W 20-9||CBS-2|
|Week 6||Noon||Sunday, Oct. 17||Packers||L 24-14||Fox-32|
|Week 7||3:25 p.m.||Sunday, Oct. 24||at Buccaneers||L 38-3||CBS-2|
|Week 8||Noon||Sunday, Oct. 31||49ers||L 33-22||Fox-32|
|Week 9||7:15 p.m.||Monday, Nov. 8||at Steelers||L 29-27||ESPN|
|Week 10||Bye week|
|Week 11||Noon||Sunday, Nov. 21||Ravens||CBS-2|
|Week 12||11:30 a.m.||Thanksgiving Day||at Lions||Fox-32|
|Week 13||Noon||Sunday, Dec. 5||Cardinals||Fox-32|
|Week 15||7:20 p.m.||Sunday, Dec. 12||at Packers||NBC-5|
|Week 16||3:05 p.m.||Sunday, Dec. 26||at Seahawks||Fox-32|
|Week 17||Noon||Sunday, Jan. 2||Giants||CBS-2|
|Week 18||Noon||Sunday, Jan. 9||at Vikings||Fox-32|