Quarterback Justin Fields is a Chicago Bear, and as a result, Chicago Bears fans have hope.
That’s a lot of pressure to put on a rookie quarterback. But given the context, it makes sense.
The Chicago Bears haven’t had a franchise quarterback in decades. And after mustering one of the most uninspiring NFL playoff appearances you’ll see, it felt like the team lacked direction after the 2020 season.
But then Chicago traded up for Fields, who some believed could have been the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. Instead, he fell to No. 11, where the Bears swooped in via trade with the New York Giants.
Fields was a very accomplished college prospect. Ohio State reached the College Football Playoff two years in a row while he threw for 63 touchdown passes to just nine interceptions.
Although Mitchell Trubisky was a higher draft pick than Fields four years ago; the fan base appears to be much more excited about the latter given his pedigree.
With that in mind, the Bears have said all along that the former Buckeye won’t be the opening day starter. Insert Andy Dalton into the conversation, the likely Week 1 starter for Chicago.
But it’s likely only a matter of time before Fields takes the helm. Here are the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds at a few Illinois sportsbooks.
Justin Fields Rookie of the Year odds
As you can see, FanDuel and PointsBet are higher on Fields’ chances than DraftKings. As such, it would make sense for those looking to place a Fields’ Rookie of the Year bet to go with the higher number to maximize potential profit.
Rookie of the Year usually comes down to a combination of opportunity and talent. With Fields, the situation is a bit difficult to handicap because we don’t know when he’s going to play.
Trevor Lawrence, meanwhile, will be the Week 1 starter for the Jaguars. Factor in his talent, and it’s easy to see why he’s the favorite.
It’s interesting that Fields is slotted above Zach Wilson at every IL sportsbook. Not only was he chosen nine spots ahead of Fields, but he figures to be the opening day starter for the Jets.
While team success is also a factor, that shows that the betting market is high on Fields.
And perhaps … low on Dalton? If Dalton plays well at the beginning of the season and the Bears are winning, Fields could ride the pine for a while.
But the chances of that feel slim. Dalton looked like a replacement-level quarterback for the Cowboys last season, notching an 87.1 passer rating. Chicago also has a difficult schedule to start the season, facing the Rams and Browns on the road in two of the first three weeks.
The Bears are home in Week 4 against the Lions, which could be when Fields takes the reins. If that happens, he’ll be in the running for the award.
Is there any chance Justin Fields starts Week 1?
DraftKings is offering odds on whether Fields will be the Bears’ starter against the Rams.
Right now, Dalton is –500 to get the nod, while Fields is at +300. And, don’t forget about Nick Foles, who checks in at +2,500.
While many Bears fans want to see the rookie right away, opening up at the Rams on Sunday Night Football is an extremely difficult spot. By some metrics, the Rams had the best defense in the NFL last year.
The latest Chicago Bears odds lists Los Angeles as a touchdown favorite over Chicago.
Right now, a portion of the fanbase is likely as excited to watch Fields preseason snaps as they are Bears vs. Rams.