Matt Nagy Record As An Underdog: Bears Head Coach Has Struggled Mightily In Betting Spots Like Cardinals Matchup

Written By Joe Boozell on November 30, 2021 - Last Updated on December 8, 2021
Matt Nagy

The Chicago Bears are more than touchdown underdogs in Week 13 against the Arizona Cardinals, and Matt Nagy has not fared well in this kind of spot during his Bears tenure.

Chicago has tended to beat up on teams like the Detroit Lions over the past few seasons. But if you’re the type of bettor who likes to identify the feisty underdog on the odds board, well, the Bears have been far from that lately.

Nagy became the Bears’ head coach in 2018. Since then, they are 2-18 straight up and 4-16 against the spread when they are more than a field goal underdog.

In fairness, two of the spread wins have come this year against the Steelers and Raiders. But the Buccaneers, Browns, Rams and Packers games are examples of the Bears simply being outclassed.

With that in mind, the Bears are more than touchdown underdogs to the 9-2 Cardinals. Below, find Bears game odds at Illinois online sportsbooks and a matchup analysis.

Cardinals @ Bears odds

You can bet on the Bears at Illinois sportsbooks. Here are the current game lines:


The line opened at seven, but it has moved toward the Cardinals ever so slightly. However, the line movement is significant, as it started on a key number.

There’s not much reason to have faith in the Bears in this matchup at first glance. We also still don’t know whether Justin Fields or Andy Dalton will get the start against Arizona, as the former is dealing with cracked ribs.

It also might not matter much for betting purposes. When Dalton was announced the starter against Detroit, the line moved half-a-point toward the Lions. Dalton played decently enough on Thanksgiving, throwing for more than 300 yards. Though, of course, most opposing quarterbacks have carved up the Lions this year.

Generally speaking, the Bears are extremely banged up and are playing for a lame-duck head coach. Khalil Mack is done for the season, and key players Allen Robinson, Eddie Jackson and Akiem Hicks are also dealing with injuries.

With that said, the Cardinals know a thing or two about injuries. If they can stay healthy the rest of the way, they are a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

Cardinals getting healthy just in time for Nagy, Bears

Arizona has dealt with injuries and a COVID outbreak, but key players should take the field on Sunday, coming off a bye week.

Chief among them are quarterback Kyler Murray and star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals are 7-1 when Murray starts this season, and he was a leading MVP candidate before missing a few games due to injury.

Murray is averaging a whopping 8.9 yards per pass attempt this season and will be going up against a Bears pass defense that ranks 20th in opposing yards per pass attempt. And that ranking is actually generous, as the Chicago defense was much better and healthier earlier this season than it is now.

The Bears will have to hope that the Cardinals are rusty coming off of a bye week and injuries, and are not acclimated to the cold. Sub-40 temperatures are expected at Soldier Field on Sunday. Given the talent difference, we’ll see how much “Bear weather” really matters this week.

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Chicago will likely close as a +300 or so underdog, so if it can pull off the upset, you’d be looking at quite the profit.

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Photo by AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, and Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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