NFL betting handicappers will have plenty to consider with the revamped Chicago Bears and their sports betting prospects for the 2010 season. The Bears will face the 2-time defending AFC West champion Chargers at San Diego in the preseason opener for both teams on August 14.
The Bears have failed to make the playoffs since their 2006 NFC championship season and head coach Lovie Smith is on the hot seat.
The Bears were a colossal disappointment last year as they finished 7-9 straight up and 6-10 against the spread after being touted as a contender when they traded quarterbacks with Denver. The Bears swapped Kyle Orton for Jay Cutler in what looked like a steal but Cutler struggled all season with inconsistency and interceptions to fall far short of his preseason label as the “savior” of the Bears.
Cutler will have a new offensive coordinator to try and get him back on track with “Mad” Mike Martz, who made his fame with the St. Louis Rams as their offensive coordinator when they won the Super Bowl over Tennessee and then the head coach when they lost the Super Bowl against New England. Since that time Martz’s career has imploded and he has been fired from numerous coordinator gigs. But he worked with Smith in the St. Louis days and they have a familiarity with each other.
San Diego opened as a 3-point favorite with an over/under opening at Sportsbook SBGGlobal.com of 34.
In other coaching moves former Viking head coach Mike Tice will work the offensive line and Rod Marinelli will coordinate the defense, which will welcome back leader and star linebacker Brian Urlacher after he missed last year due to injury.
The Bears should feature a strong competition at running back for the preseason as Harvey Unga was drafted out of BYU to add depth and should see a lot of exhibition action. He will compete for time with Will Ta’ufo’ou and Eddie Williams as the trio backs up Matt Forte and Chester Taylor.
Caleb Hanie and Dan LeFevour will see plenty of preseason time at QB as backups to Cutler. The Chargers are coming off a crushing playoff loss to the Jets that re-ignited skepticism in regards to head Coach Norv Turner.
The Chargers have had their share of holdouts including running back Ryan Matthews, who was considered by Turner to be “the most complete back in the draft.” Turner was anxious for the rookie from Fresno State to sign in order to get him in camp and acclimated.
Offensive lineman Marcus McNeill and wideout Vincent Jackson were also holdouts.