Bears Look Like Bad Bet After Alshon Jeffery Suspension
The Chicago Bears were already looking like a team to target in the NFL betting realm. Prior to the start of the 2016 NFL season, they sported some of the worst Super Bowl odds and didn’t appear to be threats to the NFC North division title.
That’s especially now the case.
Per reports, the Bears are in as bad of shape as ever, as star number one wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has been handed a four-game ban for violating the league’s performance enhancing drugs rules:
BREAKING: Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery suspended 4-games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. pic.twitter.com/3gKLug1D5Q
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 14, 2016
Next Man Up
Jeffery’s absence is a big one, but not one that single-handedly should sink a Bears team that wasn’t going anywhere, regardless.
Cameron Meredith and Eddie Royal figure to see more work with Jeffery out, while second year wide receiver Kevin White could return as soon as week 13 and carve out a big role in the team’s passing game.
The Bears are likely to lean more on their ground game than ever, while tight end Zach Miller can be expected to eat some of Jeffery’s usual targets.
Jeffery’s Last Days
Losing Alshon Jeffery for four games during a lost season isn’t overly traumatic for the Bears, but it could be the final blow to a disappointing contract year.
Jeffery never seemed long for the Bears, but some still speculated that the star receiver could earn a huge contract if he came up big during the 2016 season.
That didn’t happen and with Jeffery’s injury-plagued 2015 and suspension-marred 2016, Chicago is almost sure to cut ties with him and let him walk in free agency this off-season.
With that, the future begins with White and Meredith, while it also wouldn’t be shocking to see Chicago spend an early draft pick at the wide receiver position in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Betting on Bears
Betting on the Bears, who have gone just 2-7 through their first nine games, just got a lot more difficult. On the bright side, betting against Chicago is now easier than ever.
Chicago wasn’t putting up points on offense even with Alshon Jeffery in town and with him on the sidelines for the next four games, the Bears are an increasingly poor bet to come away with wins.
Those four games, specifically, come against the New York Giants, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions.
Those could have been winnable games with Chicago at full strength, but odds are the Bears will enter as the underdog in every game except for possibly a showdown with the Niners.
Depending on how those odds play out, betting on Chicago could still be an interesting flier bet. However, judging by how the Bears have largely performed even when at full strength this season, logic suggests the wheels have officially come off.
A terrible 36-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 10 may have told us that.
Jeffery will be eligible to return for Chicago’s final three games of the year, which are dates with the Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings.
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