Bears' Week 1 starter odds: Lay the chalk on Nick Foles

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Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace thought he had it all figured out at the 2017 NFL Draft.

In need of a spark under center following a mediocre Jay Cutler era, Pace handpicked his franchise quarterback. He sent a king's ransom to the San Francisco 49ers to move up one spot to draft Mitchell Trubisky out of North Carolina at No. 2 overall, bypassing both Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

Fast forward three years and the Bears declined to pick up Trubisky's fifth-year option for the 2021 season. To shore up the quarterback position - and increase the competition - the Bears traded for Nick Foles, who signed a four-year contract with the Jaguars last summer.

So, who's going to be the guy for Pace and head coach Matt Nagy in 2020? Let's dive into the odds.

Odds to start for the Bears in Week 1

Player Odds
Nick Foles -320
Mitchell Trubisky +200

The case for Foles

This was supposed to be a modern offense with Nagy at the helm. The front office prioritized that side of the ball during the head coach's first season, bringing in wide receivers Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel via free agency, as well as tight end Trey Burton. Chicago was scratching the surface of something special in 2018 before a hiccup in Trubisky's development set the team back. The Bears still have the pieces to be good; they just need someone who can orchestrate the offense.

Enter Foles, who has experience playing under Nagy in Kansas City in 2016. The 31-year-old quarterback became one of the hottest commodities in 2018 after he stepped in for an injured Carson Wentz and led the Eagles to a Super Bowl win. But last season, he failed in his introduction with the Jaguars, suffering a shoulder injury in the opener and going 0-4 in his starts.

Foles hasn't taken a meaningful snap in a while, but his situation is more favorable in Chicago - he's healthy, he has a decent supporting cast, and he's in a familiar system alongside Nagy. It wouldn't make much sense to let a player who's eating up $8 million in cap space toil on the sideline wearing a headset all year.

The case for Trubisky

To be fair, Trubisky's only 25 years of age and considered to be in his prime. Let's not forget that less than two years ago, he led the Bears to 11 wins in his 14 starts and recorded career highs in virtually every category. Last season, his production declined significantly, but Trubisky is entering just his fifth year as a starter across the collegiate and pro levels.

The fact that he's not dealing with as much pressure could pay dividends for Trubisky as well. Mahomes already has a Super Bowl and Watson's one of the premier dual-threat quarterbacks in the league; all Trubisky's heard since the start of last season is how he's the dud of the 2017 class.

With Chicago not invested in Trubisky long term, this year becomes a tryout for the former No. 2 pick. And there's a second contract at stake.

Best bet

Foles (-320)

Would I be surprised to watch the Bears, of all franchises, sit a quarterback who's making $8 million in favor of one who just had his fifth-year option declined? No, I would not. But the entire city of Chicago would likely be calling for the front office's heads if Trubisky's the first one off the sideline with the offense in September.

This offense simply needs more juice. Trubisky was fine during parts of the 2017 season and made a huge leap the following year, but Nagy wants someone who can push the ball up and down the field.

I don't think bringing in a quarterback with three years left on his contract was a coincidence. Foles should get control of the offense from the start - if Nagy and Pace want to remain employed.

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.

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Bears' Week 1 starter odds: Lay the chalk on Nick Foles
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