The Trey Lance era will officially begin for the San Francisco 49ers they kick off their season in the Windy City against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
The 49ers fell a game short of the Super Bowl in 2021, blowing a 10-point second-half lead in their 20-17 loss to the eventual-champion Los Angeles Rams. They navigated a tumultuous offseason where star wide receiver Deebo Samuel requested a trade then rescinded his demand and signed a three-year contract during training camp.
San Francisco still has 2021 starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster but is fielding trade offers for the veteran who is coming off off-season shoulder surgery and set to enter the final year of a five-year contract.
The Niners have officially handed the reins to Lance, the No. 3 pick of the 2021 NFL draft, who will be expected to excel with a load of offensive weapons which includes Samuel, All-Pro tight end George Kittle, and the two-headed backfield monster of Elijah Mitchell and 2021 third-round pick, Trey Sermon.
Meanwhile, the Bears are retooling after cleaning house following a disappointing 6-11 season in 2021. Former Colts Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus becomes the fifth Bears coach in the past 11 seasons and is taking over for Matt Nagy, who was fired after going 34-31 in four seasons.
This will be Year 2 of Justin Fields under center for Chicago, and the Bears are hoping, like many other quarterbacks, he’ll break out in his sophomore campaign.
49ers vs Bears Odds
The Niners are an understandable touchdown favorite given their talent and the Bears’ perceived deficiencies on both sides of the ball. Plus, Lance got a taste of running an NFL offense, making two starts in 2021 and going 1-1, including a 23-7 win over the Houston Texans in Week 17 last year.
Take a look at the best 49ers odds and Bears odds for the 2022 NFL season.
49ers vs Bears Implied Score
49ers 24.25, Bears 17.25
San Francisco averaged 25 points per game in 2021, and the Bears scored about 18 per game last season, which is where the implied score comes from. The Chicago weather in September is more conducive to offense, but two inexperienced quarterbacks — plus offenses are always behind defenses in the season’s early-going — might lead to a more low-scoring game.
49ers vs Bears Pick of the Day
Read more on this 49ers vs Bears bet below.
49ers vs Bears Matchup
Samuel is the X-factor and will be in every game San Francisco plays in 2022 — just as he was in 2021. Eberflus’ defensive game plan should be to slow down the receiver/runner extraordinaire, which is easier said than done, and make Lance try to beat the Bears with Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and the running game.
Chicago has a strong running game of its own, with reliable back David Montgomery complemented by bowling-ball-built rusher Khalil Herbert. But Fields lost No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson, and although Chicago acquired N’Keal Harry from the New England Patriots, he isn’t the same security blanket that the veteran Robinson would be, especially since he injured his ankle in training camp and could miss the season-opener.
49ers vs Bears Prediction
49ers 27, Bears 14
There’s always one incomprehensible upset in Week 1 that leaves the NFL world scratching its head. This one could be it. A young and inexperienced quarterback guiding a team with Super Bowl hopes goes on the road and gets picked off by a rookie coach whose team goes all-out to make him a winner in his first game.
But at the end of the day, there are a couple of reasons why I can’t advocate picking the Bears to win. For starters, the 49ers’ defense is a problem, especially rushing the passer. Nick Bosa is a bona fide game-wrecker who had 15.5 sacks in 2021, and although Chicago has an experienced offensive line, it allowed 58 sacks in 17 games a year ago, which was the most in the league.
Also, who on Chicago is actually going to shut down Samuel? The Bears finished tied for third in the NFL in touchdown passes allowed and had the fourth-fewest interceptions in the league (eight).
They may have addressed their woeful secondary in the draft, selecting Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker with their first two selections, but expecting them to limit what expects to be a suped-up 49ers’ offense in Week 1 is a tall ask.
49ers vs Bears Bet Tips
The 49ers were 5-4 against the spread in road games in 2021, including a 33-22 victory over the Bears at Soldier Field on Halloween. Chicago was 4-4 at home against the spread. The Bears have won three of their past four home openers but are just 2-2 against the spread in those games.
San Francisco has won its opening road game in three straight seasons, covering the spread in two of those games. Its only failed cover came at Detroit in 2021, where the 49ers won, 41-33 (the spread was 9.5).
49ers vs Bears Best Bets
49ers -7 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Wager: 1 Unit
The 49ers have finished among the NFL’s final four in two of the past three seasons. Regression is possible, but they should be able to go on the road and leave with both a win and a cover in Week 1.
San Francisco has the edge on all sides of the ball, and the only way we can see it not winning by seven-plus is if a.) Fields takes over or b.) Lance loses the game, and Niners coach Kyle Shanahan will probably dial up a safe game plan to ensure the latter doesn’t happen.
Before placing this bet, get the best San Francisco 49ers promo codes.
49ers vs Bears Props
Deebo Samuel: Anytime Touchdown (+118) at Caesars
As stated above, Samuel is a problem. He found the end zone 14 times in 2021 - six receiving scores and eight rushing touchdowns - as the Niners’ offense leaned heavily on their fledgling star receiver.
Barring an injury, Samuel should be expected to have another monster year, especially with Shanahan creatively designing new things for him.
Cole Kmet: Over 36.5 Receiving Yards (-129) at Caesars
Kmet averaged 10 yards per reception in 2021 and his over/under receptions prop (3.5 at -151) is pretty safe barring injury. Kmet should be one of Fields’ security blankets, particularly since Allen Robinson is gone to Los Angeles. The Bears will probably also need to throw, especially in the second half, which is where Kmet should pick up the bulk of his yards.
Before placing this bet, get the best Chicago Bears promo codes.
Robbie Gould: Over 2.5 Total Made Extra Points (-103) at Caesars
The 49ers should be able to sc,ore three TDs. Gould missed just one extra point a season ago and knows a thing or two about kicking at Soldier Field — since he spent his first 11 seasons there as the Bears placekicker. The odds are also really friendly here.
49ers vs Bears Parlays
Best Same-Game Parlay (+354) at FanDuel Sportsbook
- Alternate Spread: 49ers -5.5
- Alternate Total: Over 37.5 Points
- Deebo Samuel Anytime Touchdown
This parlay with Montgomery scoring an anytime touchdown is (+528), but we are loathe to add a conflicting outcome in a parlay especially when spread betting. If you think, as we do, that the 49ers should win handily, this parlay is one that should hit.