The Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears will open their 2022 NFL preseason campaign when they square off at Solider Field.
This preseason game consists of two teams on the opposite side of the NFL spectrum. The Chiefs are expected to make the playoffs for the eighth straight year. while the Bears are starting their rebuild with a new coaching staff, young players in key positions, and trying to change the culture in Chicago.
Chiefs vs Bears Odds
According to our NFL odds, Chicago is a 3.5-point favorite in this game. That would be a surprise if the Chiefs were expected to play their starters. However, oddsmakers believe the Bears playing their starters and other key players for longer will be a significant factor in this Week 1 preseason contest.
Chiefs vs Bears Implied Score
Bears 19.5, Chiefs 16
Oddsmakers seem to, rightfully, believe that the Chiefs will not play their stars. They also seem to believe the Bears will play more starters to see how players fit in the new system and use their first live-action game to get reps for their younger assets.
Chiefs vs Bears Pick of the Day
Read more on this Chiefs vs Bears bet below.
Chiefs vs Bears Matchup
If this game was played in the regular season, the Chiefs would likely be a touchdown favorite on the road. But with all-world quarterback Patrick Mahomes expected to play a series or two at most, the Chiefs will lean on Chad Henne and Shane Buechele for most of this game.
A couple of Kansas City’s draft picks — including their two first-rounders, cornerback Trent McDuffie and pass-rusher George Karlaftis — will likely get reps with both the starters and reserves to fast-track their adjustment to the NFL.
We’re also expected to get a look at newcomer Juju Smith-Schuster, who’s listed as a starter in this game after spending the first five years of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. With Tyreek Hill in Miami, Smith-Schuster has big shoes to fill in this offense.
One area of note for the Chiefs is the running back room, where the competition has dramatically heated up. Rookie runningback Isiah Pacheco, the seventh-round pick from Rutgers, has earned rave reviews. Kansas City also added Ronald Jones in free agency to pair with Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon.
New Bears head coach Matt Eberflus is expected to play his starters for a “good amount," which could range anywhere from a quarter to the entire first half. Either way, we can expect to see second-year quarterback Justin Fields for an extended period of time.
Chicago doesn’t have a ton of depth at any position as they rebuild the roster following the losses of Allen Robinson and Khalil Mack after finishing 6-11 last season.
Chiefs vs Bears Prediction
Bears 20, Chiefs 17
The Bears are going to have their starters out there and Eberflus will have his team ready to play. This is the first game in a new system, and Fields and the starters are expected to play for an extended time. Chicago will undoubtedly be closely evaluating each player as a new era in the front office begins.
The Bears haven’t made it through the first leg of the season flawlessly. Two wide receivers, N’Keal Harry and Byron Pringle, are both banged up and expected to miss time. Linebacker Roquan Smith, one of the best young players at his position in the NFL, requested a trade.
Kansas City already has its eyes set on the regular season and on the postseason, and Andy Reid is known to be careful early in the preseason with injuries surrounding key players.
The Bears are going to simply have more talented players playing for a longer time in this game. New coaches generally play their starters more and get better effort in preseason games.
For the Chiefs, this is a good time to evaluate the depth and do all they can to keep their key players healthy. The Bears will be evaluating who should start, who fits the system best, and getting reps for young players in key positions. That will make all the difference as the Bears start the preseason with a win.
Chiefs vs Bears Bet Tips
Matt Eberflus is making his head coaching debut for Chicago. As the offensive coordinator last season with the Colts, his team averaged 20 points per game in the preseason.
Andy Reid is 42-45 in the preseason, including coaching the Chiefs to a 3-0 record last season.
Chiefs vs Bears Best Bets
Chiefs +3.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
Pre-season games are generally low-scoring, close games, and I see no reason why this is any different. The Bears will have their starters out there for a while, but I have no confidence in them to cover three and the hook in the preseason.
Even if the Bears play their starters the whole first half, the Chiefs will be able to keep it close with reliable quarterback play from Henne and Buechele.
Andy Reid will be cautious as usual, but the Chiefs managed to go 3-0 last season behind those two, and they’ll at the least keep this one close and cover the spread. Back Kansas City as your NFL pick of the day.