Las Vegas sets Bears' win total at third fewest in the NFL

Las Vegas sets Bears' win total at third fewest in the NFL

Ryan Pace's decision to draft North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky may yield dividends in the future, but Las Vegas doesn't believe it affects the team's 2017 outlook.

The Bears' over-under win total at South Point casino opened at 5, the third lowest number behind only the Browns (4) and 49ers (4.5), owners of the two worst records in 2016.

Unsurprisingly the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots led the way at 11 wins, followed by Pittsburgh (10.5) and Seattle (10.5).

The Green Bay Packers led the way in the NFC North at 10 wins, followed by the Vikings (8.5) and Lions (8).

The Bears are only opening-line favorites in two games this season....against the 49ers and Browns.

Week 1: +6 vs. Falcons
Week 2: + 7 at Buccaneers
Week 3: +5.5 vs. Steelers
Week 4: +9.5 at Packers
Week 5: +2 vs. Vikings
Week 6: +7 at Ravens
Week 7: N/A vs. Panthers
Week 8: +6 at Saints
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: +6.5
Week 11: +1 vs. Bears
Week 12: +6 at Eagles
Week 13: -4 vs. 49ers
Week 14: +6 at Bengals
Week 15: +6 at Lions
Week 16: -4.5 vs. Browns

Check out each team's win total right here.

Bears training camp preview: 3 burning questions for tight ends

Bears training camp preview: 3 burning questions for tight ends

With training camp starting next week, CSN Chicago’s Chris Boden and JJ Stankevitz are looking at three burning questions for each of the Bears’ position groups heading into Bourbonnais. Thursday's unit: the tight ends.

1. Will Zach Miller make the 53-man roster?

Miller didn’t play a single down from 2012-14, and has missed seven games in two seasons with the Bears, but he’s been productive when on the field: 110 targets, 81 receptions, 925 yards and nine touchdowns. But the Bears signed Dion Sims to an $18 million contract and then drafted Adam Shaheen in the second round of the draft, moves that seemingly put Miller in a precarious position heading into Bourbonnais. Not helping Miller’s case is the Lisfranc fracture he suffered last November, which kept him sidelined through OTAs and veteran minicamp in May and June. He’d be a valuable player for the Bears to keep around, but at the same time, training camp could be a perfect storm for Miller to be among the cuts.

“They’re going to cutting it close for training camp,” coach John Fox said of Miller (and Danny Trevathan) in June. “But right now they’re right on target and that’s kind of what we expected all offseason.”

2. What can we expect from Adam Shaheen?

Shaheen was among the bright spots during May and June, hardly looking like someone who played his college ball at Division II Ashland while going against NFL defenders. But those were just shorts-and-helmets practices without any contact, so it’d be premature to project anything about Shaheen off of them. The real test for Shaheen will be when he puts the pads on in Bourbonnais and gets his first experience with the physicality of the NFL after a few years of being head and shoulders — literally — above his competition in college. It’s unlikely Shaheen will live up to his “Baby Gronk” hype in Year 1, but if he handles training camp well, he could be a valuable red zone asset for Mike Glennon as a rookie. 

“You don’t know until you put the pads on,” Shaheen said. “That’s what I’m excited for.”

3. How productive can this unit be?

Between Sims — who had a career high four touchdowns last year with the Miami Dolphins — and Shaheen, the Bears have two new, big targets for an offense that tied for 24th in the NFL with 19 passing touchdowns a year ago. If Miller sticks around, this group would have enviable depth. But even if he doesn’t, the Bears liked what they saw from Brown last year (16 receptions, 124 yards, 1 TD in six games). There are fewer questions about the tight ends heading into training camp than the receivers, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Glennon leans on this unit, especially early in the season. 

BearsTalk Podcast: Analyzing Mitch Trubisky's contract as rookies arrive for camp

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USA TODAY

BearsTalk Podcast: Analyzing Mitch Trubisky's contract as rookies arrive for camp

On Ep. 56 of our BearsTalk Podcast, Chris and JJ discuss Mitch Trubisky’s contract, question marks about the final 53, go over the Vikings off-season with Dawn Mitchell from Fox-9 Minneapolis, and go “Off the Grid” on  JJ’s recent engagement.