49ers vs Bears: Odds, Picks, Prediction for NFL Week 1
Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Brandon Aiyuk.
- With Trey Lance under center, the 49ers are 6.5-point favorites in Chicago.
- Lance is now the full-time starter, while Justin Fields hopes Year 2 is better than his rookie season.
- Sam Farley breaks down the matchup and explains which player props he's betting below.
49ers vs. Bears Odds
It's finally upon us, the first Sunday of this new NFL season. The 49ers vs. Bears is one of the most fascinating games on this early slate.
In the 2021 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected Trey Lance at third overall, eight picks before the Bears took Justin Fields. Both quarterbacks didn't live up to the billing last season, but bigger things are expected from both this year.
The 49ers are 6.5-point favorites and will be hoping that the offense can take them further under Lance and lead them to Super Bowl LVII.
49ers vs. Bears Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the 49ers and Bears match up statistically:
49ers vs. Bears DVOA Breakdown (Stats from 2021)
The 49ers invested heavily in Lance by trading three first-round picks to draft him last season. It's clear that they've put their trust in him, even though Jimmy Garoppolo is back as the backup QB.
The extra threat that Lance offers with both his legs and his deep-ball threat could add another dimension to this offense that was already so strong. Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk will continue to thrive, although we're still unsure as to exactly how the team will use its running backs.
The Niners defense is very good, and Nick Bosa will be looking to beat his 15.5 sacks from last year and put himself in the conversation for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Justin Fields was sacked 36 times last year, so Bosa will be licking his chops ahead of this game.
The Bears need Fields to improve this season, his passer rating of 73.2 last season was poor, but it's fair to attribute some blame to the offensive line that didn't put him in the position to succeed.
There's a new regime in Chicago, and the arrival of Matt Eberflus is one which could rejuvenate the Bears, and his experience will be a boost to the defense. Speaking of the defense, it cannot be overstated just how influential the return of Roquan Smith could be with the linebacker missing a chunk of training camp and sitting out the preseason.
The beginning of the Lance era is particularly exciting if you hold any Aiyuk shares in fantasy. Lance is a significant upgrade on Garoppolo when it comes to the deep ball, thanks to his superior arm strength and accuracy.
Last season, we saw Lance throw for an average of 10.5 Air Yards per attempt, in comparison with Garoppolo's 7.4. Lance also has a higher percentage of passing attempts over 20 or more yards and a higher completion percentage.
All of that is great news for Aiyuk, who has the ability to thrive in those situations. His downfield speed and quick feet should mean he can exploit matchups against the Bears secondary and take advantage of Lance's arm.
Aiyuk should smash his line for receiving yards in Week 1 at 49.5, and there's value on his receiving yards total up to 59.5 yards.