Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams expected to crush Bears rookie QB records per Vegas oddsmakers

Breaking down the sports betting lines for new Bears quarterback Caleb Williams

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Ask three Chicagoans about their expectations for Caleb Williams in his first season leading the Bears offense and you’ll likely get five different opinions. Some suspect a flop. Others are ready to buy Super Bowl tickets. There's a wide range of predictions in between.

Vegas bookmakers aren’t ready to call the Bears Super Bowl favorites just yet, but they are high on the Bears’ chances to make the playoffs and have Williams as a front-runner to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. In addition, they think he’ll shatter Bears rookie QB records.

Here’s a list of performance based odds from Fanatics sportsbook:

3400+ passing yards: -110
25+ passing TD: +115
12+ INT thrown: -115
4+ rush TD: -105

A wager with -110 odds means that a bettor would have to put up $110 to win $100. On the flip side, a wager with +120 odds means that a $100 bet would win $120.

Since the oddsmakers have -110 odds for Williams to hit 3,400 passing yards, it implies they believe he has a 52.4% chance of hitting that yardage threshold. That would put him atop the Bears rookie leaderboard by a wide margin. Mitchell Trubisky currently holds the record with 2,193 yards. Williams would have a ways to go to break the NFL record, however. That distinction belongs to Andrew Luck who racked up 4,374 yards back in 2012.

Fanatics gives Williams an implied 46.5% chance to hit 25 passing touchdowns this season, but even if Williams hit just half of that mark, he’d break the Bears rookie record. In fact, no Bears rookie has even sniffed 15 passing TDs. You have to go all the way back to 1942 when Charlie O’Rourke threw for 11 touchdowns as a backup for Sid Luckman to find the top rookie passing touchdown season for the team. Justin Fields and Trubisky each had seven in their rookie seasons. Kyle Orton and Jim McMahon had nine.

One big reason why most Bears rookies haven’t put up big numbers is that they almost never enter the season as the starter. Fields famously sat behind Andy Dalton to begin his career. Trubisky backed up Mike Glennon. The Bears spent a first-round pick on Jim Harbaugh in 1987 and another on Cade McNown in 1999. But McNown only started six games his rookie season and Harbaugh only threw 11 passes total.

That won’t be the case with Williams. He’s the unquestioned starter this season and won’t have to have to play out of his mind to hit all these goals. Assuming he stays healthy for the entire season, Williams will only have to throw for 200 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game to hit the milestones set by Fanatics. To break the Bears rookie passing yards and passing touchdown records, he’ll only need to average 129.1 yards and 0.7 passing touchdowns per game.

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