Quantifying Hope: Chicago Bears Playoff Odds Stand at 85% According to FiveThirtyEight Elo Projections
FiveThirtyEight has a very interesting projection they use to forecast the outcome of every game. The Elo rating system — no relation to Electric Light Orchestra — is a methodology originally designed by Hungarian-American physics professor Arpad Elo to calculate skill levels of players in zero-sum games, such as chess. It can also be used in multiplayer competitions like e-sports and, of course, football.
The Elo rating projections developed by FiveThirtyEight forecast the remaining games of the season using 100,000 simulations under two scenarios. One scenario factors in the likely starting quarterbacks and the other does not.
Using the quarterback-adjusted projections, the Bears have an 85% chance of making the playoffs, including a 48% chance to win the division. Their projected record under this scenario is 11-5, which means they would finish out the season at 6-4 over the next 10 games.
And here’s the best news: They actually have the eighth-best odds to win the Super Bowl.
It’s also worth noting that if you remove the QB adjustments, the Bears’ odds get slightly worse. They fall to 83% with a projected 10-6 record and 4% odds of winning it all. So don’t underestimate the significance of Nick Foles and his confidence as the starting QB.