Lovie Smith: Bears were motivated by being eight-point underdogs

AP

In the NFL, the company line is to pretend point spreads don’t exist: No one associated with the NFL is even supposed to admit to thinking about anything associated with gambling.

But Bears coach Lovie Smith acknowledged after Monday night’s win over the Eagles that he and his players took notice of the point spread and were motivated by being underdogs.

We’re a good football team, just not getting a whole lot of respect,” Smith said. “When you go on a road, the Chicago Bears shouldn’t be eight-point underdogs when we come and play a team, and the guys took notice of that.”

Smith’s comments are posted at NFL.com, so the league isn’t exactly hiding from them, but it is unusual to hear a coach publicly admit to looking at the point spread.

Privately, talk of point spreads in locker rooms may not be as unusual as the NFL would like.

37 responses to “Lovie Smith: Bears were motivated by being eight-point underdogs

  1. I would hope that wasn’t the reason to be motivated and I hope he knows better then that. They’re paid professionals and should be ready to go each and every week.

  2. Foolish statement Lovie… so if the Bears are NOT underdogs, they’re not motivated?

    Tthe Bears should be motivated by the desire to WIN for them and their fans… by their HEAD COACH…. by the Leadership of the Quarterback…. Oooops my bad on that last one.

  3. Underachieving Eagles should have been motivated, but showed no sense of urgency or fight. You can stick a fork in the dream team.

  4. Pretending betting on the games doesn’t occur extends to this forum where pro-wagering comments are removed. Running from reality is extremely unbecoming of the league (and this forum) and pretending that “fantasy football” is some acceptable substitute for straight wagers, over/unders and parlays is delusional.

  5. Players should be allowed to bet on themselves for moneyline bets., it’s not as if their goals would be aligned any differently if they were allowed to.

  6. i am a dieheart packer’s fan (wisconsin born, raised AND educated) and i holey agree that the bears are underratted.

    -if there is any teams in the league left on the packers schedule is will be the bears who they will be deal the first lost. even although they dont play again until week 6teen

  7. Kind of reminds me how players refused (for a while) to acknowledge their role in fantasy football, and now it’s as wide-open as any other topic. Glad Lovie made a few bucks, too!

  8. The Bears have beaten the Eagles 4 of the last 5 years and Michael Vick has never beaten them.
    It was the Bears that came up 7 points shy to the Packers in the NFC championship game last year, not the Eagles.

    Whoever set the spread at 8 points is an idiot.

  9. The ignorance on the part of people saying these statements is laughable (Mike & Mike said roughly the same thing this morning).

    Let’s get on the same page people: the betting line has zero, ZERO to do with how good someone in a dark room in a faraway city thinks your team is or isn’t.

    The betting line is set so that the amount of money bet FOR a position equals the money bet AGAINST a position. Period, end of story.

    If anything, Lovie should take this as a sign that Vegas had to encourage money on the for Eagles side, because at a pick-em or +3 spread, too much money was on the Bears to cover.

  10. It wasn’t just Vegas that was disrespecting the Bears, every single analyst on ESPN picked the Bears… except Ditka. And he’s kind obligated to pick the Bears. Both PFT “experts” picked the Eagles over the Bears too.

    Too many sports media people have bought the “dream team” hype. The Eagles look great on paper. On the field, they look like paper tigers.

  11. I was wondering which Eagle team showed up last night? It wasn’t the team that showed up to play the Cowboys. Last week they were flying around hitting the Boys in the mouth, left and right.
    Last night they were slow to the line, confused, and hesitant. We’ll see who shows up next week.

  12. You don’t have to look at the spread in Vegas or another gambling site. The media will do it for you as soon as it comes out. Heck ESPN has the spread on their bottomline on a daily basis. What you expect people to just ignore that?

  13. Its not just about being underdogs, its about how much the Eagles were favored by. If the spread was more like 3 points they probably wouldn’t mind as much.

  14. Nice try “greenpacker”. You’re going to have to be a bit less obvious with your grammatical errors. Enjoy your Bears or whomever you cheer for—it will be over soon.

  15. early line Bears a one point favorite against Detroit. I’m going to need you to find better motivational tactics this week.

  16. @norcalchief, you’re wrong about the betting line. It has everything to do with how good they think the team is, because that’s how they set that magical point where the money equalizes.

    Maybe you’re trying to say that it’s nothing personal? That I would agree with. But that’s not how motivation works – whether it’s personal or not, if an institution is putting its financial stake on a safe bet being your team losing, that’s something that can readily motivate a team to not perform to diminished expectations.

  17. The fact that this spread was 8 points is just crazy.

    These teams have played against each other A LOT in the last few years. They know each other. Teams that know each other tend to have closer games.

    The other point – the Eagles are overrated. They are bad. Too much talent, not enough chemistry.

  18. “The betting line is set so that the amount of money bet FOR a position equals the money bet AGAINST a position. Period, end of story.”

    This is not the case. Period, end of story.

  19. “pikindaguy says:
    Nov 8, 2011 11:01 AM
    Players should be allowed to bet on themselves for moneyline bets., it’s not as if their goals would be aligned any differently if they were allowed to.”
    =======================================================

    Ever heard of point shaving and “integrity of the game”? Sure, a player(s) can win, but win below the point spread and pay off their bookie or make loads more cash. If you can’t see anything wrong with that, then there’s no point in continuing the discussion.

  20. i am a dieheart packer’s fan (wisconsin born, raised AND educated) and i holey agree that the bears are underratted.

    -if there is any teams in the league left on the packers schedule is will be the bears who they will be deal the first lost. even although they dont play again until week 6teen
    ————-

    Haha awesome. That Wisconsin education shining through!

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