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Tips for Schedule Prediction Challenge
March 22, 2017 04:34 PM | Larry Mayer
Correctly selecting the Bears' opponents in all 16 of their games in the Schedule Prediction Challenge is obviously a difficult task. But here are eight tips to help you with your entry:

(1) The Bears typically don't play at home on the same day as the Chicago Marathon, which is slated to be held on Sunday, Oct. 8.

(2) The NFL schedules only division matchups the final week of the season. Over the last eight years the Bears have closed against the Lions, Packers, Vikings, Lions, Packers, Vikings, Lions and Vikings. So perhaps it's the Packers' turn this year?

(3) The Bears play their NFC North rivals, the Lions, Packers and Vikings, twice every season. But they'll never face the same opponent in back-to-back weeks and very rarely twice in three weeks. (The last time that occurred was in 2012 against the Vikings.) Typically, there are 5-8 weeks between games versus the same opponent.

(4) The Bears played five straight season openers on the road from 2005-09 and then six in a row at home from 2010-15 before beginning the 2016 campaign in Houston. If that trend continues, they'll open the 2017 season away from Soldier Field.

(5) The Bears typically play at Minnesota late in the season. Over the last 10 years, they've faced the Vikings in Minneapolis on Dec. 17, Nov. 30, Nov. 29, Dec. 20, Jan. 1, Dec. 9, Dec. 1, Dec. 28, Dec. 20 and Jan. 1.

(6) The Bears are scheduled to play the Ravens in Baltimore but that game won't be on Sunday, Sept. 24 because the Orioles are slated to play in town that day. The Bears also will face the Bengals in Cincinnati, but it won't happen on Sept. 17 or 24 because the Reds are home on those days.

(7) The NFL tries to avoid having teams play three straight home games or three consecutive road games. The Bears last had three consecutive home games in 2014 and three in a row on the road in 2008.

(8) You also have to predict when the Bears' bye week will be. The past seven years, it's been in the middle of the year during Weeks 7, 9, 8, 6, 8, 8 and 9. No teams have byes in Weeks 1-3 or 15-17.

The Schedule Prediction Challenge features the largest sweepstakes prize in Bears history. Fans who correctly guess all 17 weeks of the Bears' 2017 schedule will have a chance to win two tickets to every Bears home and away contest during the season.

The prize includes two round-trip United Airlines flights and hotel accommodations to each away game city and $500 spending cash allowance per regular-season road game ($4,000 total).

Fans can enter the Schedule Prediction Challenge brought to you by United Airlines at ChicagoBears.com/prediction or through the Chicago Bears mobile app. There's a maximum of five entries per person. The contest runs through March 31 at 3 p.m. (CT).

In addition, a second prize winner will be selected based on a scoring system. That individual will win two tickets to one Bears regular-season home game and two tickets to one Bears regular-season road game along with two round-trip United Airlines flights and hotel accommodations to that road host city plus $500 spending cash.

The scoring system will award 10 points for a correct division game pick (must correctly pick the week, opponent and location); seven points for a correct non-division game pick (must correctly pick the week and the opponent); five points for correctly picking the bye week; three points for a partially correct division game pick (must correctly pick the opponent and week but not the location) and one point for an incorrect game pick that is only one week away from the correct date, either one week before or one week after.

Click here to enter and for a complete list of rules.

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