A molecular approach to achieve wide linear dynamic range (LDR) and near-infrared (NIR)-selective thin film organic photodiodes (OPDs) with high detectivity is reported. Comparative studies based on two NIR-selective polymers are systematically investigated: the commercially available poly[(4,4'-bis(2-ethylhexyl)cyclopenta[2,1-b:3,4-b']dithiophene)-alt-(benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole)] (PCPDTBT) and the synthesized poly[(4,4'-(bis(hexyldecylsulfanyl)methylene)cyclopenta[2,1-b:3,4-b']-dithiophene)-alt-(benzo[c][1,2,5]thiadiazole)] (PCPDTSBT). The introduction of sp2-hybridized side chains in the PCPDTSBT structure can improve chain planarity and thus intermolecular interactions, as confirmed by Raman spectroscopy and grazing incidence X-ray diffraction studies. The favorable crystalline orientation of PCPDTSBT leads to enhanced photocurrent and suppressed noise current, compared to that of PCPDTBT, followed by a sharp increase in the specific detectivity of PCPDTSBT-based NIR OPDs by 1.54 × 1012 Jones. The physics behind PCPDTSBT is analyzed employing optical simulation, temperature-dependent junction analyses, and Mott-Schottky analysis. Furthermore, it is found that PCPDTSBT possesses an exceptional nonsaturation photocurrent, which leads to a wide LDR of 128 dB. This study shows the possibility of realizing thin film NIR-selective OPDs using synthetic approaches.