Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings Odds & Pick
Chicago Bears (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS)
NFL Week 15
When: Sunday, December 20 at 1 pm ET
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, MN
Point Spread: CHI +3.5/MIN -3.5 (Best Odds) Save money every bet! It doesn’t sound like much, but laying -105 instead of -110 will save you THOUSANDS of dollars over time!
Over/Under Total: 47
A 10-6 regular-season record will send your favorite team to the playoffs in almost every season, but sometimes it doesn’t even take that much, and it looks like someone is getting a Wild Card bid in the NFC with nine or even eight wins. Minnesota and Chicago both enter Week 15 at 6-7 but are just one game back of the final playoff spot. Of course, the winner drastically improves their chances of extending their season while the loser is suddenly a longshot, so there is plenty on the line in this NFC North rivalry game. Minnesota won a Week 10 meeting by a 19-13 margin and held Chicago without an offensive touchdown. The Bears have averaged 30.3 points per game since that loss and have looked as good as they have all season with Mitch Trubisky back under center. Chicago has won four of the last five straight up in this series with a 6-4 record against the spread in the previous ten against Minnesota.
Chicago is riding several poor trends into this week with a 3-9 ATS mark in their last twelve road games, a 1-6 ATS record against a division opponent, and just one ATS win in their previous five games in December. Minnesota is 1-4 against the spread in their last five at home but are 4-1 ATS in the previous five against an NFC North foe. The home team has won seven of the last ten against the spread in this series, with the underdog sporting a 5-2 ATS mark over the previous seven. The UNDER has paid in seven of the last ten Chicago games overall and 12-4 in the previous sixteen when Chicago is an underdog on the road. The OVER has hit in seven of the last eight Minnesota games at U.S. Bank with a 5-1 record in the previous six when Minnesota is a home favorite. The UNDER was 13-5 in the last 18 when these teams met.
Bear with Mitch
It has been a struggle for Chicago on offense all season, with the Bears sitting at 24th in passing, but Trubisky is averaging 260 yards per game since returning to the lineup and has thrown seven touchdowns against two interceptions. Chicago is 25th in scoring for the season at 21.7 points per game but has hit at least 25 points in each of the last three games. The run game has improved along with the pass, and David Montgomery has averaged 7.1 yards per carry over the previous three, hitting the 100-yard mark in two of those games. Allen Robinson continues to be one of the most underrated receivers in the game and crossed the 1,000-yard mark for the season last week. A-Rob is the clear #1 target, but four other pass catchers have at least 42 receptions for the Bears, including TE Jimmy Graham (6 TD) and rookie WR Darnell Mooney who is second on the team with 450 receiving yards. The defense has been getting creased a bit in yardage categories but is still top-10 in points allowed, giving up 22.4 per game. Khalil Mack leads the defense with 7.5 sacks, and CB Jaylon Johnson is 2nd in the league with 15 pass defenses. Johnson did injure his shoulder against the Texans last week, but the prognosis is not as bad as initially feared, and he draws a questionable tag for Sunday.
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Cookin’ Up a Win?
Minnesota enters the week ranked 7th in total yards on offense, but with the passing game no better than league average, Dalvin Cook and the 6th best run game have had to do the heavy lifting. Cook leads the NFC with 1,352 rushing yards and is tied for the league lead with 14 ground scores, while his 37 receptions are third on the team. Kirk Cousins remains a favorite punching bag for Vikings fans, but he has thrown for 27 touchdowns and amassed a 102.7 rating, which is good for 8th among qualified passers. Justin Jefferson is likely the offensive rookie of the year behind a 1,078 yard, seven touchdown effort to this point, and the attention he draws has let Adam Thielen reach the 12-touchdown mark, good for 2nd in the league. Cousins has hit Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith for four touchdowns as the tight end is a decent complement in this offense, but the big three of Cook, Thielen, and Jefferson are the ones responsible for getting it done. The defense is a shadow of what it has been in recent seasons, with Minnesota in the bottom-10 against the pass and in total yards allowed while giving up 27.3 points per game. The big play has been missing as well, with the Vikings causing just 15 turnovers this far, and that is good for a minus-seven margin with the offense at 22 giveaways. The third-down defense is among the league’s best with a 37% conversion rate allowed, but there the current roster is responsible for just ten sacks, and they may be without leading tackler Eric Kendricks as he battles a bad calf.
Chicago Scratches Out a Win
This game’s line opened with Minnesota as a six-point favorite, but the early betting period saw that spread quickly trimmed to three as of Wednesday. Minnesota had what was probably its best game against Chicago in Week 10 when they held the Bears to 41 rushing yards and limited Nick Foles to 108 yards passing. The Vikings forced three fumbles in that contest and won the time of possession battle by eleven minutes. Even with that defensive performance, Minnesota was only able to win by six as Cook was mostly held in check with 96 yards on 30 carries. Chicago is 17th against the rush on the season but has allowed just 84 yards on the ground over the last two games and held Derrick Henry to 68 yards in Week 9. I think there is some kind of renewed energy with the Bears now moving the ball more consistently, and with them just a game back of the last Wild Card spot, I see them continuing to play up with something on the line. The lack of a raucous crowd in Minnesota definitely helps the visitors, as perfect weather conditions will benefit Trubisky’s passing ability. This would have been a great one to get in on at Chicago +6, but I will still take them at +3 or +3.5, and I’m even good with the +155 money line as I think the Bears sneak out a 26-24 win.
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