Last Updated: 2018-01-05
The 5-10 Bears will look to finish the 2017 season on a positive note. They have come away with wins in two of their last three outings including last week’s 20-3 drubbing of the hapless Browns. While their offense has been spotty at best, their defense has been playing some inspired football. Chicago has also been good to Under bettors as the Under has prevailed in 7 of Chicago’s last 10 games including the last 5 in a row. Good defense and a sputtering offense is a good recipe for low scores. The score in Chicago’s first meeting with Minnesota was 20-17 which gave the Bears the cover as well as the Under. It’s hard to predict how fired up the Bears will be on Sunday but they are unlikely to roll over. Season total bettors will be watching to see if Chicago can get the win to beat their posted season wins total of 5.5.
The 12-3 Minnesota Vikings have far exceeded expectations. They are the class of the NFC North and a win will give them a first-round bye. Bettors that have been backing the Vikes are undoubtedly thrilled at Minny’s NFL-best 11-4 ATS record. The Vikings have won 10 of their last 11 games and they have covered 9 of their last 10. They are coming off a 16-0 shutout win over Green Bay and they have kept opponents to 7 points or less in 4 of their last 6 games. This team has a very impressive defense and they also have the horses to score points which will make them a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs. They look to become the first team to ever play in a Super Bowl in their own city but they will be challenged by some other very strong NFC teams to get there.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Spread: Chicago Bears +13 (-130), Minnesota Vikings -13 (+110) at 5Dimes Sportsbook
Moneyline: Chicago Bears +465, Minnesota Vikings -630
Total: Over 39.5 (-110), Under 39.5 (-110)
Chicago’s offense has been tough to watch this season. They have averaged just 16.9 points per game which ranks them 29th in the NFL. Bears fans should be looking forward to next year with hopes that Mitch Trubisky can improve on his play after this season. He hasn’t been a dominant force by any stretch but he has shown that he is capable. Still, he needs to work on a few aspects of his game if he is going to be the guy in Chicago. A 59.9 completion percentage, 7 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions in 12 games isn’t going to be good enough to take a team to the playoffs no matter how good the defense is. Trubisky and the Bears’ offense will be facing a Minnesota pass defense that is allowing less than 200 yards per game and just 6.1 yards per completion.
One area in which the Bears have been good is rushing. They average 117 yards per game which ranks them 11th overall and their 4.3 yards per rush is also in the top half. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen were held in check last week by a very good Cleveland run defense and they will be in tough against a Minny rush defense that allows just 87 yards against per game at a rate of 3.7 yards per carry. Despite this, we should expect the Bears to employ a heavy ground attack.
M. Sanchez (Illness), A. Shaheen (Chest), J. Sitton (Ankle), and T. Compton (Concussion) are questionable.
The Vikings should definitely be motivated to win this game to secure a bye in the first round. They will have their regulars in the lineup but will likely begin to rest them should Minny build a significant lead. The pass attack has averaged 238 yards per game which ranks them 13th in that category while their 7.5 yards per completion is ranked 11th. The Bears have been good against the pass allowing 213 yards per game and 6.9 yards per completion. The Minnesota offensive line has given their quarterback good protection so it will be tough for the Bears to apply pressure. Stefon Diggs could be in for a big day although he could be one of the guys that ends up on the sidelines if Minny has the game in hand.
We will see a steady dose of Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon as Minnesota uses an effective running game that produces an average of 120.7 yards per game and 3.9 yards per carry. It won’t be easy against a Bears rushing defense that allows 105.5 yards per game at a rate of 4 yards per carry. Chicago will need to hold on to the football as Minnesota has the ability to force turnovers.
T. Brock (Foot), N. Easton (Ankle), and K. McDermott (Shoulder) are questionable.
Bears at Vikings Betting Lines
After opening up at Minnesota -605, the moneyline now sits anywhere from -600 to -650 at most books and there are a few bookies that even have it posted higher. It appears that people are confident in laying the big juice. The spread opened at Minnesota -12.5 but it is now anywhere from -11 up to -13 depending on where you look. It’s unlikely that the number will get much bigger. It appears that there is a bit of early action on the Under as the total has dipped from 40 to 39.5 at most books.
My Pick: Chicago +13 (-130)
Total: Under 39.5 (-110)
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