The Vikings enter the game as 3.5 point underdogs at home, largely due to the recent success Chicago has had against them. Here’s a breakdown of the game followed by betting trends and our prediction.
Last season, the Bears ended the Vikings’ playoff hopes Week 17, defeating Minnesota in Minneapolis soundly, 24-10. Chicago also dominated the Vikings Week 4 at Soldier Field this season in a 16-6 game the Bears played without starter Mitchell Trubisky, who left the game early in the first quarter with a left shoulder injury.
Trubisky will certainly play this time around, with the third-year quarterback having a great deal to prove after a less than encouraging season. Head coach Matt Nagy said this week that he may rest some of his more banged up starters in this game, however.
“Being able to go win the game is important to us,” Nagy said, before noting: “It does also, at the same time, present some opportunities for … knowing kind of where they’re at and where we’re at. We’ll see where that takes us.” Look for rookie offensive lineman Alex Bars to get the start in place of Rashaad Coward, while on the other side of the ball, the Bears will likely rest Akiem Hicks and Prince Amukamara, who have both been battling injuries this season.
According to Courtney Cronin, the Vikings plan to rest several of their starters, including quarterback Kirk Cousins. Star running back Dalvin Cook will also be rested considering his recent bouts with injuries.
After missing the playoffs last year, it’s no surprise Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will look ahead to the postseason. Minnesota secured the 6th seed in the NFC last week, but the have dropped their last three games to the Bears.
Quarterback Sean Mannion will get the start for Cousins. It will be the second start of Mannion’s career, and he will be facing a top 10 Bears defense that has been a solid unit all season. The Bears are giving up 18.3 points a game, and the team is looking to finish the season strong after a disappointing year.
Betting Trends, Predictions and Pick
*NOTE: all numbers and percentages listed below are courtesy of Odds Shark:
Spread: Vikings +3.5
Over/Under: 36 points
Odds Shark currently have the Vikings winning the game by a projected score of 27-15, with the Vikings covering the spread and the total score going over 36 points. This was their projection before it was announced Zimmer was resting several key players, however.
Some trends surrounding the game to consider:
- Chicago is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Chicago’s last 9 games.
- Chicago is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against Minnesota.
- The Bears are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games on the road.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Minnesota’s last 7 games.
- The Vikings are 8-3 SU in their last 11 games.
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota’s last 5 games against Chicago.
- Minnesota is 6-1 SU in their last 7 games at home.
Considering Friday’s announcement that the Vikes will be without Cousins and company, we’re going to pick the Bears in this one. Had Cousins and Cook played, we’d take Minnesota, but Sean Mannion against this Bears defense isn’t a pick we like. Trubisky could also be playing for his job, so we like Chicago in a low scoring NFC North battle.
Final Prediction: Bears 21, Vikings 13 (Bears -3.5)