Sunday’s NFC North showdown will be a battle between two physical teams looking to win and position themselves in the playoffs.
The Chicago Bears are currently the #3 seed, but a win by them and a loss by the Rams will move the Bears to the #2 seed and a first round bye.
The Vikings need to win just to get into the playoffs. However, a loss by the Vikings and by the Eagles will still get Minnesota in.
Kickoff inside U.S. Bank Stadium is at 1 PM ET.
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The following odds are courtesy of live odds feed:
|Betting Data||Chicago Bears||Minnesota Vikings|
|Current S/U record||11-4||8-6-1|
|2018 ATS Home||7-1||4-2-1|
|2018 ATS Away||4-3||3-4-1|
|2018 O/U Home||4-4||2-5|
|2018 O/U Away||4-3||4-4|
Sunday’s pressure packed game will mark the 116th time these two teams have played against each other all-time. Surprisingly, the Vikings hold the advantage in this rivalry with a 60-53-2 record. Minnesota is also 37-21 at home against the Bears. They’ve won 6 straight at home and 9 of the last 11.
Chicago (11-4) have won three straight games including a big showdown against the Rams three weeks ago. The Bears are getting healthier at the right time as QB Trubisky returned a few weeks ago and turned the inconsistent offense around.
The Bears also have a tough defense that will definitely harass Vikings QB Kirk Cousins all day long. Can the Bears improve their 4-3 road record on the year?
Minnesota (8-6-1) has won two straight games and saved their season after losing to Seattle and Minnesota earlier this month. However, those games were against the Lions and Dolphins. Those teams aren’t exactly on the same level as Chicago this season.
As good as the Bears defense has been all year, the Vikings defense is just a small step behind. Minnesota is 5-2 at home this season and desperately looking to win so that they can get into the playoffs.
The Vikings opened as the favorite for this game. Depending on the NFL betting site that you use, Minnesota was favored by 4.5 to 6 .5 points.
Currently, the Vikings are favored by 5 points at most online betting sites. The Over/Under opened at 41 total points and has remained unchanged at the majority of NFL sportsbooks.
Minnesota is a much better team at home than they are on the road. At 5-2, with the second loss being against the NFC’s top team the Saints, Minnesota has played consistently better when on their own home field.
In their last two home games, the Vikings outscored their opponents 65 to 34 and looked like the team we all expected them to be before the season started.
Statistically speaking, the Vikings and Bears are pretty close in every major category on both sides of the ball. Chicago does score 3 points more per game (26.5 to 23.3), but they average 17 yards less per game (356.9 to 373.1) and only give up 3 yards less per game at (329.3 to 332.3).
The other big difference in stats is that the Bears are 11-4 and the Vikings are 8-6-1. That 3-win difference is why Chicago won the division and Minnesota is still having to fight to get into the playoffs. But, I believe that fight will pay off this weekend as I see Minnesota winning this game.
The Vikings are 6-0 SU this year and 13-3 SU over the last 3 years as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points. They’re 7-1 SU this year as a favorite and 24-8 SU as a favorite over the las 3 years.
Furthermore, Minnesota is 8-2 SU when a home favorite, 18-6 SU in their last 24 home games, 6-3 SU when avenging a loss, 6-2 SU following a divisional win, 22-9 SU in their last 31 turf games, and 21-7 SU in dome games.
The Bears are 5-16 SU when an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points, 8-21 SU as an underdog, 2-11 SU as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points, 6-11 SU against the NFC North, 2-6 SU in domed games, 4-9 SU in turf games, and 6-13 SU when playing against teams with a winning record.
In head-head to games, the Bears are 2-6 SU in their last 8 games against Minnesota and 0-5 SU on the road against the Vikings.
I see this game being a tough battle for the first 2 ½ quarters. Unfortunately for the Bears, I don’t see them keeping their starters in the game for all 4 quarters because the Rams play at home against the 49ers this weekend and Chicago will be scoreboard watching.
Once they see the Rams up by double digits in the 3rd quarter, Chicago will have to rest their starters to get them ready for the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
The Vikings will have to play tough for all 4 quarters in order to even make the playoffs. With that said, if Minnesota wins then they will play against Chicago in the playoffs. So, Chicago might hold back a few trick plays back or a few starters.
Because of the uncertainty of how much Chicago plays the starters, the spread and the point total is unreliable.
The smart bet here is taking the Vikings moneyline at -225. It offers decent value considering that most NFL oddsmakers have Minnesota as the favorite. I’m taking the Vikings to win 23 to 20 and clinch a playoff spot.
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