Game: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Odds: Vikings -6.5, Bears +6.5
Even at 6-7, the Minnesota Vikings are still very much alive in the NFC playoff race. Minnesota is one of five NFC teams that entered Week 15 with a 6-7 record. The Vikings own the tiebreaker over three of the other four teams. If Minnesota wants to remain in that race, they need to even their record up at 7-7 tonight against a very beatable Bears team.
Chicago has just one win in its last eight games and that lone victory was against Detroit. The Lions had just one win, but somehow found a way to beat Arizona in Week 15. The Bears appeared ready to pull their own upset last week when they led Green Bay 27-21 at halftime. Then, Chicago did what it does best. The Bears went on to be outscored 24-3 in the second half and lose to the Packers 45-30. A 12-point road underdog, the Bears failed to cover the spread…again! It was the fourth game in a row in which the Bears failed to cover.
These two teams meet twice per year as members of the NFC North. This will be the first of the two meetings this season. The teams split last year with the road team winning both games. Minnesota won last year 19-13 at Soldier Field covering as a three-point favorite. The Vikings are 4-2 ATS in their last six games this year. They have been able to keep games close this season. Four of their first five losses this season were by four or fewer points.
The Bears aren’t eliminated from the postseason, but they might as well be. The offense is simply not good. The passing game is the worst in the NFL. Rookie QB Justin Fields has taken his share of lumps this season. About the only thing the Bears get right on offense is the running game. It ranks eighth in the NFL. Chicago ranks 30th in scoring at just 13.6 points per game. You won’t beat many teams in the NFL scoring fewer than two touchdowns a game.
Minnesota, on the other hand, has been able to score most of the season. QB Kirk Cousins and wide receivers Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson lead the NFL’s seventh-best passing offense. Thielen has been hurt recently and he is listed as questionable for tonight. Having him will be a boost for Cousins and the Minnesota offense. The Vikings have scored 26 points in each of their last six games. The Over, not surprisingly, is 5-1 in those games. The Over is also 8-1 in Minnesota’s last nine games on the road.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that the Bears’ lack of scoring has led to the game total going Under in eight of the Bears’ last 12 games. In the Bears-Vikings series, the Under has been the trend too with 13 of the last 19 games going Under the total.