Mercurial QB Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears face Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon in a big NFC North Week 8 game from historic Soldier Field in Chicago.
Odds Overview: Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears
This NFC North showdown between the Minnesota Vikings (4-2 SU, 5-1 ATS) and the Chicago Bears (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS) at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday afternoon will be a tough Loss for the hosts as it would drop them to 2-5 SU and surely out of realistic contention for a Playoff spot this season. NFL Oddsmakers have made the visiting Vikings slight 1½-point Road Favorites (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) over the host Bears—the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook Advanced Line on this game was also Vikings -1½—with the Total (Points) there posted at 42. The Bears are +105 Favorites in the Money Line (Winner) marketplace with the Vikings lined at -125 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook). The Minnesota Vikings TeamTotal Points has been set at 21½ (Ladbrokes) while the Chicago Bears Team Total Points is at 20½. (Ladbrokes) for this game.
The Minnesota Vikings (124 PF-102 PA) come into this game on a 2-game Win Streak and off the heels of a 28-19 victory over the Lions in Detroit in Week 7 as RB Adrian Peterson ran 19 times for 98 yards and WR Stefon Diggs had a nice game, making 6 catches for 108 yards and a TD in Minnesota’s first Road Win against an NFC North opponent since December of 2012 when they beat the Lions in Detroit. Of course. Always the Lions. In the Win, Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater was 25 for 36 and 2 TDs to lift Minnesota to 4-2 and in a good spot to fight for an NFC Wild Card berth, but it’s important to note this Lions team isn’t half as powerful defensively as they were last season after losing NT Ndamukong Suh (Dolphins) and DL Nick Fairley (Rams) to Free Agency in the Offseason. Here against Chicago, expect Minnesota to try to establish Peterson and the ground game, but if the Bears can stop AP and force the Vikings into a Pass-first mentality, then they can win this game. Beyond Peterson (530 yards, 3 TDs), TE Kyle Rudolph (18 Receptions, 123 yards, 3 TDs), WR Diggs (19 receptions, 324 yards, 3 TDs) and new-signee WR Mike Wallace (26 Receptions, 292 yards, TD), the Vikings Offensive production drops off much putting much pressure on young 2nd-year QB Bridgewater ( 119 completions, 1,339 yards, 5 TDs). On the Injury tip, Minnesota (40/1 to win Super Bowl, BetVictor) has four players listed as Questionable here in CB Josh Robinson (Pectoral), DE Justin Trattou (Ankle), DT Sharrif Floyd (Knee) and WR Jarius Wright (Head) as well as five players—three more on D including LB Casey Matthews (Hip)—on the Injured-Reserve List.
The Chicago Bears (120 PF-179 PA) have scored the third-least number of Points in the NFC, trailing only St. Louis (108) and San Francisco (103), and although he has played some this season, not all of Chicago’s problems can be blamed on backup QB Jimmy Clausen. Starting QB Jay Cutler (22-42 ATS at Home) has been back in the saddle for Chicago after returning from another Injury and the Bears have actually played better, but with a 2-4 record Chicago really needs the Win here at Home to avoid seeing the 2015/16 Regular Season go down the tubes before the games are officially halfway over. The Bears have been horrible in the role of Home Favorites of late, but with this one opening up with Minnesota as 1½- to 2-point Favorites and now seeing heavy action on Chicago (500/1 to win Super Bowl, William Hill) in some places (Minnesota -1 to Pick ‘em), that Trend is rendered moot and this game will be about who wants it bad enough and the site (Soldier Field) should really help the Bears here. Vanderbilt product Cutler has some nice Skill Position players with which to work in RB Matt Forte, TE Martellus Bennett and WRs Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal but the Bears Offense has been disappointing so far. T Jermon Bushrod (Concussion), S Antrel Rolle (Ankle), LB Shea McClellin (Leg) and CB Terrance Mitchell (Hamstring) are all listed as Questionable for Sunday while six other Bears are on the Injured-Reserve List including C Will Montgomery (Leg), WR Jacquizz Rodgers (Arm) and DL Ego Ferguson (Knee) while West Virginia Rookie and Bear top Draft Pick WR Kevin White (Shin) remains Out Indefinitely, hopeful he can return for first-year Head Coach John Fox and the Bears (5-12 ATS L17 vs. NFC North) later this season if needed.
Recent Series Trends and Best Side Betting Approach
When these two met last season, the Vikings lost 21-13 in this game at Soldier Field as 2½-point underdogs while the Vikings won in Minneapolis, but failed to cover as 7-point chalks, 13-9 in the season’s other meeting. Two stone cold Unders. The Bears are an impressive 6-1 ATS L7 vs. Minnesota here at Home in the Windy City and Chicago is also 8-3 ATS the L11 in this series. With the aforementioned gunslinger Cutler back, Chicago is much better and although improved, Minnesota is still sort of just a middle-of-the-pack team and nothing to write home about and are historically a poor Road team as mentioned. And wins against the Lions (twice) and AFC West lightweights Chiefs and Chargers doth not make a good team. The Advanced Line here was Minnesota -2½ -120, so you can see the weird 1-point perception after the Vikings win over the Lions in Detroit Sunday and the Bears off week. Chicago (7-18-1 ATS L26 Home) and Cutler can definitely win this NFC North affair and will obviously be well-rested (13 Days) heading in here coming in off their Open Date (Bye week). With Minnesota (3-8 ATS L11 Week 8) being so bad on the Road in NFC North play this decade, the Home team a dominating 18-7 ATS the L25 in this series and Chicago 6-1 ATS the L7 here at Soldier Field and needing the Win more than Minnesota, backing the Bears with our NFL picks and grabbing point-and-a-half while it’s still out there early in the week seems like the wise idea here on Sunday.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Bears 23 Vikings 17
NFL WEEK 8 PICK: Bears +1½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)