NFL Picks: Back Bears to Surprise Vikings & Cover -5.5

Nikki Adams

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 1:00 AM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015 1:00 AM GMT

Minnesota look to bounce back in week 15 NFL betting over Chicago. Will the Vikings confirm their favorable NFL odds with a win and cover? Find out as we preview this game and serve up our NFL picks.

NFL Pick: Bears +5.5

Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Chicago Bears +5.5
On the heels of a back-to-back losing streak, the Chicago Bears have lost some of their shine, which, admittedly, was mostly down to their momentous win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving as the +7.5 road underdogs. Since then, the Bears have dropped back-to-back games –a 26-20 loss at home to the Niners and a 24-21 loss at home to the Redskins.

That both those games were at home can’t be overlooked. The Bears are just 1-6 SU at home this season and 2-5 ATS with a 6.4-point losing margin and a negative 5.8-point differential against the spread. Things do sort of look up on the road for the Bears, where they are 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS with a 0.5-point winning margin and a plus 8.6-point differential against the spread. Their ATS mark on the road is in fact the third best in the league after Cincinnati (6-0 ATS) and Minnesota (6-1 ATS).

On the road, the Bears have gotten the better of Kansas City, San Diego, St. Louis and Green Bay. They also played the Lions close to lose 37-34. The only hefty loss the Bears suffered on the road was to the Seattle Seahawks in week 3 of the season –albeit with Jimmy Clausen calling the shots in relief for an injured Jay Cutler.

The most recent losing streak at home is particularly hard to comprehend as it involves two teams coming to Soldier Field with bleak 0-5 SU records each only to run away winners. Those losses had other similarities from sluggish starts to boggling the game when it was on the line.

Why the Bears find it hard to win at home is anybody’s guess, but one thing stands out is Jay Cutler’s rather meagre output at home. It’s worth noting, Cutler and his wife welcomed their third child into the world on Nov 23, which happens to coincide with this losing streak. Just saying. Nice as it is to have a bumbling bundle of joy at home, rest, peace and quiet, and sleep definitely comes at a steep premium.

Minnesota Vikings -5.5
Despite a two-game losing streak the Minnesota Vikings enter this game as the firm favorites to win straight up and as 5.5-point home chalk. In fact, they are up from 4-points served up in Advanced Lines from Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook last week

That the latest loss to the Cardinals didn’t take the shine off their NFL odds is because the Vikings really gave the Cardinals a run for their money on Thursday Night. It was a short week and a quick turnaround from the heavy loss to the Seattle Seahawks in week 13 NFL betting. Few gave the Vikings a chance at all in that game. The simple fact that they competed so well and, even, came close to tying the game, only for opting to go for a touchdown rather than a field goal.

On the whole, the Vikings are a solid 8-5 SU on the season, which includes a second best 10-3 ATS mark in the league, highlighted by 0.2 winning margin and a plus 1-point differential. At home, the Vikings are 4-2 SU and ATS with a 2-point losing margin and a negative 3.5-point differential against the spread. Although those latter stats were skewed by the 38-7 loss at home to the Seahawks.

Earlier in the season, the Vikings beat the Bears at home 23-20, coming through as the nominal 1-point road favorites only just.

 

NFL Betting Verdict
It would be a big mistake to take the NFL betting outlook on this game for granted when both teams are enjoying back-to-back losing streaks and faced with a pivotal week 15 NFC North clash. The Bears are in a worse spot than the Vikings, third in the division and three games behind. The Vikings, however, have all the pressure to win. They are seventh in the race for a playoff hunt and a third straight loss would put a damper on their postseason hopes, surely.

Each and every time the Vikings were under the cosh they’ve fallen well short of the mark. All those instances came against much better teams than the Chicago Bears – Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals – so the Vikings do have a chance to come away with the win here.

It must be said that Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t looked good of late, throwing just two touchdowns in the last four games. That’s not very good.. Adrian Peterson also can’t win games alone, especially when teams effectively slow him down. The Bears, on the other hand, can light up and their offense has been explosive at times. The same can’t be said of their kicker these days, who missed crucial field goals in the last two weeks that would have lifted the Bears into the playoff hunt had he split the posts instead. So long as the game doesn’t rest on the Bears’ kicker, the Bears could cover here with our NFL picks.

So in short, the Vikings should win but the Bears could cover. We won’t, however, be totally surprised if the Bears hand the Vikings the outright upset.

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