NFL Picks Vikings vs. Bears: Solid Defenses Will Keep Score Low

Kevin Stott

Friday, October 30, 2015 12:12 PM GMT

Two teams with 4-2 Over records this season meet at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday afternoon when the Chicago Bears host the Minnesota Vikings in a crucial Week 8 NFC North game.

Odds Overview
What: NFL Week 8—Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
When: Sunday, November 1, 2015
Time: 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT [Sunday 18:00]
TV: CBS, Directv 707, NFL RedZone (US)
Weather Forecast: Mostly Sunny, 63°, Winds WSW 5-10 mph, 63% Humidity
Current Point Spread: PK (Pinnacle) to Vikings -1½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Lowest Total in Marketplace: 41½ (Treasure Island)
Consensus Total in Marketplace: 42½
Highest Total in Marketplace: 42½ (Most sportsbooks)
Alternate Total: Under 39 +137 Over 39 -187 (Bet365)
Alternate Total: Under 40 +110 Over 40 -150 (bet365)
Alternate Total: Under 41 Even Over 41 -133 (bet365)
Alternate Total: Under 43 -133 Over 43 Even (bet365)

 

Current Realities Heading Into This NFC North Game
The Minnesota Vikings (4-2 SU, 5-1 ATS) head to Soldier Field in Chicago this weekend to face the Chicago Bears (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS) in this Week 8 contest in what would 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. The Advanced Line here was Minnesota -2½ -120, so you can see a weird 1-point perception after the Vikings win over the Lions in Detroit on Sunday in Week 7 combined with the Bears off week. Chicago and QB Jay Cutler can definitely win this game and will obviously be well-rested heading in here. Minnesota’s Win at Ford Field in Motown was its first Win against a divisional opponent on the Road since December of 2012—against the Lions in Detroit, again—so if the Bears—who have scored the 3rd-least number of points in the NFC—can find a way to score enough points and play good enough Defense, they can win here, improve to 3-4, and (theoretically) stay in the race. To analyze the Total (42½, Pinnacle) in this game, here are the L10 Final Scores from Soldier Field in this NFC North series.

 

Total Results L10 Meetings Chicago Bears-Minnesota Vikings at Chicago (Soldier Field)
2014—@ Bears 21 Vikings 13 Total: 46½ Result: Under
2013—@ Bears 31 Vikings 30 Total: 40½ Result: Over
2012—@ Bears 28 Vikings 10 Total: 38½ (by ½ point) Result: Under
2011—@ Bears 39 Vikings 10 Total: 41½ Result: Over
2010—@ Bears 27 Vikings 13 Total: 40½ Result: Under (by ½ point)
2009—@ Bears 36 Vikings 30 Total: 41 Result: Over
2008—@ Bears 48 Vikings 41 Total: 38 Result: Over
2007—Vikings 34 @ Bears 21 Total: 36 Result: Over
2006—@ Bears 23 Vikings 13 Total: 34 Result: Over (by 2 points)
2005—@ Bears 28 Vikings 3 Total: 37½ Result: Under

 

Recent Series Trends and Best Betting Approach
As you can see, the Trend here in Chicago in this series has been a slight one (6-4) to the Over—6-3 Over L9—although two of the results went Under by just ½ point (2010, 2012), so this could very well be an 8-2 mark to the Over. But those were much better Bears (8-2 SU L10 vs. Minnesota in Chicago) teams. When these two met last season, the Vikings lost 21-13 in this game in Chitown as 2½-point underdogs while the Vikings won in Minneapolis, but failed to cover as 7-point chalks, 13-9. The Bears are 6-1 ATS L7 vs. Minnesota here at Home in the Windy City and the Bears are 8-3 ATS the L11 in this series. With QB Jay Cutler (22-42 ATS at Home) back, Chicago is much better and although improved, Minnesota is still just a middle-of-the-pack team trying to move up a notch and are historically a pretty poor Road team, especially in the NFC North as mentioned. And with the Bears (7-18-1 ATS L26 Home) coming off their Bye week and rested and Cutler back from his Injury and 3x the option at QB than backup Jimmy Clausen, Chicago (6-1 ATS the L7 here at Soldier Field) is a much better head space than they were a month ago. Minnesota (3-8 ATS L11 Week 8) will probably look to rely on RB Adrian Peterson heavily early on here, and this game could very well be 0-0 or 3-0 at the end of the 1st Quarter with both teams fighting for the momentum. Vikings Unders are 6-2 ATS in Week 8 but Bears Unders are just 2-5-1 ATS the L8 games in Week 8. So the recent and relevant Trends hint Over, but this game is too important to the Bears and expect a solid Defensive performance at the perfect time and a tightening of the NFC North race in a close and relatively low-scoring Chicago victory.

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Bears 23 Vikings 17

NFL WEEK 8 TOTALS PICK: Bears-Vikings Under 43 -133 (Bet365)