Vikings vs. Bears Betting Odds, Preview & Free NFL Picks

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 6:00 PM GMT

The Bears thought they put all the right pieces together in the off-season but so far, the 2014 NFL season has been rough in Chicago. With the Vikings in town, is this a good spot to bet on the Bears?

Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears (Bears -3½, 47 Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), Sunday 18:00 (FOX, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT)
When the third- and fourth-place teams in an NFL division meet at this time of the year it’s often not the most entertaining football, and this NFC North showdown on Sunday afternoon between the Minnesota Vikings (4-5 SU, 5-4 ATS) and the Chicago Bears (3-6 SU, 3-6 ATS) at Soldier Field in Chicago will probably be no exception. Although not technically out of the playoff race just yet, conventional wisdom says that these two organizations are already thinking about what to do next summer.

NFL odds list the host Bears at 3½-point favorites over the Vikings (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)—the SuperBook’s Advanced Line on this game was Bears -5—with the Total Points posted at 47. The Bears are -181 Favorites in the Money Line (Winner) marketplace (BetVictor) with the takeback on the Underdog Vikings +150. The Bears Total Team Points has been set at 25½ (Stan James) while the Vikings Total Team Points is at 21½. The Overtime prop is Yes +800 and No -1600 (BetVictor).

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Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings will be come into this game off of a Bye week and will be rested and should be able to exploit a Bears team down both mentally, from seeing their season fall apart at the seams, and physically, after playing the Packers and getting beat up in Green Bay on Sunday night. And Minnesota knows that both Buffalo and Miami have already beat Chicago as Underdogs and the Vikings also know they have actually been ahead of the Bears in the NFC North standings lately. Minnesota QB Teddy Bridgewater (119 completions, 1,321 yards, 3 TDs) has done what he can with the Vikings offense which ranks 31st in the NFL in Passing (197.1 ypg) and 11th in Rushing—not bad with star RB Adrian Peterson out indefinitely—but this team still struggles to score in bunches although lately against the Bears everyone seems to be scoring in bunches. WR Greg Jennings (35 receptions, 459 yards, 2 TDs, 13.1 ypc) has been a nice pickup for Minnesota, but WR Cordarrelle Patterson (26 receptions, 308 yards, TD) has been a big disappointment after a great game early on.

The Vikings defense is very strong against the Pass (#4 in NFL, 213.6 ypg) and just average against the Rush (#15), but with Cutler making 2 to 3 really dumb play at pivotal moments in games of late, those brain freezes should help Minnesota and potential Vikings bettors.

Injury-wise, and besides former workhorse Peterson’s absence, Minnesota QB Matt Cassel (foot) is on the I-R list while TE Kyle Rudolph (groin) and LB Brandon Watts (knee) were both listed as Questionable on Monday morning.

 

Chicago Bears
The Bears were just 1-4-1 ATS as Home Favorites last season and are 0-2 ATS this season in that same role with losses not only to the point spread to the AFC East’s Bills and Dolphins in Chicago, but also embarrassing straight up losses at Home that make season ticket holders think twice about renewals next season. Second-year coach Marc Trestman (7-17-1 ATS) and Chicago are coming off an embarrassing 55-14 thrashing at the hands of their rival Packers in Green Bay on Sunday Night Football—in the 188th meeting between those two historic teams—in which the Bears looked as bad and as uninspired as they have over the last devolutionary month or so. Somewhere, Papa Bear George Halas is weeping.

At QB for Chicago (1-4 SU L5 Home), Cutler (13-28-1 ATS vs. NFC North) hasn’t totally been the problem but many of the problems start with him and his aforementioned poor decision-making skills. 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 Josh Morgan but the Bears still rank well in the bottom half of the league in average points scored per game (21.56 ppg, 22nd) and look lost often when they have the ball.

LB Darryl Sharpton (hamstring), G Eben Britton (illness) and WR Marshall (ankle) are all listed as Day-to-Day for the Bears.

 

Best Betting Approaches
When making your NFL picks keep in mind  that prrobably the two most significant trends here fly in the face of each other and almost steer one away from betting on a side in this NFC North snoozer: Minnesota is 3-0 ATS L3 against Chicago but the Vikings are just 1-5 ATS L6 Away here in the Windy City. So, oh well, right? It’s tough to want back the Vikings here as the points don’t seem like enough—the Bears won this game last season, 31-30 as 6-point Favorites—while backing Chicago would be a crapshoot and who wants to back a Bears team that’s 1-6-1 in its L8 as a Home Favorite let alone 1-11-1 ATS L13 at Home? Not too many people.

Although the Under is 3-1 L4 Vikings games and 4-1 L5 in this series, because of the fact that there have been 69 and 74 points scored in the Bears last two games with both opponents almost going Over the posted Totals themselves—Patriots 51 (51½), Packers 55 (53)—and because Chicago seems so darn lost on defense now (allowing 30.8 ppg, #31 in NFL), it seems the logical and simple thing to do in a game with few holes in it is to back the Over 47 for a small amount. The Over is 10-3 in the L13 Bears games and is 6-2 L8 in Bears Home games against the Vikings. These two will play again in the season finale on Dec. 28 in Minneapolis.

NFL picks: Over 47 at 5Dimes