After sixteen gruelling weeks, the final week of the regular season is upon us. It can be a tough week in terms of betting value and isolating solid plays, though if you do your research and understand the scenarios – it can be profitable. That is where we come in.
We will kick things off in Week 17 with a divisional showdown between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. Like last week when we backed this hopeless Bears squad, they have nothing to play for again in their regular season finale, aside from pride. It has been a very down year for the Bears and many key players within their organization. Don’t be surprised to see big changes coming, and given the play of quarterback Mitch Trubisky in 2019 – the young ‘talent’ could be the first casualty.
For the rival Vikings, they’re coming off a stunning display of bad football last Monday evening against the Packers. In that game, Kirk ‘Primetime’ Cousins again showed that he truly does struggle to get it done when the games simply mean more. He was erratic in the pocket and inaccurate downfield to his array of talented receivers. Minnesota was without Dalvin Cook which hurt the offense, though he should be healthy for the post-season.
Looking at potential rest situations, with Minnesota now fully locked into the 6th-seed in the NFC, this is an obvious one. It is believed that Vikings’ coach Mike Zimmer might treat this like a pre-season game, giving his starters some reps, before allowing the reserves to play. As is the case in Week 17, research always needs to be done! Keep reading below the odds as we breakdown this matchup, as well as provide our betting prediction for this NFC North showdown.
Bears vs. Vikings Betting Odds:
Chicago Bears -3 (-120)
@ Minnesota Vikings +3 (+100)
Over 36 (-110)
Under 36 (-110)
Bears vs. Vikings Pick:
As is clearly evident from the low point-total in this contest, don’t expect much excitement from this divisional clash. Neither the Vikings’ backups or the Bears’ starters inspire all that much confidence when it comes to moving the football, and this could be a bit of a defensive struggle on Sunday.
For Minnesota, the focus is very clearly on resting their starters and healing up for their first-round opponent next weekend. It was a tough finish for the Vikes last week against Green Bay, but this is a veteran group that will be judged by what they do in the post-season.
For this week however, it’s believed that Kirk Cousins will be on the sidelines while backup quarterback Sean Mannion takes the majority of the snaps. Say what you will about Cousins, but Mannion is not very good. Going back to previous fill-in opportunities and the pre-season, he’s one of the worst backups in the NFL, and the Bears’ defense should bottle him up and make him wish he was still on the sidelines.
Chicago has played without pride for long stretches this year, but expect them to rally and showcase some of their key pieces one last time. Their defense remains one of the top units in the NFL, and is frankly the only reason their team was half-decent this year. Khalil Mack should be able to get to Mannion with ease, and disrupt his timing and rhythm in the pocket for sure.
Given the fact that it’s Chicago’s starters against the majority of Minnesota’s backups, the edge here has to be on the Bears to turn in one solid performance before a lengthy off-season. Chicago should completely stymie the Vikings’ offense, and if Trubisky can score into the high-teens with his offense, the Bears have a great shot at the cover on Sunday.