Coming off of a dominant Week 16 in which I went 5-0 with football picks, we are sad to see the regular season go. It’s been a great run of results – especially in the second half for myself, hitting on predictions at a 61% clip! Kudos to you all who stuck along and tailed and hopefully your wallets will be well-filled for the New Year.
Week 17 is always intriguing as you first need to sift through the maze that can be playoff scenarios. At this time in the season, jockeying for playoff spots is always vital – with many playoff-bound teams desperately wanting to secure the coveted first-round bye or homefield advantage. Our first featured game involves the 12-3 Minnesota Vikings, who are undoubtedly gunning for the NFC’s number two seed behind the Philadelphia Eagles. They control their own destiny, and all they need to do is win in order to secure that bye. In their way will be the upstart Chicago Bears who are playing a lot better with rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky at the helm.
It’s always great when these NFC North divisional rivals square off, and you can bet Chicago would love to spoil the party for the Vikes in Minnesota. Read on below for a full game preview, analysis, and an official betting prediction for Bears/Vikes as we kick off Week 17!
Bears vs. Vikings Betting Odds:
Chicago Bears +11.5 (-105)
@ Minnesota Vikings -11.5 (-115)
Over 39 (-110)
Under 39 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Bears vs. Vikings Pick:
One of the stories of this football season certainly has to be the impressive play of Vikings’ replacement quarterback – Case Keenum. He’s filled in admirably for Sam Bradford, and has looked great at many points throughout this season. You can bet he’ll cash in when his contract expires – as he’s got a decent Vikings offense clicking on all cylinders as they prepare for the post-season.
In Week 17 he’ll face a bit stiffer test than he’s been used to as the Chicago defense is actually quite solid. Still though, Case Keenum will continue to shock us. The Vikings steamrolled the Bears when they met earlier in the season, but Chicago was without key personnel. Chicago has also done a stellar job in recent weeks at bottling up the run game and the Vikings may struggle in this regard. Look for Keenum to need to do things with his arm and through the air. He’s got a talented trio of playmakers in Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen, and Stefon Diggs – and all three should hold slight advantages over their defenders. It’ll be more resistance than Keenum is used to – but with a bye on the line, look for the Vikings offense to do enough to keep them rolling.
Where the Vikings hold a real advantage is their defense going up against the Chicago offense. It’s really why Keenum won’t need to be all that great come Sunday. This stop unit is dynamite, the best in the NFL, and are coming off of a dominant shutout on the road against the Green Bay Packers last Saturday. Chicago’s young QB Mitch Trubisky has shown some great signs, but he has been wildly erratic and inconsistent at times too. This will play right into the hands of the VIkes, and I doubt he’s going to handle Minnesota’s relentless pressure very well. The Vikings’ ferocious duo of Linval Joseph and Danielle Hunter have huge mismatches and should be able to take full advantage of a porous Bears’ offensive line. Time and space will be limited for the young quarterback, and it’s not as if the run game will be much reprieve either. Minnesota has allowed just one team to rush for above 100 yards all season long. This defense is as elite a unit as I can recall, and they’ll be primed for another big outing on Sunday.
With it being very difficult to see the Bears scoring in double digits here, you have to like Minnesota at home and with big motivation. At this time of the year, getting a week off is definitely a nice bonus before ramping things up again in round two. The Vikings’ defense should dominate Trubisky, and I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see a defensive score in this one. The Bears have done some good things in the lead-up to this game, but Minnesota drops them back to reality before their off-season commences. Roll with the Vikings large on Sunday.
PICK = Vikings -11.5 (-115)