A huge NFC North showdown will unfold on Sunday Night Football of Week 11 as the Minnesota Vikings head to the Windy City to do battle with the Bears.
At the start of the season, many predicted this to be Minnesota’s division to lose – but that hasn’t quite materialized. Instead, the Bears have been the steadiest of teams this year and at 6-3 they’re in prime position to return to the playoffs.
The match-up of the high-octane Bears’ offense against the Vikings defense should be exciting to watch, and although we are mid-way through the regular season, this game will have huge playoff implications. As always, read on below for a full game breakdown and betting prediction.
Vikings vs. Bears Betting Odds:
Minnesota Vikings +2.5 (-104)
@ Chicago Bears -2.5 (-116)
Over 44 (-110)
Under 44 (-110)
Vikings vs. Bears Pick:
Mitchell Trubisky has been quite the revelation this season. He seems to have been living up to his lofty promise from draft day, but has been quite inconsistent in when he shows it. When he’s on – he has been one of the premier quarterbacks in the league. Though he has also had some poor outings as well. In a big start, and at home, expect the good Trubisky to show up against a stiff Vikings’ stop unit.
Minnesota has been hyped up to have the best defense in the NFL, but that hasn’t really materialized so far this year. The Vikings have really struggled specifically to cover the middle of the field, and that’s good news for the manner in which Chicago is built. Both Tarik Cohen and Trey Burton will be key targets for Trubisky, and both players do their best work in the middle of the field. Minnesota also has some vulnerabilities at cornerback, so look for Allen Robinson and/or Anthony Miller to be in line for a big outing. Despite the notion that the Vikings’ defense is unbeatable, that hasn’t been the case this year, so look for the Bears to move the chains.
If the Vikings don’t get much pressure in this contest, it’s going to be easy for Trubisky. The same can be said for the other side and Kirk Cousins. Unfortunately for Minnesota though, the Bears’ defensive line enters this contest in fine form and with their front seven, the Vikings will have their hands full. The ferocious duo of Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack should overwhelm Minnesota and really get to Cousins. Despite all of his talented receivers, I don’t think he will be able to get the ball to the likes of Thielen and Diggs given the pressure and coverage from the Chicago secondary.
Unfortunately for the Vikes, if Cousins struggles and can’t do it through the air – it will be a long night for their offense. Chicago stifles opposing run games, and the Vikes don’t have much of one right now. Dalvin Cook is back and healthy, but don’t count on there being many lanes for the young running back.
I am surprised the Bears aren’t bigger favorites in this contest, but I guess pre-season perceptions are hard to shake. The Vikings aren’t as good as many pegged them to be, and the Bears have certainly exceeded expectations. Look for Chicago to be focused and energized to move even further ahead in the NFC North, and charged up to play on Sunday Night Football in front of their rowdy home fans. Expect the Bears to get the job done in Week 11.
PICK = Bears -2.5 (-116)