Following another red-hot start to Week 5, we’ll look to close things out on a positive note with an all-NFC North divisional showdown on Monday Night Football. It’s been a really good run here at The Sports Geek, as I look for back-to-back 4-1 weeks ATS. Tonight, we’ll focus on the Minnesota Vikings travelling to the Windy City to do battle with the pesky Chicago Bears.
Not only is this a great rivalry, but it’ll also have some added intrigue as the Bears will finally let their top draft pick Mitch Trubisky debut at quarterback. Mike Glennon was horrible to start the season, and though Trubisky may not be ready just yet – he surely can’t be any worse than Glennon. The Bears likely aren’t sniffing the post-season, so it’s all about preparing for the future. That said, Trubisky will have his hands full with an intense Vikings’ stop unit.
For Minnesota, they’ll be returning a QB of their own as it is believed Sam Bradford will be returning from injury. The Vikes’ starter went down early in the campaign, but Case Keenum did an admirable job of holding things down in his absence. While many predicted a big gap between the two – that really didn’t materialize and the Minnesota offense didn’t miss a beat. Can Bradford pick up where Keenum left off? Read on below for a detailed game analysis and official betting prediction to end your week off right.
Vikings vs. Bears Betting Odds:
Minnesota Vikings -4 (-105)
@ Chicago Bears +4 (-115)
Over 40 (-115)
Under 40 (-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Vikings vs. Bears Pick:
The Vikings suffered some horrible injury news in the past week as their star rookie running back Dalvin Cook has been lost for the season with a torn ACL. Cook balanced their offense out nicely and was off to a great start. Beyond him is a lot of question marks, and it remains to be seen if any of the veteran backs can properly pick up the slack. Look for a combo of Latavius Murray and Jerrick McKinnon to share the load, and neither of them will be able to replace what Cook offered. It is also worth noting that the Bears also stuff the run pretty well, so lanes should be plugged on Monday night.
The Bears do have weaknesses in their secondary, but with Bradford at the helm – he barely throws all that far downfield. He is precise however, so it will be important for Chicago’s defensive front to try and generate constant pressure to keep him out of a rhythm.
For the Bears’ offense it is all about young rookie Mitch Trubisky. He looked excellent in the pre-season though this will be a stiff test against a talented Vikings’ defense. While the Bears don’t exactly possess all that many downfield options, look for the rookie to get ample time and space in the pocket to find his receivers. With Kyle Long and Josh Sitton back in the fold, Trubisky will have time to observe and get behind his throws.
This blocking from the O-Line should also open things up on the ground. The Lions ran all over Minnesota last week with their duo of mediocre backs, so guys like Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen should be used frequently out of the backfield.
In games in which the Bears haven’t basically beaten themselves – they’ve been alright this season. Mike Glennon won’t be playing which means he won’t be turning the ball over and being awful, and instead look for Trubisky to be an immediate upgrade as a result. This is a Chicago team that beat Pittsburgh and nearly beat Atlanta, and you can bet they’ll be amped up for this divisional showdown on Monday Night Football with their new QB at the helm. Look for the Vikings to really miss Dalvin Cook from here on out, and the Bears will make them pay this week.
PICK = Bears +4 (-115)