Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears face the Minnesota Vikings Sunday. (Photo by Stacy Revere / Photos of Getty)
In what will be a senseless game about the NFC playoff picture, the Minnesota Vikings host the Chicago Bears in the U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday.
The Vikings enter the game as a 3-point home underdog, largely because of Chicago’s recent victory over them. Here’s a breakdown of the game followed by betting trends and our prediction.
Last season, the Bears finished the Vikings playoff Week 17, defeating Minnesota in Minneapolis, 24-10. Chicago also dominated Vikings Week 4 at Soldier Field this season in a 16-6 game played by the Bears without starter Mitchell Trubisky, who left the game early in the first quarter with a left shoulder injury.
Trubisky will certainly play this time around, with a third-year quarterback having a great deal to prove after less than encouraging the season. Head coach Matt Nagy said this week that he could rest some of his more banged up starters in this game, however.
“Going to win the game is important to us,” Nagy said, before noting: “It also, at the same time, provides some opportunities for … knowing the kind of place they are and where we are We will see where we are going. ”Look for rookie offensive lineman Alex Bars to get the start in Rashaad Coward’s place, while on the other side of the ball, the Bears will likely rest with Akiem Hicks and Prince Amukamara, who both battled injuries this season.
According to Courtney Cronin, the Vikings plan to rest some of their starters, including quarterback Kirk Cousins. The star running back Dalvin Cook will also be retired considering his recent fights with injuries.
Although I told the Vikings that their plans for Sunday were not finalized, they strongly relied on resting many starters, including Kirk Cousins, per league sources. The team looks to Chicago week as a farewell in terms of getting the guys rest / healthy for Jan.
– Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) December 27, 2019
After losing the playoffs last year, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer isn’t surprised to expect the postseason. Minnesota secured the 6th seed in the NFC last week, but dropped its last three games to the Bears.
Quarterback Sean Mannion will get the start for the Cousins. This is the second start of Mannion’s career, and he’ll face a top 10 Bears defense that has been a solid unit all season. The Bears are averaging 18.3 points a game, and the team is looking to end the season strong after a disappointing year.
Betting, Forecasting and Select Trending
* NOTE: all of the numbers and percentages listed below are courtesy of Odds Shark:
Spread: Vikings +3
Over / Under: 36 points
Odds Shark currently has the Vikings winning the game by an expected 27-15 score, with the Vikings covering the spread and a total score of over 36 points. This was their projection before it was announced that Zimmer was resting some key players, however.
Some trends surrounding the game to consider:
- Chicago is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games.
- The total has not been to the UN in 5 of the last 9 games in Chicago.
- Chicago is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against Minnesota.
- The Bears are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- The total is out of 5 in the last 7 games in Minnesota.
- The Vikings are 8-3 SU in their last 11 games.
- The total has not been to the UN in 5 of Minnesota’s last 5 games against Chicago
- Minnesota is 6-1 SU in their last 7 home games.
Considering Friday’s announcement that the Vikes have no Cousins and company, we will be picking the Bears on this one. If Cousins and Cook played, we would take on Minnesota, but Sean Mannion against the Bears’ defense wasn’t the one we wanted. Trubisky can also play for his job, so we like Chicago in a low-scoring battle in the NFC North.
Final Prediction: 21, Vikings 13 (Bear -3)