Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings Betting Odds - Free Pick
Chicago lost for the 6th time in the last 7 weeks with a 41-21 loss to Washington last Saturday. Minnesota gave up 34+ points for the 2nd-straight game in a 38-25 loss to Green Bay last week. The Bears won the Week 8 matchup 20-10. Chicago QB Matt Barkley threw for 323 yards and 2 TDs last week but that was offset by 5 interceptions. He faces a defense that is in freefall right now and had their DBs revolt against the coaches’ game plan with disastrous results (428 passing yards). WR Cameron Meredith had a career-high 135 receiving yards last week and leads the club with 53 receptions. WR Alshon Jeffery will probably draw the attention of Pro Bowl CB Xavier Rhodes but it was Rhodes who announced to the world about the DBs freelancing last week. The Bears have surrendered 26 sacks this season despite a questionable o-line so Barkley should have some time to make throws. Rookie RB Jordan Howard topped 100 yards rushing again last week (119) and averages a robust 5.1 ypc. He has been underused in 2016 and I look for him to get at least 25+ touches (28 receptions) in this game. The Vikings allow 4.2 ypc and their defensive play has really tailed off in the last 2 games.
Minnesota’s offense put on a better display last week than in the 34-6 loss to Indianapolis the week before. QB Sam Bradford threw for a career-high 382 yards and also added 3 TD passes and has completed 71.3% of his passes (QB Drew Brees has NFL record at 71.2). He’ll look to take advantage of a defense that has allowed 71 points over their past 2 games. WR Adam Thielen went off last week (12-202-2, all career highs) in the loss to the Packers and WR Stefon Diggs and TE Kyle Rudolph have had productive seasons as well. The Bears have given up an average of 223 passing ypg but part of that is because of their porous run defense (4.4 ypc, 121.7 ypg). RB Adrian Peterson is iffy for this game so RBs Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata will get their chances to exploit a depleted front seven.
Public Money Consensus
In this NFL matchup it appears the public money is slightly leaning to the Bears getting the 6 points with 55%. The over/under bettors are more definitive on this game going over the posted line of 40.5.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings Prediction
Both of these teams are out of contention but I expect a spirited affair this Sunday. Both of these defenses are reeling with injuries being the main culprit in Chicago and a disagreement over game plans being a problem in Minnesota. The Bears have placed an NFL-high 19 players on IR but are still competing. Barkley is relishing his chance to prove he is starter worthy and will want to make amends for last week’s showing. Bradford wants to set the completion record and while he does throw a lot of horizontal passes, he will want to repeat last week’s effort to show he is in his club’s plans for the future. The Vikings don’t run the ball very well so I expect Bradford to be firing the ball a lot this Sunday. Howard, despite his accomplishments, has been underutilized in almost every game. I expect him to have another productive day and for this game to go over the number.
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