Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Odds & Free Pick

December 20, 8:15 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
MIN -6/CHI +6

The Minnesota Vikings come to Soldier Field for an NFC North showdown with the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. It’s the first matchup between these divisional rivals, as they will meet again in a few weeks in Minneapolis. The Vikings are coming off a long week, following a 36-28 win over the Steelers last Thursday. It was a crazy affair where they almost blew a game they were dominating, but they got out of there with a win and now take on a Bears team that showed some fire before coming out on the wrong end of a 45-30 shootout against the Packers at Lambeau on Sunday Night Football. Who can deliver the cover on MNF?

Catching Minnesota on the Upswing?

A streaky season for the Vikings has made them a difficult team for people to figure out in a betting sense. One week, they’re beating the Chargers on the road or beating the Packers and the next thing you know, they’re losing to the Lions. Still, with Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen (questionable), and Dalvin Cook, they’re never a lost cause. A late-December game at Soldier Field, however, against a Bears team still trying might not be the ideal spot for offensive fireworks. Still, this game represents a line-in-the-sand game for the Vikings. If they want to have any hope, they have to get to .500 this week.

Justifying Chicago

It’s not easy to defend a team on a run of 7 losses in their last 8 games with their only win a 2-point victory over 1-11-1 Detroit, along with one measly cover since October 10. People getting behind the Bears have been getting burned left and right. Matt Nagy is likely a lame-duck coach and this season has been in the toilet for months. It’s just that before we get carried away with the “Chicago is bad” narrative, let’s remember the imperfect Minnesota package they are facing this week.

In other words, despite a lot having not gone Chicago’s way this season, we’re still seeing a level of high effort and energy. Justin Fields being back behind center offers some hope, as he has been showing growth. A healthy David Montgomery gives the backfield a big boost. And while the 1-2 receiver punch of Darnell Mooney and especially Allen Robinson has been erratic, they do deliver in spots and we’re seeing speedy role receivers like Jakeem Grant, Sr. and Damiere Byrd start to surface. While this isn’t an unfamiliar division setting for the Vikings, the conditions, in addition to Chicago’s sneaky offensive upside and Minnesota’s tendency to underperform massively on defense gives the Bears some very real hope in this matchup.

Drawbacks for the Bears This Week

Assuming that a high-end Minnesota team surfaces this week in Soldier Field and the conditions are conducive for an offensive showcase, the Bears could be up against it. Their run of non-covers could partially be a result of people misplacing their trust in what they assume to still be a good defense. And yes, it’s a unit that sometimes can still step up, particularly with a pass-defense that has stifled some good aerial offenses this season. Dalvin Cook, coming off the long week after a 200+ yard game, could run rampant on a Bears’ run-defense that has really slipped amidst plummeting form and injuries. After watching Green Bay running up and down the field unabated last week, we see the Chicago “D” hitting depths we haven’t yet seen during the Nagy regime.

Vikings vs. Bears MNF Prediction ATS 12/20/21

At seven losses and with pending matchups against the Packers and Rams, I’m not sure how pertinent the postseason urgency card is here for the Vikings. Maybe it’s on their mind, but then it also would have been on their mind when they lost to Detroit a few weeks ago. Despite both teams having a slew of recent games that sailed far above the “over,” I picture at least a slightly more-subdued offensive game this week. And if not, I’m not so sure the Bears are at as extreme a firepower deficit that some imagine. Whereas we saw a version of Fields earlier in the season who was focusing more on not screwing up, we have arrived at a point of the season where they seem to be letting him turn it loose to a greater degree. In any event, I think the Bears will keep this competitive enough to cover the spread on MNF. I’ll take Chicago.

Free Pick: 
Take Chicago +6