The Minnesota Vikings will look to secure a first-round bye when they host the Chicago Bears in Week 17. Kickoff is set for 1:00 EST on Sunday, December 31 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Fans in local markets can watch the game on Fox.
Oddsmakers list the Vikings as 12-point favorites over the Bears. The over/under is set at 39.5 points. Click here for a full list of the Week 17 betting odds and links to more game previews.
Bears vs Vikings Vegas Spread Preview
Minnesota has won 10 of their last 11 games, and they looked sharp defensively in their 16-0 win over Green Bay last week. With a win in Week 17, the Vikings can improve to 13-3 on the season, which would be their best record since going 15-1 in 1998. A win would also ensure that the Vikings get a bye during the first weekend of the playoffs, something they would no doubt enjoy.
The Bears, meanwhile, appear to be playing well late in the season. Chicago has won two of their last three games to improve to 5-10 on the season. To be fair, those wins have come against the Bengals and Browns, which isn’t saying much. But the ability to beat bad teams does show at least some progress for the Bears and rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
The Vikings have won five of the last six games in this rivalry, including a Monday night game earlier this season 20-17. That was Trubisky’s first career start, so this game should be a good litmus test for how long he’s come this season. Of course, that game was also played before Case Keenum settled into the starting quarterback role for Minnesota.
Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Vikings – 12
I don’t love the idea of swallowing this many points in this game. The Minnesota offense didn’t look all that spectacular last week, so without another lights-out effort defensively, covering could be difficult. However, I’m going to guess that the Vikings will want to play their best in their regular-season finale and fight to earn that first-round bye, so I’ll take my chances with Minnesota covering the spread.
Despite playing better recently, I have some concerns about the Bears on the road. They blew out the Bengals a few weeks back but looked rather inept on the road the following week. They’re just 2-5 on the road this season, and four of those five losses have come by double digits, with most of them being one-sided games.
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As far as Trubisky is concerned, his numbers late in the season have been much better than they were earlier this year. However, the more he’s asked to do, the more he struggles. The Minnesota defense is best in the NFL in points allowed, and for the most part, they’ve been stout against the run this year. That could force the Bears to ask for more out of Trubisky, which can be a recipe for mistakes and turnovers.
Offensively, I wasn’t overly impressed by the Vikings last week. But I can forgive a sluggish offensive performance on a cold night at Lambeau Field. When the Vikings have been home in a controlled environment, they’ve been a lot more explosive offensively. Minnesota has scored at least 23 points in all but one home game this season. To be fair, Chicago’s defense is 10th in the NFL in points allowed. But considering Keenum’s efficiency this season, I’m not too worried about the Vikings being able to move the ball consistently.
Despite some reservations for this game, I do believe the Vikings will win comfortably and cover the spread. The Bears haven’t shown me enough to make me think they’ll compete with a quality team on the road. I’ll take my chance with the home favorite.
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