This Sunday the Minnesota Vikings (8-6-1) will host the Chicago Bears (11-4) in a NFC North clash that has major playoff implications. Kickoff is set for 4:25 EST at U.S. Bank Stadium and will be televised locally on FOX.
Taking a look at the Week 17 NFL odds, the books have the Vikings anywhere from -3.5 to -4.5 with the total set for 40.5 points.
Bears vs Vikings Vegas Spread Preview
Chicago comes into this one off an ugly 14-9 win at San Francisco in Week 16, but it was enough for them to cover as a slim 3-point road favorite. With the win the Bears can finish no worse than the No. 3 seed in the NFC. They also kept their hopes alive for the No. 2 seed and a first round bye. For that to happen, Chicago would need to beat the Vikings and have the Rams lose at home to the 49ers.
Minnesota enters off a 27-9 win and cover at Detroit as a 6-point favorite, though it didn’t look good for the Vikings early. The Lions kicked a 48-yard field goal with 4:05 left in the 2nd quarter to take a 9-0 lead. On the very next series, Minnesota converted a 3rd & 17 to setup a touchdown. Somehow the Vikings got the ball back with 45 seconds left and it led to a 44-yard Hail Mary touchdown as the first half expired. From that point on, it was all Minnesota. The Vikings need a win or an Eagles loss (@ Redskins) to lock up the final Wild Card spot in the NFC.
These two teams played back in Week 11 and the Bears pulled out a 25-20 win as a 3-point home favorite. Chicago led 14-0 at the half, but Minnesota pulled within 14-6 early in the 4th quarter. The Bears defense sealed the win with a 27-yards pick-six to given Chicago a 22-6 edge with less than 9 minutes to play. It was only the second loss by the Vikings in the last 8 meetings in the series. It also marked the 8th time in the last 10 meetings that the home team won the game outright.
Free Betting Pick & Predictions: Vikings – 3.5
My early lean here would have to be to lay the points with Minnesota. I think the perception a lot of people are going to have when they look at this line, is there’s value with the Bears getting more than field goal, as they see Chicago still has something to play for with the No. 2 seed up for grabs and most consider the Bears to be the better team at this point.
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I’m not buying Chicago being all-in for this game. I think head coach Matt Nagy is saying all the right things here, with how they aren’t going to assume the Rams are going to win and will play their starters, but I’m confident the players know just how unlikely a scenario it is that LA loses at home to the 49ers.
Not to mention, even if they do show up 100% invested in this game, it’s not out of the question they see the Rams are in complete control early and decide to rest some guys in the second half. I also think they are going to be extra cautious with any injuries that some of their players are dealing with. For example, I would be shocked if safety Eddie Jackson plays even though he’s listed as questionable.
I really think the most important thing for the Bears was to lock up the No. 3 seed, which they did last week. That ensures that they won’t have to travel to New Orleans until at least the NFC Championship Game, if they were to advance that far.
Minnesota on the other hand is basically in a do-or-die scenario and you can count on a playoff-like atmosphere at US Bank Stadium on Sunday. I just don’t think people realize how big a home field edge they have. Since head coach Mike Zimmer came to Minneapolis, the Vikings have gone 29-11 ATS at home, including a 23-8 ATS mark as a home favorite. This also a series that has been dominated by the home team, as the home side is an impressive 23-9 ATS in the last 32 meetings between these two teams. Give me the Vikings -3.5!