The Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) meet the Chicago Bears (6-3) this weekend in an important NFC North battle on Sunday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 8:30 PM EST on November 18th at Soldier Field and the game will be broadcast on NBC.

Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Bears listed as 3-point home favorites. That line has shifted by half a point after early betting, as Chicago is currently available at -2.5. The total for this matchup is 45.5 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 11 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.

Bears vs Vikings Vegas Odds & Game Preview

Minnesota moved to 5-3-1 on the season in Week 9 after a solid 24-9 home victory over the visiting Detroit Lions. The Vikings have now won four out of their last five games after a troublesome two game losing streak at the beginning of the season that included a defeat at the hands of the hapless Buffalo Bills. QB Kirk Cousins appears to have finally settled in, throwing for 2,685 yards and 17 touchdowns in nine games. However, he has had some trouble finding the end zone as of late, recording only five touchdowns over his last three games. Cousins has had a ton of help from WR Adam Thielen, who has already racked up almost 1,000 yards receiving. His streak of eight consecutive 100 yard games finally game to an end against the Lions last time out, as he only managed to catch four passes for 22 yards and a touchdown. As a whole, Minnesota is currently averaging 24.6 points per game (15th overall) on 374.3 yards of total offense.

The Vikings have been pretty solid on defense this year, giving up an average of just 22.7 points per game (11th overall) on 322.2 yards of total offense. They have been especially good against the run, as opponents are currently averaging just 88.9 rushing yards per game (3rd overall).

Chicago put on a show at home last weekend, beating Detroit 34-22 to improve to 6-3 on the year. The Bears offense really did a great job moving the ball through the air, as QB Mitch Trubisky passed for 355 yards and three touchdowns while also finding the end zone on a short rushing play. He has now thrown for 2,304 yards and 19 touchdowns in only nine games. Trubisky has also really spread the ball out to his receivers quite well, although it was WR Allen Robinson who had a big game in Week 10 after missing a couple games with an injury. Robinson racked up 133 receiving yards and two touchdowns in what was easily his best game of the season. Overall, Chicago is currently averaging 29.9 points per game (5th overall) on 363.4 total yards of offense.

The Bears have also looked quite good on the other side of the ball, allowing opponents to score an average of just 19.4 points per game (4th overall) on 319.6 yards of total offense. Chicago has been especially impressive against the run, giving up an average of just 84.0 yards per game on the ground (2nd overall).

Free NFL Betting Prediction: Chicago -2.5

I’m actually a little bit surprised that this spread has gotten smaller, as I think the Bears are in a pretty good spot this week. They have certainly been the much more consistent team overall this season, as Minnesota had several ups and downs before really keeping the momentum rolling over the past couple of weeks. It will be interesting to see how the Vikings look coming out of their bye, as they have had a tendency to come out a bit slow in the first half following a week off over the past several seasons. However, these divisional games are always pretty close, especially when both teams are above .500 on the year. 

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Chicago is a very impressive 5-1 ATS in their last six games against NFC opponents. They are also 3-1-1 ATS over their last five games against teams from the NFC North specifically. It is also important to consider this game is being played at Soldier Field, where the Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games. Minnesota is just 4-6-2 ATS over their last 12 games overall. They are also only 3-14 straight up in their last 17 games in Chicago.

The Vikings have also really struggled against the spread when playing the Bears as of late, going just 2-8 ATS in their last ten visits to Soldier Field. I am fully expecting that trend to continue on Sunday night, as I think that this high-flying Chicago offense will simply be too much to handle for Cousins and Co. This one might be close, but the Bears should be able to grind out a cover at home. I’ll lay the 2.5 points and take the home favorite in this NFC North clash.