When the Vikings (3-5) travel to face the Bears (5-4) on “Monday Night Football” in the final game of NFL Week 10, they will be looking to get right back into the NFC playoff race. Minnesota has won two straight games over division rivals Green Bay and Detroit and is looking to make a clean sweep with Chicago.
The Vikings have been riding the explosive play of running back Dalvin Cook to try to turnaround their season. A win will pull them close to even with the Bears, who are fading fast behind the Packers in the NFC North.
The Bears have leaned heavily on their pass defense while the Vikings are working to cover up the major issues with theirs. The quarterbacks, Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins, have had their moments, but they can also struggle with turnovers when aggressively throwing downfield.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Bears vs. Vikings in Week 10, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for “Monday Night Football.”
Bears vs. Vikings odds for ‘Monday Night Football’
The Vikings have been around field-goal favorites since the initial lines, despite having the worse record than the Bears and being on the road. There’s a sense Chicago is overrated and recent results don’t help. Minnesota is regarded as underrated, looking more like the team that was expected to contend the past few weeks.
Bears vs. Vikings all-time series
The Vikings hold a slight 60-56-2 edge in a rivalry that dates all the way back to 1961. The Bears have a four-game winning streak, sweeping the series the past two seasons. Before that, the Vikings had a three-game winning streak and had won six of seven. The games have tended to be low-scoring of late.
Three trends to know
— 57 percent of spread bettors like the Bears to win in a mild “upset” as road underdogs, despite the line being slightly set in the Vikings favor.
— 62 percent of over/under bettors think the low total for the game is set a little too low.
— The Vikings are 5-3 against the spread this season and the total has gone over in six of their games. The Bears are 5-4 against the spread this season but the total has gone over in only three of their games because of their defense creating battles of attrition.
Three things to watch
Will the Bears cool off Cook?
The Bears are facing a running back who has racked up 478 yards from scrimmage and 6 total TDs in the past two games, single-handedly carrying the Vikings over the Packers and the Lions. Cook is looking to easily break 1,000 rushing yards for the second straight year, coming into the game with 858. It’s hard to throw on Chicago and there’s every reason to feed him often to keep the game out of Cousins’ hands.
Foles vs. Cousins
Cousins is looking to defy his personal history on Monday nights, when he has gone 0-9 as a starting quarterback. He also is 7-16 in prime-time games. Foles is 2-2 on Mondays and 8-4 at night, but he’s been only 2-4 this season with his turnover issues. The big plays will be important here, as Cousins tries to hit wide receivers Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson and Foles works to wide receivers Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney. But so will be cutting on the big mistakes.
The Cordarrelle Patterson X-factor
With running back David Montgomery (concussion) out for the game and Tarik Cohen long gone for the season, the Bears will turn more to Ryan Nall and Patterson, more so in the passing game as an extension for/replacement for the running game. Patterson, a first-round pick of the Vikings in 2013, is a hybrid performer with explosive capacity with every touch he gets, even so at age 29. Patterson got 40 yards from scrimmage on 7 touches against the Titans last week. Watch out for him exacting revenge as a receiver or a return man.
Stat that matters
124.7. That’s how many rushing yards per game on average the Bears are allowing in their past three games. They contained the Titans’ Derrick Henry last week, but he’s more of a big power runner while Cook is quicker and shiftier with an even more impressive second gear in the open field. There’s no secret running the ball often is the better game plan against the Bears’ defense. That plays into exactly what Mike Zimmer and Gary Kubiak want to do.
Bears vs. Vikings prediction
The Vikings won’t be able to see Cook run wild in the same way from the past two games, but he still will be highly effective in powering through for tough yards and also showing some burst as a receiver on screens, flares, wheel routes and dump-offs from Cousins. The Bears’ linebacker weakness costs them here, while the Vikings’ secondary gets a break with some Foles mistakes.
Vikings 23, Bears 20
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