NFL Betting Week 17 – Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

The Minnesota Vikings signed Kirk Cousins to win games like this. They actually acquired him to win the Super Bowl, but the Vikings have to get there first, and a win over the Chicago Bears in the regular season finale will guarantee at least one more game for a team that was a preseason favorite to win the Super Bowl.


The Bears have an outside chance at the No. 2 seed in the NFC, but we’re likely to see Matt Nagy rest some of his regulars to get ready for their first postseason game since 2010.

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

Date and Time: Sunday, December 30, 2018, 4:25 p.m. ET

Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

NFL Odds: Vikings -4, O/U 40.5

Bears at Vikings TV Coverage: FOX

Nagy has been as unpredictable as any coach in the NFL this season, so don’t expect him to call off the dogs with a chance to secure a first-round bye. The Bears need help from the Niners in order to do that, and the chances are slim. But the Bears aren’t going down without a fight. The Bears can’t finish lower than their current third-seed and the Niners are 10-point dogs to upset the Rams. So it is in the best interest of the coach to think about next week.

The Vikings don’t have that luxury and have been in playoff mode for the past few weeks. The situation is simple for Mike Zimmer and his clan – beat the Bears and lock down a wild card spot. And it’s up to Cousins to deliver on his mega-bucks contract. Minnesota pursued the free agent QB in the offseason and won the battle, despite reaching the NFC Championship last season behind Case Keenum.

Cousins is a more polished passer and the Vikings felt they needed him to reach the next level. They got their man and Cousins is having a nice season statistically. Now he needs to prove he can win a game with plenty at stake. A lapse from the Vikings offense a few weeks ago produced just 17 points in losses to the Patriots and Seahawks and in an effort to save the season Zimmer fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

The change proved fruitful as the team responded with its highest scoring game of the year in a 41-17 pasting of the Dolphins. The Vikings followed that with a 27-9 win over the Lions to put them a win away from another trip to the postseason. Cousins has been good, but the ground game has come alive with Dalvin Cook leading the way.

Minnesota ran for a season-high 220 yards against the Fins with Cook getting 136 of them on just 19 carries. Cook rushed for 73 yards and the Vikings amassed 100 yards on the ground against Detroit. Cook has compiled 209 of his 576 rushing yards in the past two weeks and he’ll be an important piece against Chicago’s aggressive defense. The Vikings will need to produce more than the 22 yards they had in the first meeting and you can bet Cook will get his opportunities. He’s a good bet to exceed his rushing yard total on a prop bet at BookMaker.eu.

The Bears have issues of their own on offense they need to work out before the playoffs start. They scored two touchdowns in last week’s win over San Francisco and averaged less than 18 points over their last three games. And they could be without leading receiver Allen Robinson, who’s dealing with an upper body injury.

That means plenty of rush attempts for Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen as the Bears simplify the offense while trying to keep players fresh and injury-free. It isn’t a bad strategy considering the Bears are a middle-of-the-pack running team. They average 118 yards per game, which is good for 14th in the league, and Howard is a workhorse back. He had his only 100-yard game of the season against the Rams a few weeks ago and has rushed for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the last three games. We should get plenty of rush attempts as the Vikings try to slow Chicago’s pass rush and the Bears attempt to get out of town without damage to key personnel.

Both teams are strong defensively so we won’t see a shootout. The Bears lead the NFL in takeaways and the Vikings have coughed up the football 20 times, so that’s a prop bet worth playing at BookMaker.eu. Also, with points at a premium the kickers will come into play. Look for Cody Parkey and Dan Bailey to hit their share of three-pointers on a prop bet.

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