USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kirk Cousins, Mitchell Trubisky
Betting odds: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
- Spread: Bears -2.5
- Over/Under: 44.5
- Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV channel: NBC
>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets
Betting market: This line is flip-flopping left and right. At one book alone, there have been 10 separate instances of the line moving from 3 to 2.5 (and back) over the course of the week.
Weather report: It’s going to feel like the dead of winter in Chicago on Sunday night. Temperatures will be in the mid-20s and winds will be a touch higher than 10 mph. Add these together and these players will be facing a wind chill in the teens. — Gallant
Trends to know: Many bettors think cold weather impacts scoring, but it doesn’t. Since 2003, the over is 117-97-3 (55%) in games played in freezing temperatures (32 degrees or colder), per our Bet Labs data. — John Ewing
Kirk Cousins has played only two career games in temperatures below 30 degrees, both of which were for the Redskins:
- Dec. 31, 2017 at Giants: 0 TD, 3 INT, 4.3 Y/A, 31.1 Passer Rating (lost 18-10 as a 5-point favorite)
- Dec. 19, 2016 vs. Panthers: 0 TD, INT, 6.7 Y/A, 77.9 Passer Rating (lost 26-15 as a 7-point favorite) — Evan Abrams
Did you know? The Bears are streaking, having won three consecutive games straight up and against the spread.
Since 2003, non-playoff teams from the previous season that are on at least a three-game win streak SU and ATS in November or later are 104-78-7 (57.1%) against the spread, profiting bettors 21.6 units.
Teams are 29-17-2 ATS (63%) in this spot since 2015, covering by 3.8 points per game. — Abrams
Metrics that matter: The Bears defense has been a turnover machine with 24 takeaways, the second-most in the NFL behind the Browns (25). The Bears have seven takeaways over their past two games against the Lions and Bills, including five interceptions.
Since 2003, teams that have compiled at least three takeaways in consecutive games and are averaging at least 2.5 turnovers per game for the season are just 42-60-2 ATS (41.2%), including 14-24-1 ATS (36.8%) since 2012. — Abrams
Biggest mismatch: Bears’ pass defense vs. Vikings’ pass offense
Cousins has proven capable of producing with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs under just about any circumstances, but the quarterback will be tested by a Bears defense that’s strong at all three levels.
Khalil Mack and Chicago’s pass rush boast the week’s fourth-best advantage in combined pressure rate, and Cousins has the fourth-worst combined net yards per pass attempt rate in his matchup against a Bears secondary with three of Pro Football Focus’ 20 highest-graded cornerbacks this season. — Ian Hartitz
Which team is healthier? Bears
The only Bears player listed on their injury report is backup tight end Dion Sims (concussion).
The Vikings are also fairly healthy. They’re only expected to be without safety Andrew Sendejo (groin) and linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring). Diggs (ribs) is expected to return to the field, while Thielen (back, calf) isn’t thought to be dealing with a serious injury.
Xavier Rhodes’ (ankle) impending shadow matchup with Allen Robinson could be impacted if the Vikings’ No. 1 corner is operating at far less than 100%.
DFS edge: Thielen leads the Vikings with 11.7 targets per game, but he will have his work cut out for him against Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara. The troublesome spot will depress his ownership in tournaments, but his role in this offense keeps him tournament worthy.
Bet to watch: Vikings +2.5
I love this game.
People are exceptionally high on the Bears right now — and for good reason. They’re 6-3 and lead the NFC North as Thanksgiving Day approaches. Mitchell Trubisky has played well at times, particularly of late, and the defense has been largely outstanding.
There’s real hope in Chicago.
But if we dig a little deeper, we see that the Bears have wins against the Seahawks, Cardinals, Bills, Lions, Buccaneers and Jets. That’s not super impressive.
The Vikings have a more talented offense, with Cousins and his impressive array of weapons (Thielen, Diggs and Kyle Rudolph). They’re also coming off a bye, giving them extra time to prepare. This is a critical matchup for control of the division as we head into the home stretch of the regular season.
I think the more experienced, veteran-led team gets the job done here, and the youth and inexperience of the Bears shows through.
If you want the points, by all means, take ’em. I think Minnesota wins this outright. — BlackJack Fletcher
Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.