Bears vs. Vikings Odds, Picks, Predictions: Is There Betting Value On Minnesota To Cover NFL Week 18 Spread?
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images. Pictured: Kirk Cousins.
- The latest Bears vs. Vikings odds actually make our analyst's bet for this NFL Week 18 matchup more valuable.
- With Minnesota moving from a 5.5- to 4-point favorite in the final hours before Sunday's kickoff, find out how our analyst is betting this spread.
- Find his picks and predictions in his full preview below.
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
Both coaches may be fighting for their jobs in this classic NFC North battle between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.
Chicago has somehow won two games in a row after a brutal stretch that saw it lose eight of nine. The Vikings, meanwhile, enter this game having lost four of their past five games, with a 17-9 win at Chicago as the only victory during that stretch.
Which coach can rally their team better and potentially save their job?
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Bears vs. Vikings Injury Report
- QB Justin Fields (COVID): Out
- DT Akiem Hicks (ankle): Out
- OLB Robert Quinn (shoulder): Questionable
- NT Eddie Goldman (finger): Questionable
- CB Duke Shelley (heel): Questionable
- WR Adam Thielen (ankle): Out
- DT Michael Pierce (illness): Doubtful
- CB Kris Boyd (ribs): Questionable
- G Wyatt Davis (illness): Questionable
- CB Mackensie Alexander (ankle): Questionable
Bears vs. Vikings Matchup
|Bears Offense||DVOA Rank||Vikings Defense|
|Bears Defense||DVOA Rank||Vikings Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Fields Is Bears’ Second-Biggest Absence
This would have been a great opportunity for the Bears to showcase Justin Fields as they prepare for next season. The rookie missed the past two games with an ankle injury but was scheduled to start in Week 18. However, he was placed on the COVID-19/reserve list on Thursday, making it all but certain he won’t be able to suit up.
The loss of Fields is overshadowed by the absence of star defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. In their first matchup with the Vikings, Hicks was great after returning from a four-game absence, tallying five tackles, two sacks and four quarterback hits in the Bears’ loss. He is an anchor of Chicago’s rush defense, and his absence will provide Dalvin Cook a much easier front seven to attack on the ground.
Chicago will need to continue to rush the quarterback effectively, even with Hicks absent. The Bears are tied for second among all NFL teams with 2.9 sacks per game, but they average one fewer sack per game on the road compared to at Soldier Field.
This game will also be played in the controlled environment of U.S. Bank Stadium, after Minnesota fought through the bitter Chicago cold to earn the earlier win.
Vikings Offense Could Have Big Day
Minnesota will be close to full strength for its final game of the season.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins is ready to start the season finale after coming out of COVID protocols. The Vikings will also have Cook, Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn and Tyler Conklin to round out a strong offensive list of weapons.
The Vikings defense has struggled to generate consistent pressure all season, but it has been much better at home, where they average 2.7 sacks per game. Minnesota was superb in its first meeting at Chicago, where it totaled three sacks of Fields while recovering three fumbles.
The Vikings are significantly more efficient than Chicago, ranking 16th to the Bears 22nd in overall team efficiency.
Expect a healthy dose of Cook against a Chicago rush defense that ranks just 23rd in rush DVOA. In their first meeting, Cook saw a season-high 28 rushing attempts, leading the Vikings to victory under brutal conditions.
In the sterile environment provided by U.S. Bank Stadium, expect Cousins and Jefferson to connect for explosive plays against a short-handed Bears defense.
Bears vs. Vikings Predictions
Despite their recent struggles, the Vikings are still a strong historic bet under head coach Mike Zimmer, who is 24-18-1 (57%) as a home favorite in Minnesota (per our Action Labs data).
The Vikings are healthier, have already defeated Chicago and will certainly be focused against a team that has beaten them three straight times at home.
I’m not sure if it will save Zimmer’s job, but the Vikings will get revenge against a limited Bears offense on Sunday.
Pick: Vikings -4 | Bet to: -5.5
|More Bears-Vikings Odds, Picks, Trends|