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With the top spot in the NFC North division standings hanging in the balance, the Chicago Bears are set to host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.
Vikings offense carrying the load
The Vikings enter the year with plenty of hype around their team that was just one game away from reaching the Super Bowl. The addition of Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins has certainly created plenty of buzz to help that effort toward reaching that ultimate goal. It hasn’t been a clean ride with plenty of bumpiness along the way. However, the team has picked up in the last few weeks winning four out of their last five games. This has seen their lone step back being a disappointing 30-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Their strong effort to push up the standings been fueled by their offense led by the passing game as Cousins is putting together an impressive campaign ranking seventh with 2,685 passing yards along with being third with a 71.4 percent completion rate, ninth with a 102.2 passer rating, and 17 touchdowns passes.
You can call him what you want.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 8, 2018
Within that, Pro Bowl wide receiver Adam Thielen has taken the next step in his production level ranking first with 78 catches, third with 948 receiving yards, and fifth with seven touchdown receptions. Thielen had posted eight straight games to begin the year with at least 100 receiving yards, which has set an NFL record. Meanwhile, fellow wideout Stefon Diggs has been quite impressive as well with 58 receptions for 587 receiving yards and four touchdowns. These two have formed a highly formidable duo in the passing game that carried their offense. However, what may be even more key is seeing their running game take off as Chicago has been extremely stout ranking second overall against the run this year. This will need second-year running back Dalvin Cook to build off his solid outing of 89 rushing yards on 10 carries against the Lions if the Vikings want a chance to squeeze past the surging Bears.
Bears hoping to build on promising momentum
The Bears have truly come into their own over the last few weeks to push their way up to hold the lead in the NFC North standings. It has seen them become one of the hotter teams in the league currently riding a three-game winning streak. Since the disappointing 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, it has seen them have an uptick on both ends of the field with second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky looking more like a franchise player under center Trubisky is coming off one of his better outings of the year in the 34-22 win over the Detroit Lions by completing an efficient 23-of-30 passes for 355 yards along with three touchdown passes while rushing for 18 yards on three attempts with a touchdown. He has shown improved decision making and play as the season has rolled along as he has thrown for 2,304 yards with 19 touchdown passes, which is ninth-most in the league, to seven interceptions along with being 10th with a 101.6 passer rating.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 13, 2018
Beyond the play of the offense that is now averaging 29.9 points per contest, which is fifth-most in the league, the defense has been stellar throughout the year. This has seen them rank overall including being second against the run and 13th against the pass this season. They are also fourth with just 19.4 points against them through the first nine games played. This has been a major reason for their success this year that has seen them take it the next level of All-Pro outside linebacker Khalil Mack now in the mix. With them hitting stride on both sides of the ball that could present some major issues for the Vikings to keep up with them on the road in what will be an intense environment at Soldier Field on Sunday night.
- Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
- Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. NFC.
- Bears are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 11.
- Vikings are 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
- Vikings are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in Week 11.
- Vikings are 1-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Bears are trending north in the last few weeks with some balanced play on both sides of the field. The momentum is trending their direction that should be a game that their defense steps up at home with the chance to increase their grapple hold on the NFC North standings. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these two teams.
Prediction: Chicago -3
Full-Game Total Pick
Each of these teams possess offenses that have shown that they can put up points on the board. Chicago has been one of the more potent offenses in the league behind the improved play of Trubisky. Meanwhile, the Vikings possess a strong passing attack that should lead to them putting up a fair amount of scoring. What should be noted is that the over is 5-1 in Bears’ last six games overall.
Prediction: Over 44.5