NFL Week 14 Picks: Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, 12/9/12, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Chicago -3
Current Betting Line:  Chicago -3
Opening Total:  40.5
Current Total:  39
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

WR Percy Harvin is the key player to handicap in this Sunday’s game between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings

Chicago is coming off a 23-17 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks as three-point home favorites, as problems are starting to mount on the defensive side of the ball, especially with linebacker Brian Urlacher out of the lineup until the playoffs.  The Bears have won and covered the spread in six straight meetings with the Vikings, which must be taken into consideration when making your NFL picks against the spread this week.  Chicago is 2-6 ATS in December the last two-plus years, with the OVER going 7-2 in that situation.

The Bears rank second in the league in allowing just 16.5 points per game, but did surrender a season-high 459 yards against the Seahawks last week.  Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler completed 17 of 26 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns in that affair, with the offensive line allowing just one sack, which allowed him to connect with star wide receiver Brandon Marshall 10 times for 165 yards.  He ranks second in the NFL with 91 receptions.

Minnesota has lost back-to-back games against division rivals, including a 23-14 setback to the Green Bay Packers as seven-point road underdogs last week.  The Vikings are led by the tremendous running of Adrian Peterson, who leads the NFL with 1,446 yards.  “He ran for 210 yards,” commented Vikings coach Leslie Frazier.  “It’s still more important to him that we didn’t win the game.”  He has gained more yards on the ground than 22 NFL teams through 13 weeks of the season.  Minnesota is 4-1 ATS at home this season, which is important to note when looking over the pro football odds page.

The Vikings really need playmaking wide receiver Percy Harvin back on the field, as he’s missed the last three games with a sprained left ankle.  Minnesota is averaging 21.8 points per game this season, but quarterback Christian Ponder has been struggling, which has led to averaging just 180.6 passing yards per game.

Sports bettors will likely back the Bears if Harvin is unable to go, considering they’ve covered the last six meetings in the series by an average of 15.5 points per game.

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