Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Monday, October 31, 2016, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Soldier Field – Chicago, Illinois
Opening Line: Minnesota -6
Current Line: Minnesota -4 1/2
Opening Total: 41
Current Total: 40 1/2
Opening Money Line: Vikings -245 / Bears +205
Current Money Line: Vikings -200 / Bears +170
The 5-1 Minnesota Vikings travel to the 1-6 Chicago Bears Monday night. It has been a house of horrors this season for the Bears and could be even worse on Halloween as they host one of the league’s best teams. Minnesota leads the NFC North over the 4-3 Green Bay Packers and are one of three teams in the league with one loss. Chicago is in last place and one of three teams with one win or fewer.
Minnesota leads the series 57-51-2 against Chicago. The Vikings have won four of the last five and three straight in the series. Minnesota won both games last season 23-20 in Chicago and 38-17 in Minnesota. The Bears play in Minneapolis on New Year’s day in the last game of the regular season.
Minnesota is coached by Mike Zimmer. The Vikings have road wins at the Tennessee Titans 25-16, and Carolina Panthers 22-10, along with home wins against the Green Bay Packers 17-14, New York Giants 24-10 and the Houston Texans 31-13. The Vikings suffered their first loss of the season last week at the Philadelphia Eagles 21-10. Minnesota is 5-1 ATS and the total is 2-4 this season.
Chicago is coached by John Fox. The Bears have a home win over the Detroit Lions 17-14. Chicago has road losses to the Houston Texans 23-14, Dallas Cowboys 31-17, Indianapolis Colts 29-23, and Packers 26-10 last Thursday. Chicago has home losses to the Philadelphia Eagles 29-14 and Jacksonville Jaguars 17-16. Chicago was a 7.5 point underdog against Green Bay and the total was 46.5. The Bears are 1-6 ATS and the total is 3-4 this season.
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Minnesota is outscoring teams 22-14. The Vikings are #1 in points allowed. Minnesota is averaging 299 yards per game on offense including 225 passing and 75 rushing yards. The Vikings are #27 or worse in all three categories. Minnesota allows 280 yards per game on defense including 198 passing and 82 rushing yards. The Vikings are in the top four in all three categories. Minnesota is 39/94 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 28/86. Minnesota has forced 19 sacks and allowed 14 this season. The Vikings are +11 in turnovers. Minnesota has two special teams and two defensive touchdowns this season.
After quarterback Teddy Bridgewater tore his ACL and MCL during the preseason, Minnesota traded for quarterback Sam Bradford from the Eagles. Shaun Hill started week one as Bradford was still learning the system. He threw for 236 yards and rushed for 8 yards against the Titans. Bradford has completed 67.5% of his passes for 1,218 yards with 7 touchdowns and an interception.
Running back Adrian Peterson is out until at least week 11 with a torn meniscus that required surgery. He had 31 carries for 50 yards, plus 2 catches. Jerick McKinnon has 68 carries for 217 yards and a touchdown, along with 8 catches. He is out with an ankle injury. Matt Asiata has 48 carries for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 13 catches for 98 yards. Ronnie Hillman will also get some carries without McKinnon.
Receiver Stefon Diggs has 27 catches for 390 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Kyle Rudolph has 26 catches for 291 yards and 3 touchdowns. Adam Thielen has 22 catches for 324 yards and a touchdown. Cordarrelle Patterson has 18 catches for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable with a concussion. Laquon Treadwell and Jarus Wright are both questionable. No other receiver has more than 6 catches. Five offensive linemen are listed on the injury report including all-pro tackle Matt Kalil who is out for the season with a hip injury. Six defensive players are also on the injury report.
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Chicago is being outscored 24-16. The Bears are last in scoring in the league. Chicago averages 349 total yards per game including 261 passing and 88 rushing yards. The Bears are #25 in rushing. On defense, Chicago allows 350 yards per game including 243 passing yards and 107 rushing yards. The Bears are 27/87 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 44/103. Chicago has forced 15 sacks and allowed 13 this season. Chicago is -2 in turnovers.
Quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a torn ligament in his thumb and missed several games. He is listed as probable to return tonight. He has thrown for 373 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions, and has 2 carries for 12 yards. Brian Hoyer started in his place but suffered a broken arm last week against the Packers and is likely out for the season. Hoyer had thrown for 1,445 yards with 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. Matt Barkley came in relief for Hoyer last week. Barkley threw for 81 yards with 2 interceptions.
Running back Jordan Howard has 73 carries for 352 yards and a touchdown, and has 14 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Langford has 31 carries for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 5 catches for 27 yards. He is probable with an ankle injury. Ka’Deem Carey has 23 carries for 107 yards, plus 3 catches for 27 yards.
Receiver Alshon Jeffery has 32 catches for 520 yards. Eddie Royal has 29 catches for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is doubtful with a toe injury. Cameron Meredith has 27 catches for 301 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with a shoulder injury. Tight end Zach Miller has 33 catches for 305 yards and 3 touchdowns. Kevin White had 19 catches for 187 yards but is out for the season with a leg injury. Fourteen defensive players and four offensive linemen are listed on the injury report for the Bears.
Minnesota is 6-0 ATS against teams with losing records, 4-0 after scoring less than 15 points, 7-1 in October and on grass, 6-1 against NFC North teams, 5-1 after failing to cover and after allowing less than 250 total yards, 13-3 in road games, 4-1 against teams with losing home records, 19-7 after a straight up loss, 24-9 against NFC teams, 37-15 overall, 3-9-1 after allowing less than 150 passing yards, and 1-7 in Monday games. The under is 4-1 in this series recently. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the series recently. Minnesota is 5-2 ATS against Chicago in the last seven games.
Chicago is 8-3 ATS after gaining less than 250 yards, 17-35 against NFC teams, 5-11 in October, 4-9 against teams with winning records, 7-16 against NFC North teams, 15-35-1 after allowing more than 250 passing yards, 8-21-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 8-24-1 at home, 1-4 after a straight up loss, after failing to cover and in week 8, 1-5 on grass, 1-7 after a straight up loss of 14 points or more, and overall. The home team is 19-8 ATS in this series recently. The Bears are 10-3 ATS at home against the Vikings.
This game could get ugly. Chicago struggles on offense and has injuries to some of their top receivers. Now they have to face arguably the league’s top defense that is angry after suffering their first loss last week. Minnesota might be worse on offense than the Bears so I like the under and I see a similar score like the Bears and Packers last week.
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