MNF Week 11: Vikings vs. Bears odds, preview, and pick
The Minnesota Vikings head to the Windy City to face-off against the reeling Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. The Vikings are favored in the matchup, and the total is the lowest in the NFL this week.
Tue, November 17 2020, 1:15 AM
Dalvin Cook is carrying the Vikings on his back
After starting the season 0-3, Minnesota’s fortunes have turned around a bit as they have won three of their last five games. In those three victories, Dalvin Cook has rushed for 499 yards on 79 carries, finding the end zone seven times and adding another receiving score. Cook's stellar performance has taken a lot of pressure off QB Kirk Cousins, who has never beaten the Bears in three attempts since joining the Vikings.
Cook will need to hope that form can continue, as he has played Chicago three times and has rushed for only 86 total yards against the Bears.
Controlling the ball and the clock has greatly helped Minnesota's defense fix some of its issues. In their five defeats, the Vikings have allowed at least 27 points, but their three victories have seen them hold teams between 20 and 23 points. This includes a huge 28-22 win at Green Bay just two weeks ago.
A Minnesota win would be big for them as they look ahead, with very winnable games against the Cowboys, Panthers, and Jaguars coming up. If they can exercise their demons this weekend, a run to 7-5 is a very real possibility.
Can the Bears figure out their QB situation?
Meanwhile, the Bears are going in the opposite direction very quickly. Chicago started the season 5-1, but it was built on the back of close wins over below-average teams. Their wins over the Lions, Giants, and Falcons were each by four points, and a one-point win over the Bucs was followed by a one-touchdown win over a Panthers team without Christian McCaffrey.
Since then, the Bears played three teams that are likely bound for the playoffs, and they were beaten by a combined score of 74-50. They allowed at least 24 points in each game, a number eclipsed by just one of the first six opponents of the season. Meanwhile, their offense has struggled, as their quarterback play continues to be awful. Despite replacing Mitch Trubisky earlier in the season, Nick Foles has looked quite poor.
🚨 EMERGENCY HOGE & JAHNS! 🚨— The Athletic Chicago (@TheAthleticCHI) November 14, 2020
Matt Nagy has given up play calling.
How will this affect the offense, Nick Foles, & the outcome on Monday vs. the Vikings?@AdamHoge & @adamjahns bring you breaking reaction.
Chicago has the fourth-lowest scoring offense in the league, and last week it took until the fourth quarter for the Bears to get on the board against the Titans before two garbage-time touchdowns made the score respectable. That led to head coach Matt Nagy announcing on Friday that he would be handing off play-call duties to his offensive coordinator. Chicago's defense has been every bit as good as expected, but unless things change on the other side of the ball, the season is in serious danger of slipping away.
Vikings and Bears statistics and rankings
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Minnesota vs. Chicago injury report
The Vikings may be without TE Irv Smith Jr., who injured his groin last weekend after catching two touchdowns. He has not practiced this week and is doubtful. CB Cameron Dantzler is in the concussion protocol and is questionable.
Chicago WR Allen Robinson is questionable with a back issue, but is expected to play. RB David Montgomery is in the concussion protocol, and if he is unable to play it would be a huge blow to an already struggling offense.
Vikings vs. Bears betting trends
Minnesota has covered the spread in five of their last six games, but have covered the spread just once in their last six meetings with the Bears. The total has gone Over in five of their last six games, but it has gone Under in four of their last six games against Chicago, and 12 of their last 17 meetings.
The Bears have covered the spread just seven times in their last 20 games, but have covered three of their last five. The total has gone Under in five of their last six games, and has gone Under in 12 of their last 15 home games.
Will the Vikings cover the spread against the Bears on Monday Night Football?
In their last 18 games as an underdog at home, the Bears have failed to cover the spread just four times. However, they are a team in free-fall at the moment. Their offensive woes continue to pile up, and if Montgomery is unable to go, their run game will be nearly non-existent. While the Vikings’ pass defense is quite poor, the Bears do not seem to be the team who could take advantage of that matchup.
The Bears are ranked 15th in rush defense on the season, and last week they held Derrick Henry to just 68 yards on 21 carries. The week before, Alvin Kamara rushed 12 times for only 67 yards. However, Kamara caught nine passes for 96 yards, and Cook can hurt them in a similar manner. He has caught four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in his last two games, and it will allow Cousins to dump the ball off and not take chances.
Look for Cook to find a way to move the Vikings down the field, and for him to capitalize on short field position when the Bears turn it over as they have done five times in the past three games. Minnesota will push the Bears’ losing streak to four straight as they win a low-scoring affair and cover the number.
Score prediction: Minnesota 24, Chicago 16