Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings
Date and Time: Sunday, December 31, 2017, 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Opening NFL Odds: Vikings -14
Vikings vs. Bears TV Coverage: FOX
The Bears are at the end of their season, and they're very likely going to be looking for a new coach in a few short days, too. John Fox hasn't done a bad job with this team, but the results aren't there and don't justify him staying even with the lack of talent that this club has.
He's turned Mitchell Trubisky isn't a respectable quarterback and has figured out how to win games without any discernable talent at the wide receiver position.
Sure, the Bears have the No. 30 offense in the NFL and the No. 31 passing attack, but the team has won two of its last three games, and Trubisky deserves some of the credit for that. He's playing on a team that doesn't have a 600-yard receiver yet, but he's thrown for 2,015 yards and seven touchdowns in his 11 games.
This is going to be an emotional game in Minnesota on Sunday. The Vikings are playing for that coveted No. 2 seed in the NFC, and a second win over the Bears would give the team 11 wins in 12 games to end the regular season after starting at 2-2.
This Minnesota defense ranks No. 2 in the NFL against the pass and the run, and it's got the top scoring defense in the NFL.
But what's really making the Vikes go is an offense that just refuses to slow down. Even with Dalvin Cook sidelined, Mike Zimmer has figured out how to save his running game with a combination of Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon. These two men have combined to rush for 1,257 yards and nine touchdowns this season, and they're proving to be perfect check down options for Case Keenum.
Keenum has 3,358 yards and 21 touchdowns in what has easily amounted to be the best season of his career.
Betting Trends of Note
The Vikings haven't been favored by two touchdowns in a game since 2009 and have only gotten the nod by that many points once since 1999. It's remarkable to think that they've come this far, especially after beating an 8.5-point underdog in Pittsburgh in Week 2 and being lined at just a pick 'em at home against Tampa Bay in Week 3 (whoops!).
The Vikes have been up against two really big spreads this year, and they've navigated both just fine. They beat the Browns by 17 points as 11-point favorites and took care of the Bengals by 27 as 12.5-point favorites. Even last week at Green Bay, Minnesota was -8.5 and covered as 16-0 winners.
When you've got a defense that is this good, the top NFL sportsbooks always have a tough time lining your games.
Bears vs. Vikings Free Picks
As much as we want to lay the lumber with the Vikings, this is a ton of points. Minnesota is going to be scoreboard watching for sure, and if the Falcons ever get control against the Panthers, there is going to be a mandatory sense of complacency.
The Bears are going to have a really tough time running the ball against the Minnesota front seven, and you'd figure that to be a huge problem. But we can't help but wonder if this is going to be a good last showing of the season for Trubisky. He won't win this game, but he'll at least be in it with a shout at the end.
NFL ATS Pick: Bears +14 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Vikings 27, Bears 19