This is a match up where it’s hard to want to back either side.
On the one hand, the Bears are objectively terrible and have seemed listless for weeks and are coming off back-to-back beatdowns by two of the NFC’s best teams.
On the other, the Vikings have been inconsistent and disappointing all season but are coming off one of their best wins of the year when they beat the Steelers in Minneapolis on Thursday Night Football.
And with Chicago’s COVID list growing, as well as another illness making the rounds, the injury report for the Bears is long and includes members of the coaching staff.
Before we get more in to this match up though, let’s look over the WCG leagues.
In survivor, our two heroes are still alive: Jeff (Gridironborn) is down to his last strike and used the Chiefs a week ago, while CrackedCactus Irredeemables is somehow still 14-for-14.
In the pick ‘ems, Macksmith continues to edge away with it, now with a five-point lead and 136 total points over MonstersoftheMidway. Blitz was last week’s high-scorer with 12 points.
Now, on to the main event.
I will start off by saying that I think I would wait to bet this game. Right off the bat, looking at the injury report and seeing all the COVID list players and then the other Bears players that are out with this non-COVID illness going around, it’s hard to sit here on Friday and see who could actually be available.
Especially with the league changing their protocols just about daily as well.
Being down three coordinators can’t help the Bears either, but at least they’re used to being without their coach and being in enhanced protocols due to their issues earlier this year.
With that said, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Bears are 5.5 point underdogs after opening as 3.5 point underdogs.
The Vikings, for their part, have been an abysmal road team this year, they’re 2-5 straight up away from Minneapolis and 4-3 against the spread in those games. They’re 1-2 as road favorites against the spread, including their loss to Detroit, a win over the Panthers and a loss to the Bengals back in week one.
The Bears have been bad at covering this year, but they did cover against the Ravens as 5-point home underdogs and on the road as 5.5-point underdogs to the Raiders. They did lose ATS (and outright) to the 49ers as home dogs of four points.
They’re 1-3 as home underdogs this year (Packers, 49ers, Ravens, Cardinals).
Like I said, it’s hard to pick this game with so many unknowns going around the Bears’ building and it plays into their favor to have the extra day.
The history here though, the underdog has covered five straight in this series and the Bears have had success against Mike Zimmer’s teams under Matt Nagy, although we know the quarterback is going to be different this time around.
I’m going to pick the Bears to cover anyway, with homefield being worth three points for the Bears, the line is really saying that the Vikings are 8 points better than the Bears and I just don’t see it.
Minnesota has a tendency to play down to their opponent’s level. I think that the Bears and Justin Fields can put up enough of a fight to keep it closer than a touchdown.
Which takes me to the total, I will take the over again. Neither defense is especially good and between the Bears OL being inexperienced and quarantined and Kirk Cousins in primetime, I think that there could be a defensive score or two. The Bears have put up some points when Fields plays and I think that will be the case Monday.
Survivor advice, I mean, hopefully you don’t get it from someone like me who has been eliminated, but the Dolphins and the Bucs would have to be options. A wildcard if you really want to be brave: The Jaguars post-Urban Meyer in a big “We’re finally free” spot.
My picks: Bears +5.5, over 44, Dolphins (-9.5, survivor)
Bears record: 7-6 ATS, 10-15-1 overall