Minnesota Vikings (4-5) at Chicago Bears (3-6)
The Bears have been blown out in back-to-back games, losing 51-23 in New England and 55-14 in Green Bay in their past 2 weeks. However, I like their chances of bouncing back here. For one thing, teams usually do well off of back-to-back blowout losses, as teams are 40-23 ATS since 2002 off of back-to-back losses by 21 or more since 2002, including 6-3 ATS since 2002 as favorites. That makes sense as teams tend to be undervalued, overlooked, and embarrassed in that situation and I think the Bears have a good chance to be all three this week, even as favorites. There’s a small sample size with favorites in this situation, but I think favorites’ record in this situation since 2002 suggests two things. One, that teams are not favored off of back-to-back blowout losses very often. Two, that teams still cover and that aforementioned logic stills holds despite being favorited. Teams aren’t usually favored in this situation, but when they are, it’s for good reason.
Despite the fact that they are favored by 3 here and that they got blown out in their last 2 games, we’re actually getting some line value with the Bears, which goes back to the whole they are undervalued thing. They are 18th in the NFL in rate of moving the chains differential, moving the chains at 76.03% rate, as opposed to 76.79% for their opponents, a differential of -0.76%. Meanwhile, the Vikings rank 23rd, moving the chains at a 68.63% rate, as opposed to 71.59% for their opponents, a differential of -2.95%. The Bears should be favored by more than a field goal here despite what has happened in the last 2 weeks. At the same time, the Vikings are in a bad spot with a game in Green Bay up next. Teams are 56-85 ATS since 2012 before being home underdogs of 3 or more, 28-60 ATS before being road favorites of 4 or more, and 8-22 ATS before being road favorites of 7 or more (the early line is Green Bay -7.5). The Bears are the right side here.
Chicago Bears 23 Minnesota Vikings 13
Pick against the spread: Chicago -3