Minnesota Vikings (6-7) at Chicago Bears (4-9)
The Vikings have drawn a lot of attention for keeping all of their losses close, not losing by more than 8 points all season, but two of their losses required pick sixes to make the margin of defeat smaller than it otherwise would have and most of their wins have been close as well, with just one win by multiple scores. They could easily have a couple more wins, which tends to be well-known with this team, but they also easily could have a couple more losses, which tends to get left out of the analysis. Overall, they are a slightly below average team, despite the fact that they haven’t been blown out, ranking 15th, 28th, 6th, and 21st in schedule adjusted offensive, defensive, special teams, and mixed efficiency.
The Vikings’ tendency to play close games is especially relevant considering the Vikings are 6-point road favorites in this game, with just three of their margins of victory being enough to cover this number, including just one on the road, a 7-point win in Los Angeles against the Chargers. That being said, it’s hard to be confident in the Bears too, as they are a well below average team that is dealing with a significant amount of absent players. On the season, the Bears rank 27th, 20th, 3rd, and 25th in schedule adjusted offensive, defensive, special teams, and mixed efficiency, which is only about a couple points behind the Vikings, but the Bears are in much worse shape than that right now.
Already without their top defensive player for the year, with stud edge defender Khalil Mack injured, the Bears will also be without one of their most important offensive players, talented left tackle Jason Peters, while starting wide receiver Allen Robinson headlines a group of 11 players added to the COVID list this week, a list that could keep growing. My calculated line right now has the Vikings as 4.5-point favorites, so we’re getting some line value with the Bears at +6, but I can’t take them with any confidence right now. If they can avoid more COVID cases, I may increase the confidence on this pick, but that’s a big if at this point.
Minnesota Vikings 22 Chicago Bears 17
Pick against the spread: Chicago +6