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Sunday's Week 5 NFL game features a matchup between the Chicago Bears (2-2) against the Minnesota Vikings (3-1) at 1:00 p.m. ET at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NFL handicapper Matt MacKay is here with his prediction.
ANALYSIS

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Prediction, Pick, Odds: Which Rushing Attack Will Succeed?

It's been a great start to the 2022 season for the Minnesota Vikings. First-year head coach Kevin O'Connell has evolved the offense with Kirk Cousins under the helm. Cousins has already thrown for over 1,000 yards in four games and had a spectacular throw in the waning minutes of Minnesota's last-second win over the New Orleans Saints in London.

Chicago has been a much different story. The running game and defense have instilled remnants of the old "Monsters of the Midway" era from the 1980s when the Bears were crowned Super Bowl champions with a dominant defense and star running back Walter Payton. Khalil Herbert is only in his second season but he does have the profile, usage, and ability to develop into a special player in the Bears' backfield. Justin Fields has been scrutinized for his lack of involvement as a passer, completing only 34 passes in four games. Despite this low mark, Chicago is 2-2.

Will Cousins keep the Vikings in a comfortable lead to cover the seven-point spread? Or will Chicago's rushing attack succeed? Here are our picks, predictions, and odds for Sunday's NFC North matchup between the Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Start Time and Where to Watch

Date: Sunday, October 9

Game time: 1:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: FOX

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Odds

Spread: Chicago +7 (-105), Minnesota -7 (-115)

Total: Under 44 (-110), Over 44 (-110)

Moneyline: Chicago (+215), Minnesota (-255)

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Injury Report

Bears

RB David Montgomery (Questionable - Ankle), K Cairo Santos (Probable - Personal)

Vikings

S Harrison Smith (Probable - Groin), S Lewis Cine (Out - Leg), CB Andrew Booth Jr. (Questionable - Quadricep)

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Prediction

Minnesota is good on both sides of the line of scrimmage. They don't do anything great, but they roster a piece of greatness with third-year wideout Justin Jefferson. O'Connell's arrival has already resulted in two huge games for his star wide receiver, as Jefferson hauled in ten receptions for 137 yards against Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore in Week 4. Adam Thielen is still a solid WR2 in the offense, while Dalvin Cook is seeing nice usage, averaging 4.4 YPC.

The rushing attack has been inconsistent for the Vikings. Cook suffered a separated shoulder and is splitting snaps with Alexander Mattison, which does offer the Vikings a nice one-two punch in the backfield. It's an increasingly common coaching scheme in the current NFL, deploying two running backs and using the RB2 more interchangeably. The zone-blocking scheme has been a benefit for Cousins, who already has over 1,000 yards passing with six touchdowns.

The running game will need to be on point against a Bears pass defense that ranks fourth-best in the league. A pair of rookie defensive backs, Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker were drafted in the second round and are paying huge dividends. Roquan Smith has been the leader of the Bears' defense after a tumultuous offseason, where he had requested a trade. Smith, Robert Quinn, and Eddie Jackson are the veterans and the source of leadership for Chicago, which has relied on its defense to keep it competitive all season. The run defense is what hurt them in Week 4 against the New York Giants. Surprisingly, the defense cannot stop the run when they face Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery in practice. Facts are facts, though. Cook and Mattison will need to be effective on the ground to keep the Vikings in a manageable lead.

I'm most interested in the value the under holds in this NFC North rivalry game. At 44 points, the total is three points over the scoring average that has occurred in two games at U.S. Bank Stadium this season. Neither Chicago nor Minnesota has been good at covering the spread this season, with the Bears at 1-2-1 ATS and the Vikings at 1-3 ATS. I'm avoiding a big spread since Minnesota has posted four-point and three-point margins of victory across the last two weeks. The Vikings scored 31 points against the Bears during their most recent matchup in Week 18 last season, but the Bears have an improved secondary. Cousins struggled against Philadelphia's improved secondary and Chicago has a top-five pass defense.

This game has all of the makings to be a ground-and-pound battle for time of possession. I like the Vikings to win outright but not cover, but the -315 Moneyline is not a worthwhile payout unless used in some type of parlay. Since betting the spread on either side feels dangerous, I'm rolling with the point total and taking under 44 points. Chicago cannot score points on offense and with a stout secondary, Minnesota will chew the clock with its run game, setting up a couple of big play-action passes to Jefferson and Thielen.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Pick

Article Author

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Matt is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game within the game which is fantasy sports and sports betting. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.

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