As we enter the final four weeks of the NFL season no team has clinched a playoff berth. For some it’s just a formality while for others their postseason lives are hanging in the balance. The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears are clinging to playoff aspirations with the loser of their Monday Night Football matchup taking a serious blow to its chances.
The Vikings are in a much better position, both in the standings and on the field. They are tied with four teams for the seventh and final spot in the NFC, but they lose the tie-breaker. It’s just a matter of time before the Bears are officially eliminated. They’ve dropped seven of their last eight games and have a better record than only Detroit in the conference.
Vikings vs Bears Date & Time
The Week 15 Monday Night Football game between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears will take place at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL at 8:15 p.m. ET on December 20 and will be televised on ESPN.
Vikings vs Bears Odds
Minnesota Vikings -4.5 | Chicago Bears +4.5 [BET NOW]
Vikings vs Bears Over/Under
Over/Under 44 [BET NOW]
With a few more breaks and fortunate bounces the Vikings wouldn’t be in the position they’re in right now. All but one game has been decided by a single score, though two of the last three would have required a touchdown and 2-point conversion. Still, you get the point, the games have been close. And unfortunately the Vikings have been on the losing end more times.
They are 5-7 SU and 6-6 ATS in those 12 games and as a result need some help along the way to reach the postseason. They can help themselves by knocking off the woeful Bears, who cratered in the second half of Monday’s tilt falling 45-30 to the Packers while failing to cover the 12.5-point line. It was their second straight setback and seventh in eight games. They haven’t helped what’s left of their supporters either failing to cover in their last four games while going 1-7 ATS during their recent funk.
Both teams fell apart in the second half of their game last week, though the Vikings were able to hang on and beat Pittsburgh 36-28 after building a 29-0 lead. This one never should have fallen into the one-score category but the Vikings have a way of helping opponents out. You can ask the Detroit Lions about that. Giving up a touchdown on the last play of that game for Detroit’s first win of the season could very easily come back to haunt the Vikings should they not reach the postseason.
The teams play twice in the final four weeks and it would do the Vikings good to sweep the series. However, beating the Bears has been a chore. The Vikings dropped five of the six previous meetings going 2-4 ATS in those games. The only win during that span was last season in Chicago, 19-13.
The Vikings have certainly done enough on offense to help their situation. And when Kirk Cousins had an off night last week Dalvin Cook came to the rescue. Cousins had arguably his worst game of the season completing just 45.2 percent of his passes with 216 yards and an uncharacteristic two interceptions.
He had gone 22 regular season games without throwing multiple picks and was intercepted six times in that span. Cook rushed for 205 yards and two scores averaging 7.6 yards per carry. Chicago’s defense has struggled giving the Vikings hope they can score enough to earn a payout victory.
Showing some fight in their matchup with division leading Green Bay last week, the Bears took a 27-21 lead into halftime with backers feeling good about their chances of cashing a winning ticket. Unfortunately there are two halves and the Bears didn’t show up for the second. Chicago’s first half point total matched its season high in any game and they scored more than 20 points in each of their last two games. They topped the 20-point mark only three times in their first 11 contests.
There are issues on offense, actually a lot of them, but Justin Fields looks like he could be a special player. He threw for 224 yards with a pair of scores adding 74 yards on nine rush attempts. The Bears are also down several offensive linemen with Larry Borom going on the COVID list and Jason Peters suffering an ankle injury. Fields could be exposed with his starting tackles on the shelf.
Vikings vs Bears Prediction
I have zero confidence in the Bears right now, especially after last week’s disaster and with Matt Nagy being a lame-duck. Chicago has never fired a coach during the season, but even winning out is unlikely to save his job. I have a little more confidence in Cousins, though not much. He’s actually been really good this season and as long as he takes care of the football I can see the Vikings covering. Six of the last seven meetings at Soldier Field cashed the UNDER and that looks like a smart play.
Prediction: Minnesota Vikings -4.5 and UNDER 44