In a NFC matchup between two 2-1 teams the Bears are a slight 2.5-point home favorite facing the Minnesota Vikings.
Both teams have already lost to the Packers early in the season and this early season division game is a big one.
The Vikings beat the Oakland Raiders 34-14 in their last game where they rushed for over 200 yards and they have the league’s 2nd ranked rushing offense.
In their last game on Monday night the Bears beat the woeful Washington Redskins 31-15. Their offense looked a little better, but still is a concern but the defense is what leads Chicago and they are only giving up an average of 13 ppg,
The Bears not only won both games facing the Vikings last season but are also 4-0 ATS in their last four games against them. On top of that they have covered the spread in 13 of their last 16 home games against Minnesota.
Run the Ball, Stop the Run
In the win over the Raiders the Vikings rushed for 211 yards and they held Oakland to only 88 rushing yards. Dalvin Cook rushed for 110 yards in the win, leads the league in rushing yards, and in all three games this season has rushed for at least 100 yards.
After a poor performance in his previous game Kirk Cousins bounced back with a good game against the Raiders with 174 yards with a TD and was not picked off.
Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are one of the best WR duos in the league but with Cook the Vikes are running the ball more and the team only ranks 29th in the NFL in passing yards per game.
The Minnesota offensive line will be facing a tough front line D of the Bears that had four sacks in their last game and stuffed the run. Chicago has issues in the secondary, but their run defense is only giving up an average of 68.7 rushing yards per game.
Defense Gets it Done
In their 31-15 Monday night win over the Redskins in the Nation’s Capital the Chicago defense got it done. They forced five turnovers and held the Skins to only 69 rushing yards.
I mentioned the Chicago secondary has been a concern and even with three INT in the win over Washington they gave up 287 passing yards.
Mitchell Trubisky has been taking heat for his play but responded with a good game against Washington with 231 passing yards and three TD with one INT. Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson combined for 135 receiving yards and David Montgomery rushed for 67 yards.
Trubisky will be under a lot of pressure in this game from a Minnesota pass rush that had four sacks in the win over the Raiders.
The Vikings had failed to cover the spread in four straight home games before doing so last week in their house in the win over the Raiders.
The Bears are 16-6-1 ATS in their last 23 home games and have covered the spread in seven of their last eight NFC North games.
Chicago’s offense was good last week against the Redskins, but Washington has played bad defense this season. Trubisky will struggle in this game facing a legit defense and the Vikings will also struggle to move the ball. However, they have the better ground game and in what will be a defensive battle the Vikings will cover the spread.
PICK: Vikings +2.5