Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings Betting Odds Preview - NFL Week 14

The NFC North has turned into one of the most competitive divisions this season. The Packers and the Bears are tied for first with records of 8-4. The Vikings are not far out of contention at 6-6 which makes this a must win game for both teams but especially so for the Bears. The Vikings went to Chicago two weeks ago and came up short 28-10. This week Chicago travels to Minnesota to take the Vikings on the road. In the meantime Chicago lost 23-17OT to Seattle last week and the Vikings lost 23-14 to the Packers.

This week a few things are different but the Bears are again favored to win the game. The spread is 3 points and the over/under is 39 points

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The big news in Chicago is that star LB Brian Urlacher will be out three weeks with a Grade 2 hamstring strain after hurting it this past Sunday against Seattle. This will create a deep deficit for Chicago’s run defense against Minnesota’s tremendous run game led by Adrian Peterson. With Urlacher the Bears have the 10th best run defense in the league allowing an average of 103.5 rushing yards per game. Without Urlacher they will struggle to contain the Vikings run game which is 3rd best in the league averaging 154.9 yards per game.

Minnesota will certainly need Adrian Peterson to be productive this week as QB Christian Ponder has been terrible lately. Last week against Green Bay Peterson carried the team with 210 rushing yards while Ponder went 12-25, 119 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. Against the Bears Ponder was slightly better going 22/43, 159 yards, 1TD, 1 INT and 2 sacks. If the Vikings continue to have a one dimensional offense then the Bears with their 7th best pass defense can zero in on Peterson and negate some of the loss felt from having Urlacher sidelined.

Offensively for the Bears they are still healthy, their top receivers are good and their run game is intact. QB Jay Cutler has looked sharp the past two games and that should guarantee the Bears their average of 24.5 points scored per game. Despite having the a 14th ranked defense against the pass and the run, this season, Minnesota has consistently lost to running teams and given up around 30 points to those teams. So probably the Bears can put up 28 points again this week like they did two weeks ago.

Minnesota has scored an average of 21.8 points a game this season but lately they have quite often been below 20 points. With Urlacher out and Peterson hot, the Vikings should be expected to score more than the 10 points they scored last time but probably not over 20. So at most expect a 28-20 score or a conservative score of 24-16. Therefore the over bet seems better and the spread should be covered.

That said it should be noted that Minnesota is 5-1 at home this season having beat the likes of San Francisco, Detroit and Tampa Bay at home. The Bears have been 3-2 on the road losing at Green Bay and San Francisco. A 3 point spread is likely speaking to these home and away records.

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