Will anyone be left standing come Monday night? Week 15 has brought us an overwhelming amount of injury news, some of which will impact the NFC North clash between the Vikings and Bears.
Minnesota is firmly on the playoff bubble at 6-7. They’re coming off a wild Thursday night win that belonged to Dalvin Cook, who put up 205 rushing yards and 2 TDs against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A true dual-threat offense, Kirk Cousins has had a great year throwing to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen to complement Cook’s ground attack. Thielen is one of many players for the Vikings who will miss this game, but they remain a strong favorite here.
At 4-9, the Bears are playing for little besides developing rookie QB Justin Fields. He still has a long way to go before he can pressure Cousins and Aaron Rodgers (if he stays in Green Bay) for the title of the best QB in the division.
Until then, Fields can hang his helmet on the fact that he’s vastly outperforming the three quarterbacks taken before him in the 2021 draft.
With 17 players and multiple coaches currently on the virus list between these two teams, let’s make what we can of some Monday night game props.
Please note that all NFL Week 15 odds and lines are current as of 10:00 a.m. ET on Monday, December 20.
Vikings vs. Bears Prop Bets: NFL Week 15 Prop Betting Picks
Vikings -3.5 1H Spread (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1.5 Units
Chicago has been a mess on paper for a while. Trying to perform while losing a franchise icon like Khalil Mack for the season is a difficult feat for any team in the league. This week will be no easier for the Bears, with key absences across the depth chart, including Eddie Jackson and Allen Robinson.
Since signing with Chicago, Robinson has vastly under-performed expectations, as has most of the team. Star RB David Montgomery and starting TE Cole Kmet are both questionable with illnesses; things are looking bleak for the Bears.
Minnesota is 6th in the league in plays per game. The Vikings operate at a fast pace on offense and have some of the most elite playmakers in the game today, capable of completely breaking a play open.
Despite missing Adam Thielen, the Vikings have put up 63 points over their past two games. This offense doesn’t only feature star power up top, as they have depth in options like K.J. Osborn and Tyler Conklin, too.
Both teams will be operating far from full strength, but when a team is as beat down as Chicago is, getting through the week healthy seems like more of a realistic goal than winning. For Minnesota, this game will look more like what they expected going into their last game against Detroit.
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Vikings Over 25 Points (-130) at Caesars
Wager: 1.25 Units
The Vikings haven’t been held to under 26 points since Week 8. To boot, they’ve averaged 30 points per game in victories this season. I’m all in on Minnesota taking care of business as they push for the playoffs.
As the Vikings have shown multiple times this season, no lead is safe. After nearly blowing a 29-point lead against the Steelers last week, Justin Jefferson expressed his concerns, saying that they need to be better as a team in closing out games.
Kirk Cousins will be on the field until the final whistle blows. Head coach Mike Zimmer should know by now that the Vikings can make any game too close for comfort from any position.
A note on the weather: winter in Chicago is harsh, but forecasts for Monday night look anything but problematic. Temperatures should be in the mid-30s with a decent breeze. Nothing these two teams can’t handle.
1H Total Points Over 22 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
Putting up three touchdowns to open the game isn’t far-fetched for the Vikings in this matchup. If you’re doing the math at home, that still leaves us with a point to be picked up by the Bears.
In all reality, I think 17 points is a much more likely first-half outcome for the Vikings. I try to stay away from projecting blowouts, and I think the Bears do have enough fight in them to at least keep the game somewhat competitive through a half.
Fields does what he can regardless of which receivers are playing well for Chicago. Last week he completed passes to eight different receivers, including touchdowns to Jakeem Grant and Damiere Byrd. Talk about star power!
As long as Fields takes the field, the Bears shouldn’t get goose egged. If Montgomery misses, Khalil Herbert and Damien Williams have shown they can handle taking over in his stead. However, Herbert is yet another player currently questionable with an illness.
The semblance of the Bears roster that remains is enough to at least put up a fight in the first half against the Vikings.
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