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Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings Betting Preview

One of the few things going for the Chicago Bears as they head to the Twin Cities in week five is that the Minnesota Vikings may have jet lag from playing in London last week. Minnesota ended up notching a 28-25 win over the Saints behind another stellar game from Justin Jefferson to push their mark to 3-1 on the year.

Chicago dropped to 2-2 following their 20-12 loss to the Giants last Sunday. The Bears continue to have one of the worst offenses in the NFL, and as long as Minnesota is not travel-weary, they seem destined to take this game as -7.5 favorites.

Bears’ Offense in Shambles

It’s pretty telling that the player who scored all 12 of Chicago’s points last week was signed to the team just hours earlier. The Bears picked up kicker Michael Badgley just prior to heading to New York, and he went 4-4 on his field goals – only to be cut days later as Cairo Santos returned to the team.

QB Justin Fields takes a lot of obvious blame for Chicago ranking last in passing at just 97.5 ypg and 30th in scoring with 16.0 ppg. He was sacked six times against the Giants and hurried on 51.4% of his drop backs. Fields did end up with 174 yards passing and was 10-14 when he was kept clean.

Unfortunately for Chicago, their offense isn’t their only – or perhaps even biggest – problem. The Giants gashed the Bears’ defense for 262 rush yards last week, including 146 by Saquon Barkley. Chicago now has the worst run defense in the league (183.3 ypg), which isn’t ideal heading into a meeting with Dalvin Cook and the Vikings ground game.

Another Big Game for J.J.?

Chicago used their first two draft picks last year on a cornerback and a safety, so they are very young in their secondary. That has to have Vikings WR Justin Jefferson licking his chops after catching ten passes for 147 yards last week while adding a rushing TD. Adam Thielen added eight catches for 72 yards in the three point win over the Saints.

The Vikings moved the ball up and down the field last weekend in the U.K., but they also settled for five field goals in the 28-25 win. Minnesota did beat the Bears 31-17 last year at U.S. Bank Stadium and picked up a 17-9 victory in Chicago as part of the season sweep.

Bears at Vikings Pick and Prediction

This game all comes down to how fatigued the Vikings are after the always difficult trip to London. The thing is, even a halfway mediocre performance should be enough to beat the Bears and even cover the -7.5 number. Chicago cannot stop the run, are going to get burned in the secondary by Thielen and Jefferson, and rarely are able to protect Fields.

Chicago might be able to run the ball against Minnesota’s #23 ranked rushing defense, but if the Vikings are smart, they stack the box and make Fields and the Bears passing game beat them. Good luck with that.

Pick: Vikings -7.5

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