Percy Harvin's placement on injured reserve is a major factor when making your against-the-spread picks this weekend, as the Minnesota Vikings (6-6) prepare to host the Chicago Bears (8-4) on Sunday afternoon, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on FOX.
Let's take a closer look at this NFC North divisional matchup from a betting perspective, while offering a pro football prediction along the way.
The Chicago Bears will certainly be tested in trying to stop Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson without the services of linebacker Brian Urlacher, but they should manage due to their recent success in this series.
Sports bettors will find that the Bears have covered the last six meetings in this rivalry by an average of 15.5 points per game.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has compiled a 53.6 passer rating in three games in this rivalry series, which will allow the Chicago Bears to stack the box defensively.
The Vikings have gained 301 or fewer yards in their last five games against the Bears.
I reached out to Jimmy Vaccaro earlier this week about this high-profile affair. He serves as the public relations director for William Hill U.S., and here's what he had to say:
No Urlacher, no chance. The Vikings are going to win this one in a romp, I think. The Vikings out-played the Bears two weeks back, but a load of dropped passes and a few poorly-timed turnovers did them in. I like them to get some revenge at home.
I'm going to recommend that readers back the Chicago Bears in this contest, as they benefit greatly in not having to game plan for Percy Harvin.
NFL Week 14 Pick: Chicago Bears -2.5