The Minnesota Vikings hold an edge recently in their NFC North rivalry with the Chicago Bears, winning six of the last nine meetings straight up and going 6-3 against the spread. In a battle between two teams having quarterback issues, the Vikings meet the Bears on Monday night at Soldier Field.
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 22.1-21.8 Bears (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Vikings can cover the spread
The Vikings are riding the NFL roller coaster at the moment. They opened this season with a win over New Orleans, lost at Pittsburgh, beat Tampa Bay and last week lost at home to Detroit 14-7. So if form holds, Minnesota is due for a win this week, right?
The Vikings led the Lions 7-3 at halftime but lost fumbles on back-to-back possessions to open the third quarter, which resulted in 11 Lions points. Minnesota also had a 39-yard field goal bounce off an upright and later came up empty on a drive that reached the Lions' 3-yard line. The Vikings lost a third fumble, following a completion inside Detroit territory with just under two minutes to go.
In other words, a lot of things went wrong for Minnesota last week. The team outgained Detroit 294-251, as the defense recorded five sacks and limited the Lions to a single touchdown. In Weeks 1 and 3, Minnesota outscored the Saints and Bucs by a combined 63-36 and covered both spreads.
Why the Bears can cover the spread
One week after upsetting Pittsburgh in overtime, Chicago suffered a letdown and lost at Green Bay last Thursday 35-14. The overgenerous Bears fell down to the Packers 21-0 in the second quarter and never mounted a challenge in a performance better left forgotten.
Chicago actually outgained Green Bay 308-260 and held a 32-28 advantage in the time of possession. But four Bears turnovers led directly to 21 Packers points. Two weeks ago, though, Chicago outplayed the Steelers and won 23-17 as a seven-point home underdog.
The Bears are going with rookie Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback this week. During the preseason, the No. 2 overall pick in last spring's draft threw three touchdown passes against zero interceptions while compiling a passer rating of 106. Perhaps he can provide a spark.
Minnesota lost a spark plug of its own last week when rookie running back Dalvin Cook suffered a knee injury. Meanwhile, Chicago is already 2-0 ATS this year as a home dog at sports betting sites, and they're playing on extra rest. Even with the rookie quarterback, the smart money here bets on the Bears.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone under in eight of the Vikings' last 11 games against the Bears.
The Vikings are 1-8 SU and 2-7 ATS in their last nine games on the road against the Bears.
The Vikings are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games in October.
All NFL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and the OddsShark YouTube page for picks and analysis, or download the free odds tracker app.