Tips For Betting On Bears Vikings – Vikings Try To Get Back On Track As Season Slips Away
The Minnesota Vikings were not expected to do anything but sink to the cellar of the NFC North Division this season. Yet, entering week 14, they have a shot at the playoffs.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings – Sunday, December 9
Football betting line: Chicago -2.5
Why Chicago Will Win
When poker is played, you have to have someone who can shut up and deal. It's true that the Bears did not beat the Seattle Seahawks last weekend, but it still stands that quarterback Jay Cutler dealt a mean set of cards to the Seahawks, forcing them to win in overtime when the odds pointed to a regulation-time win for Seattle. Cutler's 56-yard pass to receiver Brandon Marshall – done in the final 20 seconds of regulation from Chicago's own red zone – represented a remarkable turnaround. More specifically, though, it was the kind of throw that few NFL quarterbacks could make. Cutler gives Chicago the ability to stretch the field on offense and pry open opportunities against the Vikings' defense. This is one point to keep in mind when you evaluate this game.
The other thing to realize about this contest is that Minnesota's offense just isn't getting the job done. Quarterback Christian Ponder is now engaged to marry ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele, and it could very well be that Ponder's personal life is detracting from his level of on-field performance… this wouldn't be the first time that an athlete's love life has led to diminishing returns between the painted white lines of Sunday competition. Ponder has to be a lot better this weekend in order to beat the Bears' defense, and right now, he probably shouldn't be trusted.
Why Minnesota Will Win
Betting analysts have to be fascinated by the Vikings. This team has outperformed expectations this season, even though it has squandered a 5-2 start by losing four of its last five games. This is still a team in the playoff hunt. It needs some help, but with a win here over a good Chicago side, it can thrust itself back into the heart of the playoff picture.
The biggest source of hope for the Vikings in this game is that Christian Ponder – though struggling at quarterback in recent weeks – fits the prototype of the kind of quarterback that gives Chicago's defense problems. Last weekend, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson devastated the Bears with his mobility and his penchant for being able to get out of the pocket and break containment. The Bears could not pen in Wilson, who was able to run and, on other occasions, buy time for his receivers. Wilson's performance came on the heels of another Chicago face-plant on defense. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick – faster than Wilson in all probability (though the margin is very close) – similarly laid waste to the Bears and made them look slow in a Monday night game before Thanksgiving. Mobile quarterbacks hurt Chicago, and that's Minnesota's big weapon on Sunday.
Who Will Win
The Vikings are in a must-win situation, and they do have the potential to give the Bears fits. However, is Christian Ponder ready to win this game, or is he focused on Samantha Steele and little else? Take Chicago here; Ponder needs to show that he can play well in December, not just September.
NFL Football Betting Pick: Chicago