What can we expect from a betting standpoint?
Betting analysts Eric Moody, Seth Walder, Tyler Fulghum and Aaron Schatz are here to provide their thoughts.
Note: Odds by ESPN BET.
Bears at Vikings (-3, 43.5). Both teams are coming off crushing losses, and the Vikings are still very much in the NFC playoff picture. How are you betting this one?
Fulghum: This is a tough side to take. We've seen money move the Bears from +3.5 to +3. That might seem insignificant, but it's enough to make me pass on betting a side. I liked getting that extra hook with the Bears. Now that it's no longer available, I can't commit. The total interests me a bit. I know prime-time unders are all the rage, but this game is indoors and both QBs have explosive ability with their legs and through the air. Sorry there isn't much conviction here, but sometimes you just have to admit that the books have it right and there is no edge in handicapping.
Moody: I'm backing the Vikings to cover the spread against the Bears. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs, receiver Jordan Addison and tight end T.J. Hockenson should have a great deal of success against a Bears defense that gives up the fourth-most points per game. Minnesota's defense shouldn't be overlooked in this matchup. The Vikings' defensive front has allowed the eighth-fewest rushing yards per game to opponents. With its personnel, Minnesota is very capable of slowing down the Bears' running attack, which ranks fourth in rushing attempts and fourth in rushing yards per game. Chicago might be forced to rely heavily on Justin Fields and its passing game, which is unlikely to be a recipe for success. The Vikings are 5-2 against the spread in their past seven games against Chicago. While the Bears are 2-10-1 against the spread in their past 13 games.
The Vikings love to blitz, and that should be interesting vs. one of the league's top running quarterbacks in Justin Fields. How are you betting his 52.5 yards rushing prop?
Schatz: The Vikings essentially allow an average number of rushing yards to opposing running backs, whether you look at all runs or just scrambles. Fields had 46 yards against the Vikings earlier this year in a partial game. So I think the most likely result is that Fields will come close to this rushing prop in one direction or the other. It's not something I would bet on.
Between the Cardinals and Vikings this season, this is the first time Joshua Dobbs has had an extended opportunity to show what he can do as a starter. Where are you at with Dobbs as a starting QB in this league going forward?
Schatz: As exciting as Dobbs' three games in Minnesota have been, I think you learn more from his eight games in Arizona than his three in Minnesota, just based on sample. Dobbs would be 13th among quarterbacks in DVOA if we looked at only Vikings games. If we looked at only Cardinals games, he would be 26th. History gives us a lot of evidence that Dobbs is not good enough to be a starter in this league, including his inability to get starts in his first few years and that Arizona performance. But his intelligence and mobility will help make him a high-quality backup for years to come.
Fulghum: I like Dobbs as a starter. He clearly has the physical and cognitive ability to succeed at this level. He has definitely exposed defenses with his running ability, and I can see that happening in this environment. A team like the Atlanta Falcons would be wise to make a play on Dobbs this offseason if the Vikings go a different direction in the draft. Dobbs could be really dangerous with playmakers like Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts and Drake London by his side.
What's your favorite prop bet for Monday's contest?
Schatz: The Vikings do not throw very much to Alexander Mattison, but the Bears allow the most receiving yards in the league to running backs and Mattison had 28 yards against them earlier this year. I like Mattison receiving yards OVER 10.5.
Walder: Harrison Phillips UNDER 6.5 tackles + assists (-130). I'll concede Phillips racks up a ton of tackles on run plays, but this is just a really high line for a defensive lineman, and we're playing against the number as much as the player. My model projects Phillips to record just 4.0 tackles + assists.
Fulghum: Joshua Dobbs OVER 33.5 pass attempts (-135). The way to attack the Bears' defense is through the air. Chicago has a pretty stout run defense, but it's very vulnerable through the air. Both Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson have plus matchups that Dobbs can access. The state of the Minnesota backfield should further incentivize Kevin O'Connell to attack through the air.
Moody: DJ Moore OVER 4.5 receptions and 61.5 receiving yards. This season, he has averaged 7.3 targets, 5.5 receptions and 97.0 receiving yards per game with Fields under center. Also, Moore excels at creating yards after catching the ball. Moore could have some opportunities to make big plays as the Vikings' defense blitzes at the highest rate in the league.
Is there anything else you're playing Monday?
Walder: Montez Sweat under 0.5 sacks (-132). Sweat ranked 51st out of 53 edge rushers in pass rush win rate at the position entering Week 12. His sacks outproduce his pass rush win rate, but that number means my sack model is pretty down on Sweat, especially against a good Vikings pass-protecting offensive line. I make the under price -182.
Walder: Justin Fields over 0.5 interceptions (+110). Fields has consistently recorded an interception rate between 2.5% and 2.9% in each of his three seasons in the NFL -- all above the roughly 1.9% league average. As a light underdog against what has become a solid (and blitz-happy) Vikings defense under Brian Flores, I'm surprised we're getting plus money here, but I'll take it. My model makes the over price -122.
Moody: T.J. Hockenson to score a touchdown. The chemistry between Joshua Dobbs and Hockenson is undeniable. Hockenson has caught 15 of 22 targets for 189 yards over the past two games. He has also been heavily targeted in the red zone this season. The Bears happen to be one of the worst red zone defenses in the league. Only the Eagles' (2.1) and Commanders' (2.3) defenses allow more passing touchdowns per game than Chicago (2.0).