(3-5, 2-6 ATS)
(5-3, 3-4-1 ATS)
The Vikes have yet to win a game on the road this season either SU or ATS and are a very scary proposition in this one. They are clearly on shaky ground right now, as HC Brad Childress is most likely on the way out the door next week if Minnesota loses this one. To top it all off, Jenn Sterger just decided to talk to the NFL about these allegations about QB Brett Favre, and the drama circulating around that is clearly starting to pick up as well. However, Favre did what he had to do last week, probably saving his career in the process, leading the Vikings back from a 14 point hole in the fourth quarter to beat the Arizona Cardinals in overtime. Many think that that was the victory that will put the Vikes back in the driver’s seat again, as they badly needed a nice win to get on a roll. More good news is coming this week as WR Sidney Rice will be in uniform for the first time this season. He’ll join a relatively rag tag group of receivers and should make Favre a thrilled man. Last season, Rice became a Pro Bowler for the first time thanks to the fact that he and No. 4 developed a great chemistry with one another.
It’s hard to say that a team that is 5-3 and right there for a playoff spot is in disarray right now, but we know that the Bears really haven’t played a truly great game since beating the Green Bay Packers at home on Monday Night Football in Week 3. Beating the Buffalo Bills last weekend in Toronto was nothing to write home about, as they should need to be posting a comeback to beat a winless team. The big problem remains the offense, where QB Jay Cutler has been wildly inconsistent and RB Matt Forte just can’t get going. Forte has just 401 yards on the ground this year and is averaging less than four yards per carry. Cutler has a lousy total body of work right now, as he is on pace for just 18 TDs against 14 picks and just over 3,000 yards. WR Johnny Knox only caught 27 passes in the first half of the campaign, but he did average 19.5 yards per reception to lead the team and come in around the top receiving averages in the NFL.
Though Chicago isn’t a team we are thrilled about backing right now, we have a lot more confidence in the Bears at home than we do about the Vikings on the road. Minnesota just isn’t all that good, and though Rice should provide a spark, it doesn’t justify why it is favored on the road quite yet.
Pro Football Free Pick: Chicago Bears +1.5