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MNF Staff Picks: NFC North rivals face off when the Vikings take on the Bears

Justin Fields wasn’t on the field the last time these two teams met in Week 7 with the Vikings running out winners. Can he be the difference this time around?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Hello Bolts From the Blue,

Tonight we have a Monday Night Football game almost as far from the West Coast as can be when the Minnesota Vikings host their NFC North rivals, Chicago Bears, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The home team won the reverse matchup back in Week 7 when they beat their old foes 19-13 back when both sets of teams had some very different players in key positions.

Justin Fields, the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback, wasn’t on the field the last time these two teams met. Fields missed a big part of the season with a dislocated thumb, his backup Tyson Bagent, played admirably considering he was an undrafted rookie. However, on his return Fields showed what the Bears’ faithful have been missing when he led the team in rushing with 104 yards against a tough Detroit Lions’ front seven. The Bears have been a disappointment throughout this season however they have some of the pieces in place to build for the future and divisional games are where these players for the future can set tone for years to come.

For the Vikings, the opposite has happened, their starting quarterback Kirk Cousins went down with an achilles tear in Week 8, after he beat the Bears the week before. Since then the Vikings made a trade with the Arizona Cardinals for Josh Dobbs who has since pulled off two wins out of his first three games in purple. This only loss came in a one point game last week at the hands of the most in form team in the league; Sean Payton’s Denver Broncos. The Vikings turned their season around following losing both Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins to injuries and Kevin O’Connell deserves full praise for that. Jefferson is close to returning but isn’t going to suit up for this game according to the latest reports.

DraftKings Sportsbook have set the line at 3-points in favor of the Vikings, this seems a bit closer than people would expect considering how these teams have fared since Week 7. I think that whilst the Bears have improved with Fields back at the helm, their roster talent is questionable in too many areas to win out against a Vikings team that has survived tougher tests. Brian Flores has remade Minnesota’s defense in his aggressive image and it has been a revelation compared to their past few seasons of static zones. This is the difference to me as the Bears’ pass protection isn’t exactly a strength. I’ll be taking the Vikings to win moneyline at -162 and them to cover the field goal spread at -110 with a confident pick on the over 43.5 points on offer at -110.

Injuries to Consider

Chicago Bears

Larry Borom and D’Onta Foreman are Doubtful, Noah Sewell is Out and Tyrique Stevenson is Questionable.

Minnesota Vikings

Akayleb Evans, Justin Jefferson, Nick Mullens and Khyiris Tonga are all Questionable.

Here is how the BFTB staff sees this game breaking down:

What do you think, BFTB? Any of you placing bets tonight?