The newly-minted NFC North champions, the Minnesota Vikings (12-4-0), are projected as the runaway favorites over divisional rivals the Chicago Bears (3-13-0) in the final week of the regular season.
But the favoritism might be overly generous given what little Minnesota actually has to play for in Week 18. Let alone the fact that anything above 3 points feels like it is way too many points to cover for a team that has flown by the seat of its pants all season long, eking out victories with the narrowest of margins.
Thus, for that reason alone, the Vikings, with their current tag as the staggering -8½ -point road favorites, feel like a trap bet.
Let’s check the latest NFL odds, stats, injury reports, and NFL lines for Vikings vs Bears. We’ve plenty of Vegas NFL odds and NFL week 18 picks for you to consider.
Vikings vs Bears NFL Odds
- Spread: Vikings -8½ (+105)
- Moneyline: Vikings -360 | Bears +285
- Total: O 43 (-110) | U 43 (-110)
From Lookahead Lines to Week 18 NFL odds
Lookahead NFL lines projected this game on a 2-point spread, but the official opening line at the start of the week was Minnesota -3. Since then, the market rocketed up to Minnesota -8½ largely because of reports from Chicago’s camp indicating their prized quarterback Justin Fields will not be starting in this game.
Vikings To Start Starters
To be fair, eight and a half points is a lot for Minnesota to cover, regardless of Chicago’s quarterback situation. The Vikings are a paltry 6-9-1 against the spread – a run of form that includes a 0-4 ATS record in their last four games.
Coach Kevin O’Connell will be giving his starters some playing time against the Bears at Soldier Field if only to exorcize the demons from their last outing at Lambeau Field, where Aaron Rodgers and the Packers used them as grass fodder on the way to a 41-17 victory. [Ouch!]
Congrats to @jalennailor on his first @NFL TD 👊 pic.twitter.com/lEfLrCHPXw
— Minnesota Vikings 🇨🇦 (@VikingsCanada) January 2, 2023
The question is, How long? Will Kirk Cousins and Co. frolic about for all four quarters? Cousins, Dalvin Cook, and Justin Jefferson could do with some confidence-boosting drives at the expense of the hapless Bears. But more likely than not, it will be more of a preseason situation with limited playing time.
O’Connell must be mindful of the playoffs. His side looks destined to finish as the No. 3 seed in the NFC, so there’s no point in taking unnecessary risks in what is a meaningless game in the broad spectrum of the postseason.
With Justin Fields sitting out due to injuries, the Bears’ offense loses an integral cog that made it semi-watchable. Well, at least more watchable and entertaining than…say, oh, dunno…watching paint dry.
It’s worth noting that the Bears have little to gain in winning this game, either. In fact, a loss here – combined with a Houston Texans win over the Indianapolis Colts on the same day – would see Chicago clinch the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Talk about Bear necessities.
The Bears gave the Vikings a run for their money in their first meeting this season, losing 29-22 at U.S. Bank Stadium. But that was before they went on a nine-game slide. On the season, the Bears are 5-10-1 ATS with a 7.6 losing margin on average.
Justin Fields has a strain in his hip & will be out this week. Nathan Peterman will start at QB pic.twitter.com/uVqrKIeSb8
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 4, 2023
Vikings vs Bears Betting Prediction
The first thing that springs to mind when looking at this matchup is the question: Who wants to win more? Without a genuine incentive to win this game, it’s hard to see anyone getting up for it.
There is no doubt that the Vikings are the better bet to win, given the contrasting fortunes of both these teams in 2022. Plus, the undeniable superiority of the Vikings over the Bears. But they feel like a dicey bet as the 8½ -point road favorites against the spread.
The Vikings haven’t been that kind of team at all this season, the one that blows competition off the field. Quite the opposite; they’re the so-called Kings of the one-score game. It’s not about the cover, just the win for this lot.
The Vikings will probably also want to win it if only to erase the memory of being blown out at Lambeau Field in Week 17 and gain some kind of momentum going into the postseason.
The unpredictability of this matchup, from the personnel decisions in both camps, could deliver a closer contest than the NFL odds would have it. These teams have matched up well against each other before and could do so again, even in the absence of Minnesota’s starters and Chicago quarterback Fields. After all, this is the last chance for many players to prove to the staff (and others that might be watching) their worth.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.