The Vikings have allowed an average of 6.2 points in the second-half since Sam Bradford took over
Sam Bradford and the Minnesota Vikings storm into the Windy City Monday night to face a Chicago Bears team desperate for a win behind their born again starter, Jay Cutler.
WEEK 8 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
The Vikings were 5-0 through the first ‘half’ of their season but returned to a 21-10 loss last week in Philly. Bradford was 24 of 41 for 224 yards with a pick and four fumbles. If there was ever a time he wished that Adrian Peterson was back in the lineup, it was Week 7. The pocket passer was also sacked six times and the Vikings now rank 23rd in QB sacked percentage at 6.6.
Bradford was 1-5 with St. Louis following a game where he was sacked more than four times but he went 3-0 SU/ATS with Philly last year, averaging 36 points per game. I guess Chip Kelly didn’t like seeing his quarterback getting thrown around. Norv Turner probably shares the same sentiment but the passing game is going to be tested tonight with winds gusting up to 30 mph at Soldier Field, or 50 kms for all you Canadians.
Chicago has nowhere near the pass rush that Philadelphia brought last week but Minnesota’s run game has not proven to be the type that they can just lean on during a slugfest. Jerrick McKinnon is out with an ankle so Matt Asiata will be the lead rusher tonight. Asiata has good hands and can pound at the goal line but the Vikings are only averaging 2.6 yards per carry this year behind a hobbled O-Line that was only ‘average’ to begin with.
Chicago is definitely going to be up for this game but they have a fair share of injuries to deal with as well. The Bears are also one of the more penalized teams in the league (7.9 per game) and unlike Oakland, who leads the NFL at 10.8 penalties per game, they don’t have Derek Carr throwing to the likes of Michael Crabtree or Amari Cooper. Minnesota is an average team for penalties at 7.3 per game, and the record for undisciplined home dogs in this type of matchup is 51-72-3 ATS (42-percent). When the visitor has a top ranked defense, the record goes to 5-10 ATS and only one of the past 15 games has gone over the total. Chicago has been “live” in this spot three times in the past few years and all three games finished under the total.
Minnesota is also “live” in a system for road teams off a road game that is 59-40-2 ATS and 4-1-2 ATS on Monday’s. Totals in the 40’s finished 16-33-1 O/U (67-percent UNDER) and considering the circumstances of this game, it’s hard to envision either of these teams scoring more than 20 points. In a low scoring game it’s tough to back a road fave laying more than a field goal so consider booking the full game “Under” the best number you can find. My play is on the team total.