A couple of division rivals heading in different directions meet on MNF, with the Vikings getting bet up to 3.5-point road favorites, and the total sitting at 43.5. Here’s what jumps out on DraftKings Sportsbook.
I’m still not completely sure I’ll wind up taking a side in this game, but if I do it’s a strong lean to Minnesota. I’d also like to get it at -3, and the number has been moving since this morning, so it may wind up too late to lock. But I’ll make the case for the Vikings and if you feel comfortable laying more than a field goal, I don’t hate the play.
These teams are clearly heading in opposite directions, turning into more of the teams the market had them priced at prior to the season. The once 5-1 Bears have lost three in a row and will be without David Montgomery (concussion) and potentially Allen Robinson (knee). Not that Montgomery’s having all that good of a season, but the backfield behind him is extremely thin. That means a lot of relying on Nick Foles. If Robinson winds up being ruled out, it really limits the ways Chicago can move the ball, even against Minnesota.
Meanwhile, the Vikings are rolling behind Dalvin Cook and the run game. Toss out a strange blowout loss at home to the Falcons and since their 0-3 start the Vikings have lost by one in Seattle and defeated the Texans, Packers and Lions. This will be a tougher matchup for Cook, but he’s been absolutely shredding defenses lately. I expect the Vikings to control the tempo on the ground and the Bears just not to be able to make enough plays to hang offensively.
I prefer Robinson to be ruled out to lock this one, but it’s a consideration at a reasonable number regardless. Mooney had a tough time getting on the same page with his QBs early in the season but has gone over this mark in consecutive weeks. He broke out with a 69-yard game against the Saints, and while he just got over this number by the hook last week, he saw a season-best 11 targets. No Robinson against a very soft Minnesota secondary should lead to plenty of opportunities for Mooney, especially with the lack of running game the Bears should have with Montgomery absent.
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Graham is in a similar spot to Mooney, where I’d feel much more comfortable with the play if Robinson is going to be off the field. But the matchup for TEs against the Vikings is prime and if we project the Bears to run less, it should mean more dump offs to Graham. Jimmy G had a strong showing last week against the Titans, bringing in all six of his targets for 55 yards. I lean over with Robinson in and absolutely play it if he’s ruled out. Robinson is commanding just shy of 10 targets per game.
The Vikings will clearly focus on running the ball in this game, but we also have to expect the Bears to be prepared for that. When Minnesota does air it out, it’s pretty predictable — Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson have over half the team’s receptions. Rudolph is having a pretty quiet season but has gone for 40-plus yards in two of his past three games. But he should see increased opportunities in this game, with rookie TE Irv Smith Jr. (groin) ruled out. After a slow start to the season, Smith is averaging 36.3 yards over the past four games. Given the weakness of the Bears’ defense is defending TE, this could be a spot for Rudolph to get more involved with his team shorthanded at the position.
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