Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:45 AM EST.
8:30 PM EST. In a production meeting on Sunday night, Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer told ESPN’s broadcast crew that he anticipates Sam Bradford starting at quarterback three weeks after a knee injury first kept Bradford out against the Steelers. A second opinion on the quarterback’s left knee on September 22 confirmed the Vikings’ belief that Bradford would not need surgery on his knee,and after taking last week off to rest, Bradford participated in all three of the Vikings’ practices this week (albeit in a limited fashion). Thus, the line went from Minnesota being a -2½-point favorite to a -3½ point choice almost overnight.
The oddsmakers aren’t idiots. Think about it for a second. In the highest wagered game of the weekend slate (Monday Night Football), do you honestly think that they posted a line (-2½) based on anything but Bradford starting? They posted that -2½ in anticipation of Bradford starting and got precisely the reaction they wanted. We’re not even sure the Vikes should be favored here and now you are going to pay extra to back a shaky favorite on Monday night.
Losing Dalvin Cook to a torn ACL is a devastating blow for the Vikings offense and Cook's promising career. Suddenly the specter of 2016 repeating comes to mind. The Vikings may have no completely healthy backs to use here. There is still talent in the wideouts but suddenly there is much less for the opposing defenses to focus on. The Vikes have played one road game and they were brutal in a 26-9 oss in Pittsburgh. Last year when the Vikes were better and the Bears were worse, Minnesota lost at Soldier Field 20-10.
The Chicago Bears have been a mess for some time. John Fox has finally, in his third season, got the personnel he needs to run a 3-4 defense in Chicago, but not only did he lose linebacker Danny Trevathan for two games for a cheap shot on Davante Adams, the $45 million Mike Glennon experiment lasted just four games. At 1-3 following a second half blowout at the hands of the Packers, the Bears have decided the future is now and are turning the offense over to rookie Mitchell Trubisky. You knew this was coming sooner than later, but when your starter has been responsible for eight turnovers in four games – five interceptions and three lost fumbles – sooner became even sooner. The Bears glow from their Week 3 win over the Steelers was short lived. Last week, the Bears were buried by Green Bay 35-14 on Thursday night but that was another misleading score. The Bears have been feisty, competitive (despite the scores) and dangerous in all four of their games but all this market sees is results and records. The market is now placing far too much emphasis on Bradford coming back and the Bears starting a rookie QB that has never played a down of NFL football. We don’t play X’s and O’s, instead we play market overreactions to what the media is selling and that’s precisely the situation here. Chicago is so much improved from last year while the Vikes are not.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
CHICAGO +3½ -109 (Risking 2.18 units - To Win: 2.00)