5 min read

2023 NFL Week 12 Betting Preview: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings WR Jordan Addison
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) is unable to make the catch on a long pass in the first half while being defended by Chicago Bears defensive back Tyrique Stevenson (29) at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Bears (3-8) at Vikings (6-5)

Spread: Vikings -3

Total: 43

Weather: Indoor game.

The Line Report

The spread for this contest has moved from Vikings -3.5 to Vikings -3. The total has moved down from 45 to 43 points.

Vikings Offense vs. Bears Defense

Josh Dobbs has kept the the Minnesota Vikings’ season alive in the wake of Kirk Cousins’ season-ending injury. Minnesota is scoring 26 points per game during Dobbs’ three starts as a Viking. Dobbs is a dual-threat quarterback that is fifth at the position in rushing yards per game.

We are still on Justin Jefferson watch where he’s still trending towards missing another game. If Jefferson returns, that’s an obvious boon to Minnesota’s offense. Jordan Addison has six-to-seven targets in each of his three games with Dobbs. He’s only had mild production, but he’s the clear second option in this passing game right now.

Brandon Powell has 12 targets over that span, while showing some explosiveness despite limited production. The Chicago Bears are allowing the 20th-most receiving yards to wide receivers this season.

T.J. Hockenson has led the Vikings’ in receiving yards in each of Dobbs’ three starts. Hockenson has 34 targets over that three-game stretch. Chicago has allowed the 15th-most receiving yards to tight ends this season.

Vikings’ running backs have been ineffective all year. Alexander Mattison has failed to break 100 yards on the ground while only rushing for more than 50 three times. Ty Chandler looked like he could be a difference maker in the passing game last week.

Time will tell if he sees role expansion in that phase. If he does, he has a very good matchup against Chicago. The Bears allow the fifth-fewest rushing yards but the most receiving yards per game to running backs.

Bears Offense vs. Vikings Defense

Justin Fields made an impact in his first game back after missing more than a month. Fields ran for more than 100 yards in Detroit, and he’s the leader among quarterbacks in rushing yards per game. He only threw for 169 yards last week, but he had two big games in the air before his injury.

Fields’ return is great news for DJ Moore, who accounted for 96 of Fields’ 169 passing yards in Detroit. In Moore’s six games with Fields, he’s gone over 100 yards three times and over 95 in four of those contests. Moore is the unquestioned centerpiece of Fields’ passing attack.

Darnell Mooney has been a complementary role player this season, only going over 50 yards three times. Tyler Scott is the only other Bears’ wide receiver with double-digit receptions, with 10.

Scott’s skillset is similar to Mooney’s, but the rookie only has 81 receiving yards on the season. Scott also lost a crucial fumble against the Lions last week. Minnesota is giving up the 10th-most receiving yards to wide receivers.

The Vikings are allowing the 17th-most receiving yards to tight ends. Cole Kmet has two big spike games this season, but he consistently finishes between 35 and 55 receiving yards.

Minnesota is giving up the sixth-fewest rushing yards and the 18th-most receiving yards to running backs. With D’Onta Foreman out, Khalil Herbert is back to being the lead ball carrier for Chicago.

Herbert has missed considerable time this season, but he saw 16 carries in his return to action last week. He also has at least three targets in five of his six games this year. Herbert had just 12 targets all of last season.

Roschon Johnson only had six carries last week, but you could argue he had his best game as a  pro last week. Heading into Monday night, consider Herbert Chicago’s primary ball carrier with Johnson as his supplement.

What You’re Betting On

If you’re betting on the Vikings, it's on two core concepts. The first is that Brian Flores’ defense continues to overachieve by producing yet another rock solid showing. The second is that the combination of Kevin O’Connell and Dobbs continues to overachieve themselves. To be clear, the talent gap between the Bears and Vikings right now is much closer than most think.

If you’re betting on the Bears you have a few things going in your direction. The first is that Chicago has been a tougher out than their record would indicate for two months. The Bears' defense is not a great unit, but it is much better than it was on opening day.

Offensively, Fields is a dynamic talent that is capable of pretty considerable ceiling games. If you’re betting on the Bears, you are banking on Fields being a difference maker like he was for most of last week’s game in Detroit. If you’re betting on Chicago, you need the Bears to close out a game late.

Score Prediction: Vikings 23, Bears 20

Ryan’s Recent Betting Record

ATS 2021: 49-31

ATS 2022: 48-32

ATS 2023: 29-26

Props 2022: 60-40

Props 2023: 20-19