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Odds and Ends

Good two-way action on Vikings-Bears battle

by Sam Panayotovich
Updated On: November 16, 2020, 4:32 pm ET

It will be cold and windy at Soldier Field tonight for the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears, but NFL island games tend to heat up the trading room inside a sportsbook. That's especially true most Monday nights, when many bettors aim to start their week on a positive note.

Surprisingly enough, the betting action is pretty split between Minnesota and Chicago. Spread bettors are tapping into both sides, which is rather unusual for a primetime matchup.

PointsBet Sportsbook is currently dealing Minnesota -3 with a total of 44. 

"Minnesota is getting more action on the spread, but it's not lopsided at all," PointsBet senior sportsbook analyst Andrew Mannino told NBC Sports. "We've got about 55 percent of the bets on [the Vikings] and around half the handle. The moneyline action is all coming in on the Bears. Almost three quarters of the money is on Chicago right now. And once again, the bettors are rooting for points. We're in a position where we'll be rooting for a quiet game here. We're seeing 61 percent of the total bets in favor of the Over."

It sounds like oddsmakers really made a great number on the spread. 

"It's a tough game at a field goal, but it's nice to have even action on a Monday night," Mannino explained. "It'll be nice not to be sweating all night. It seems like everything has been real lopsided lately, so it's nice to have it evenly balanced."

Rewinding quickly to the weekend, Sunday was not the greatest day for sportsbooks around the country. Only two of 12 underdogs pulled off outright upsets. Bookmakers are usually rooting for more favorites to lose outright. More favorites losing equals more moneyline parlays losing. 

Luckily, New England did the unthinkable on Sunday Night Football and beat Baltimore as a 7-point underdog. That decision was massive for the books. 

"The Patriots really helped us a lot," Mannino said. "Before that, it was looking like a pretty bleak day. We were definitely one-sided on the Ravens and it just kept building. Even when we spoke last Thursday, I knew that was going to happen with all the Baltimore liability. But I don't think anybody saw them going down."

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Sam Panayotovich

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst from the South Side of Chicago. He'll probably pick against your favorite team a lot. Follow him @spshoot