Rich Hribar and Raymond Summerlin bring you their best bets every Friday of the NFL season as well as a preview of Sunday Night Football. The preview is free, but the bets can only be found in the Rotoworld Season Pass. Don’t miss out on the action.
Rich: 27-23-1 season record (last week: 2-3)
Raymond: 26-23-2 season record (last week: 1-3-1)
All lines taken from the VI Consensus at VegasInsider.com Friday morning.
Sunday Night Football – Vikings @ Bears (-2.5) – 44.5-point total
Rich: It’s been a while since both these teams were simultaneously in contention to win the division, so it’s no surprise that the NFL flexed this game to the main stage. The last time both the Bears and Vikings had winning records through 10 weeks of the season was in 2012. Given the Bears' recent ineptitude as a franchise prior to this season, it’s no surprise this rivalry has been one-sided of late, with the Vikings winning 6-of-8 games since Mike Zimmer took over in Minnesota.
The Bears have six wins, but their best is a home Monday Night win against Seattle back in Week 2. Their other five wins this season have been over the Cardinals, Buccaneers, Jets, Bills, and Lions. That’s not me suggesting they aren’t good – they’ve blown many of these teams out as they should have - but a win here would go a long way into truly proving they are a real contender.
The Vikings' resume is even worse considering they have a home loss to the Bills and haven’t beat anyone with a winning record. They still have good faith with the public since we saw them go to the NFC Title game a year ago, but they’ve hardly played to that level during this season.
All in all, I hate everything about this game from a betting stance. The game total is near a dead zone. If you twisted my arm, I’d lean towards the under. But at the end of the night, I’d prefer to leave this one alone.
Ray: Off the top, I would like to acknowledge I am in the midst of a terrible run (4-10-1 over the last three weeks) and apologize for it. There were certainly some bad beats in that run, but there have also been a lot of bad decisions. I will strive to do better.
At first glance, the Vikings looked pretty good as 2.5-point dogs. As Rich mentioned, the Bears have yet to record a marquee win unless the Seahawks are counted, and while Mitchell Trubisky is coming off one of the best games of his career, he has been up and down even in a favorable schedule.
That said, it is not like Minnesota has been any more convincing -- their best win of the season is against an Eagles team we now know is mediocre at best. They are also in a negative spot from a situational perspective. While road underdogs after a bye week are actually slightly positive, they are 14-21-1 against the spread (40 percent) in divisional games.
The Vikings are probably the better team, and they would be my selection in pick ‘em formats. Still, the uncertainty and the negative situation is enough to make this a no play.
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