Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears NFL Player Props & Picks (10/15/23)

Find Vikings vs. Bears NFL player props here featuring analysis on Justin Fields, Jordan Addison, and DJ Moore. Both of these NFC North rivals are 1-4, but there will be no lack of intensity in this matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears, as both teams believe that they can turn things around.

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The pass defense on each side is an extremely flawed unit, which is not good for trying to win in the long term but when it’s the case on both sides, it can make for an exciting viewing experience and some big offensive performances.

Jordan Addison Over 53.5 Receiving Yards (-110)

Justin Jefferson, possibly the league’s best wide receiver and at absolute worst a top three candidate, is on the IR and will not be participating in this game. Even so, Kirk Cousins is playing some of his best football with a league-high 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions, so the Vikings are certainly still going to be an air-based team, especially with a rushing attack that has struggled mightily with efficiency.

The Bears defense is also very nearly a competent run-stopping unit, ranking 20th in both run defense EPA and DVOA, and even 14th in success rate. Their passing defense, by contrast, is the league’s second worst by both EPA and DVOA, so throwing the football is going to be Minnesota’s best option for moving it in this game. Even though the Vikings are favored, this shouldn’t be a true blowout, due to some defensive trends we’ll hit in a moment for our next few props, so there’s no reason to believe that they’ll quit throwing the football late in the game.

With Jefferson out, the talented rookie Addison is the definite top dog in the Minnesota receiving room. He was blanked in a strange game against the Panthers, but has cracked this number in three of the Vikings’ other four games, and came two yards away in the fourth. Against a dismal Bears pass defense and with no Jefferson to absorb targets, Addison should eclipse this number before halftime.

Longest Reception: DJ Moore Over 23.5 (-130), Darnell Mooney Over 17.5 (-120)

This one is going to be a split play of a half unit each as we build a portfolio around the fact that the Vikings defense can’t prevent big plays in the passing game. They’re 13th in the league in terms of opponent pass success rate, but their pass defense is 25th in EPA and 21st as per DVOA, so when opponents have positive plays, they’re getting a lot out of them.

That’s just fine by the Bears, who love to go downfield. Justin Fields has the eighth-highest average depth of target in the league, and has thrown the second-most deep balls in the league, and completed the most. Similarly, Moore leads the league in deep receptions and is second in such targets.

Moore is 15th amongst qualifiers in average depth of target, and Mooney, who had four targets and despite the zero-catch day against the Commanders, is 28th with a figure of 13.4. The Bears love going deep, and against the Vikings’ mediocre pass defense, it should work about as well as it has in the past two weeks.

Justin Fields Over 195.5 Passing Yards

Two weeks ago, Fields set a career high with 335 passing yards against the Broncos, and then last week on Thursday Night Football against Washington, he ripped off 282, the fourth-highest total of his career. He’s finally finding his groove, and Chicago is continuing to do a better and better job of maximizing his talents.

Fields’s rushing volume is way down, both in terms of designed runs and scrambles, but he’s using his legs to get out of the pocket, move around the defense, and create space for his receivers. This trend is perfect for this prop, since the Bears’ offense now mostly flows through Fields passing the ball, and as of late, it’s working.

If you want to say that Fields is just beating up on bad pass defenses, that’s fine- he gets to face another one at Soldier Field this week. The Vikings lead the league in blitz rate, but are 31st in pressure rate; they’re sacrificing numbers in the secondary, and it’s not paying off, so Fields should have ample time to sit back and absolutely annihilate an overmatched unit.

In the first few weeks of the season, it seemed that Fields had lost his confidence amidst enormous struggles for the team, the offense, and himself individually. Now, he’s in the greatest passing hot streak of his young career, and it’s the right time to capitalize as the market hasn’t caught up just yet.

Greg Joseph Over 2.5 Extra Points Made (+135 BetMGM)

As bad as the Vikings defense is, the Bears unit is probably worse. We’ve already touched on the pass defense in the section for the Addison prop, but it bears mentioning that they’re 31st in both overall defensive EPA and DVOA, ahead of only the Broncos in each measure.

They also have the second-worst defensive red zone efficiency in the league, as 77.78% of opponent drives inside the 20 have turned into touchdowns. Of course, this is the Bears, and they’ve allowed plenty of touchdowns on non-red zone drives also; they’ve allowed 19 total scores this year, once again better than only the Broncos.

Overall, this should be a good offensive game for Minnesota, and even without Jefferson, it’s hard to imagine them struggling too much to find the end zone, so Joseph should have plenty of chances. He has hit all 18 of his extra point attempts and field goals so far this season, and there’s no reason to imagine that he’d stop now.

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From starting my own blog in Middle School, to working on a friend’s in college, and finally joining the Lineups team this year, I’ve been writing about sports for over a decade and betting on them as long as I’ve been legally able. I graduated from the University of Michigan last year, where I took sports journalism classes alongside my business major. Having played and watched sports for almost my whole life, I aim to provide insight and entertainment, as well as profitable picks, in my writing about professional and collegiate leagues.

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