Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings (9/29/19): NFL Betting Picks, Lines

This Week’s Results: 1-1
All Time Results: 27-17, +7.88 Units

Minnesota Vikings -1.5 @ Chicago Bears (+120) – .25 Units

11th all-time in Career Passer Rating, Kirk Cousins has one gigantic black mark on his resume.  For his career, Cousins is 5-26 against teams with winning records.  Sunday will be one of the rare times in his career that Cousins will enter a game against a winning team boasting the significantly superior roster.  I’m betting he takes advantage, plays well and silences the critics – if only for a day.

Throughout his career, Cousins has been at his best in a play-action offense. Now that new Vikings Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski has unleashed Dalvin Cook and one of the best rushing attacks in the league, Cousins has the opportunity to throw less and thus throw more effectively.

minnesota vikingsThe Vikings have thrown the ball 22 fewer times than any other team in the NFL.  Their ability to sustain drives on the ground will frustrate a Bears team that hangs their hat on a ferocious pass rush.   With Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks questionable for this game, I like the chances that Khalil Mack and the other Bears defensive ends will be caught out in pursuit of the QB, while Dalvin Cook zooms by for large chunks of yardage.

As Mark Bullock of The Athletic pointed out this week, the Redskins created numerous holes against the Bears last week.  The Redskins depleted running back rotation simply failed to take advantage.  The league’s leading rusher through three weeks, you can bet Dalvin Cook will make Chicago pay if the Vikings create the same opportunities on Sunday.

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Minnesota Vikings -3 @ Chicago Bears (+160) – .1 Units

In general, the Bears did not impress me on Monday Night Football last week.  Thanks to 6 forced turnovers they eventually won easily, but Chicago had essentially the same yards per play as a terrible Washington Redskins team.  Mitch Trubisky rarely succeeded pushing the ball downfield despite dropping back to pass 31 times against one of the worst secondaries in the NFL so far this season.

Mitch Trubisky has not had success against the Vikings defense in the four times he has faced them.  Compared to his numbers against any team he has faced more than once, Trubisky has his lowest completion percentage, lowest passer rating, lowest yards per attempt and most interceptions against Mike Zimmer’s defenses.

The Redskins have allowed an 86% success rate on short throws this season, which the Bears thrive on.  The Vikings will not so easily oblige the Bears preferred offense.  Especially with Bears deep threat, Taylor Gabriel likely out for this game, I am betting Trubisky will not have the deftness to beat the Vikings secondary deep.

Two Team 7-point Teaser (-140): Minnesota +9 (from +2) & Jacksonville Jaguars +10.5 (from +3) – .7 Units

jacksonville jaguarsTaking advantage of two road underdogs I like to win the game against defensive-minded opponents.  Neither the Bears nor the Broncos offense threatens to break a game open.  Accordingly, both of the totals for these games are under 40, making the 7 points in this teaser extremely valuable.

While having a late-round draft pick start at quarterback can be a perilous proposition for a teaser bet, I am willing to stick my neck out with Gardner Mishnew in this one.  Especially with 10 days to prepare, I like the Jaguars coaching staff to be able to put Mishnew in some advantageous positions.  The Broncos could easily earn their first win in this game, but I think the Jags have a great shot at keeping it close.

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Born in Chicago, born for Las Vegas, Mackenzie is a graduate of Yale University with a BA in English & Creative Writting. Mackenzie runs AlternativeStats.blog, which seeks to by-pass the minutiae of commonly cited sports statistics and expose the heart of what drives athletic success. After several successful years investing in Las Vegas real estate, Mackenzie is excited to transition in 2019 into betting on sports full time, as well as documenting his thought process as he further learns the craft.

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