The NFL Schedule on Sunday concludes in Week 11 with a key NFC North battle as the Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) travel to take on the first place Chicago Bears (6-3) on Sunday Night Football. For these two teams this will be their first of two meetings during the 2018 NFL Season with their final meeting coming during Week 17 on December 30th, 2018. As these two teams get set to meet on Sunday Night Football, the Bears hold the top spot in the NFC North by just a half game.
For the Bears, their success this season has come from both sides of the football as they are currently ranked 4th in the NFL in the defense yards allowed per game (319.6) and points allowed per contests (19.4). The Bears also rank 1st in the NFL in interceptions (16), 2nd in total takeaways (24). Meanwhile that success has helped the Bears average the 5th most points (29.9) in the NFL while ranking 1st in takeover/turnover differential.
On the other side, outside a rough three game stretch that saw the Vikings go 0-2-1, the team has been brilliant on both sides of the ball. Since their 38-31 loss to the Los Angeles Rams to conclude that stretch, the Vikings have gone 4-1 while allowing only the New Orleans Saints to score more than 21 points against them. On the offensive side of the ball, Kirk Cousins has been brilliant for the team completing 71.4 percent of his passes for 2,685 yards with 17 touchdowns to just five interceptions.
Here are the keys to the game for both the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears matchup on Sunday November 18th, 2018 at Soldier Field.
NFL Keys to the Game
Minnesota Vikings – Avoid the Turnover
The Vikings have a solid matchup in front of them on Sunday Night football against one of the better defensive teams in the NFL and a team that continues to win the turnover battle week in and out. For the Vikings, in each of their three losses this season the team has turned the ball over more than opponent.
Chicago Bears – Force the Vikings to Run the Ball
Despite having one of the top defensive units in the NFL, the Bears still have to worry about the Vikings passing attack leading into their matchup on Sunday Night. The Viking have a quarterback in Cousins who has protected the ball well at times this season and receiving corps that includes Adam Thielein, Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph. On Sunday Night, if the Bears focus on shutting this group down, the Vikings running attack has struggled at times this season. Entering this contest the group has just 825 (91.7 rypg) yards over their first nine contests.
NFL Betting Trends
Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings enter their NFC North matchup with the Bears going 6-3 against the spread including going 4-1 on the road. Along with that success the Vikings have gone 4-0 against the spread over their last four games in November while also covering the spread in eight of their last 11 road contests. Despite that success the team has gone just 1-5 against the spread against teams with a winning record.
Chicago Bears – The Bears surprise start has also delivered some positive results for sports handicappers as the team has covered the spread in six of their first nine including in four of their first five games at Soldier Field. The Bears have also have success against teams with a winning road record covering the spread in six of the last seven against those teams. Much like the Vikings their struggles have come against teams with a winning record as they have gone 2-5-1 against the spread over the last eight.
Head 2 Head – These two teams are very familiar with each as they look to take home the NFC North crown. As you look at this matchup the home team has controlled the series posting at 4-1 record against the spread. Meanwhile the Vikings have struggled in Chicago failing to cover the spread in 12 of their last 15 contests at Soldier Field.
What’s next for these two teams?
Minnesota Vikings – The Bears will return home for their second straight Sunday Night contest as they welcome the Green Bay Packers on November 25th, 2018.
Chicago Bears – The Bears will get back to work fast as they head to Detroit to take on the Lions at 12:30pm ET on Thanksgiving Day November 22nd, 2018.