Vikings vs. Bears: The best player prop bets for MNF
It’s been a wild ride for the Vikings this season, but they’re 6-7 and still in the playoff picture as they travel to Chicago to take on the Bears. Minnesota somehow made a 29-0 lead look in doubt against the Steelers 11 days ago, but escaped with a win and are now well rested ahead of tonight's primetime appearance.
The Bears, meanwhile, are in all sorts of trouble. Chicago has gone 1-7 over the last eight weeks, and now a COVID-19 outbreak is ripping through the team, with 13 players unavailable for this evening's Monday Night Football showdown.
We've examined tonight's matchup at Soldier Field closely, and have the three best player prop bets below.
Tue, December 21 2021, 1:15 AM
Dalvin Cook Over/Under 92.5 Rushing Yards
Apparently dislocated shoulders don’t affect you when you’re a beast like Dalvin Cook. Less than two weeks after suffering the injury and missing practice, Cook surprised us all by lining up for the Vikings in Week 14 against the Steelers. Cook then proved he’s superhuman by carrying the ball 27 times for 205 yards and two touchdowns. He was just two yards away from a career-high rushing tally.
Cook’s is averaging 97.8 yards per game, courtesy of some huge matches against Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Carolina, and Arizona. That average also includes just 34 yards against the Browns and 39 yards against the 49ers in games he got injured and played less than half the snaps he normally would. Remove those games and his average is 113 yards per game.
Derrick Henry is the only man averaging more carries per game than Cook, who shoulders a massive 19.3 rushes per game, and we can expect another huge workload on Monday.
The Bears' rush defense ranks 24th in the NFL, and they are missing multiple key players including Eddie Goldman, Mario Edwards, and Khalil Mack. Cook ran for 96 yards in Week 10 and 132 yards in Week 15 against the Bears last season, and you’d be mad to back against him doing the same tonight.
Darnell Mooney Over/Under 50.5 Receiving Yards
Since the Chicago bye week, it’s been a tale of two Mooneys. In weeks 11 and 12, Mooney saw 24 targets, caught 10 passes, and racked up 244 yards. In weeks 13 and 14, he saw 12 targets, caught six passes, and tallied just 46 yards.
Mooney’s inconsistencies make him difficult to trust in the prop betting, but this game is a fantastic get-right opportunity for the Bears’ leading receiver. The Vikings give up a huge 195.8 yards per game to wide receivers (the second highest in the NFL), and their pass defense ranks 26th in the league.
This is a fantastic opportunity for Mooney to put up big numbers again. On the season he has a 26.5% target share in Chicago and takes 33.8% of their air yards. Even in the two disastrous games just gone, Mooney has averaged 10.1 air yards per target, and that’s a bright spot going into a game with a generous Vikings pass defense.
Minnesota allowed three different Steelers’ wide receivers to tally more than 50 yards against them last week, while the week before Lions’ receivers Amon-Ra St. Brown (86 yards) and Josh Reynolds (70 yards) had their best games of the season against the Vikings.
Mooney has had at least five targets in a game for his last 10 games, and he should see plenty of looks from Justin Fields again. Expect him to take advantage of a soft Vikings secondary.
Kirk Cousins Over/Under 1.5 Passing Touchdowns
Kirk Cousins had one of his worst games of the season last week as he completed just 45% of his 31 passes for 216 yards. However, that didn’t stop him from throwing for two TDs and continuing his streak of multiple-TD games, which now stands at six games in a row. That’s the longest such streak in his career, and he should make it seven against a vulnerable Bears team.
Chicago has given up an average of 1.85 passing touchdowns per game this season – the fourth highest in the NFL – and 69% of teams they’ve faced have put up multiple passing TDs. The Bears have given up 78 points in their last two games and don’t seem to be able to stop their opponents scoring, even when they’re fully healthy.
The Vikings are one of the top 10 teams in the league on a points-per-game basis, and have scored at least 26 points in their last six straight games. Finding a receiver in the end zone has not been a problem for Captain Kirk this season, and only six QBs have a better touchdown percentage than Cousins (5.7%)
He threw multiple scores against Bears in both games last year, and tonight should be no different.