Sunday December 30, 018 at 4:25pm ET on FOX
The NFL regular season wraps up this Sunday, and there still are a few teams fighting for playoff spots, as well as higher seedings. Over in the NFC, there is one spot available. If the Minnesota Vikings win, then they will get it. If the Philadelphia Eagles win, and the Vikings lose, then Philly will get it. And if both teams lose, Minnesota will remain the 6th seed. I think the Vikings have a good chance of winning. They play at home against the Chicago Bears. The Bears could actually move up to the 2 seed, and secure a first round bye, but for that to happen, they will need to beat the Vikings and have the Rams lose to the 49ers.
Both the Rams and Bears play at 1:25 PM PT, so at kick off, I expect the Bears to be playing to win. Around halftime, the Rams should be out to a comfortable lead. The Bears, then, will not have much to play for as they won't be able to move up to #2, so I think in the second half, they pull out some key players to rest. Minnesota, meanwhile, plays tough at home, and the Bears not so great on the road. The Vikings will be playing even tougher to get that playoff spot, and so I think they win this game easily. They are a 4.5 point favorite, and I can see them covering that spread.
The problem for Minnesota will be that the following week, they will again play the Bears in the wild card round, but this time will have to go to Soldier Field in Chicago, where the Bears will knock them out and advance to the divisional round. The over/under is 40.5 points, and I can see this going slightly over, something like Minnesota 24, Bears 17. If the Rams lose to the 49ers, or if the game is close, then I think the Bears will at least try to win. The problem is that since both games start at the same time, we won't know the outcome of the Rams-49ers before the Bears-Vikings kick-off. Also, even if the Rams do lose, Minnesota still has a good chance of winning anyway just based on home-field, and more urgency to win, so for all these reasons I would think Minnesota is a lock this week.