Vikings Can Make Weird NFL History Tonight

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Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

If you’re into NFL betting, the Minnesota Vikings control the fate of one weird factoid and possibility heading into Monday Night Football.

Minnesota (6-5) hosts the Chicago Bears (3-8) under primetime lights on Monday, looking to chip off Matt Eberflus’ team for a sixth time in a row.

Vikings Can Make Weird NFL History Tonight

The Vikings are three-point favorites with hours to go before kickoff, and if Minnesota covers the spread, it will make gambling history.

Vikings Can Make Weird
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports.

According to ABC7 Chicago, “NFL betting history can be made on Monday Night Football if the Minnesota Vikings can cover as 3-point favorites against the Chicago Bears. Favorites have covered the spread in 12 of 15 games in Week 12, tying the record for most in a single week (Week 12 of 2017) in the Super Bowl era.”

Wagering on favorites and projecting them to cover point spreads in Week 12 was a profitable industry and will evidently set records if the Vikings win by more than three points Monday evening.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

“According to ESPN Stats & Information, there has never been a week in the Super Bowl era in which favorites covered the spread in 13 games,” ABC7‘s David Purdum continued.

Typically when the Vikings and Bears meet, the game is either sloppy, tight, or both, but that is particularly true at Soldier Field. Monday’s game is at U.S. Bank Stadium, and until last year, schedule-makers enjoyed plopping Vikings-Bears in Week 17 or 18 (the last game of the season), which usually rendered the matchup somewhat meaningless.

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But 2023 is a different story, as the Vikings’ postseason chances can fluctuate by nearly 24%. Here’s the math, according to the New York Times’ playoff simulator:

Vikings Odds to Reach Playoffs:

A Win over CHI = 75%
A Loss vs. CHI = 51%

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Purdum added about other Week 12 matchups now in the rearview, “The week began with one of the largest upsets ever on Thanksgiving Day. The Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions 29-22 as an 8.5-point underdog — the third-largest upset by point spread on Thanksgiving since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger. It was also one of the most heavily bet games of the season and started off the holiday weekend with a win for the sportsbooks. Bettors would bounce back in a big way, starting with blowout wins by the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers to close out Thanksgiving and followed by the Miami Dolphins’ easy win over the New York Jets on Friday.”

The Vikings will be without the services of Justin Jefferson for a seventh straight game but have fired up a 5-1 record so far.

Now, deciding if the Vikings are trustworthy enough to make gambling history is up to you.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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