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NFL Expert Picks: Crucial Vikings-Bears Tilt Expected to be Close

The Vikings and Bears are each 6-7, and both likely need to win Sunday to stay in the NFC Wild Card race.

Despite having the same record, the teams took different paths to get there.

Minnesota started 1-5 before turning things around, while the Bears started 5-1 and then went on a six-game skid that ended Sunday.

Let's see who the experts are picking to win the game, plus scroll below for this week's playoff-clinching scenarios around the league:

Vikings 25, Bears 23 — Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com

This is one of the toughest games to pick all year. Either Mitchell Trubisky is pulling his final okey-doke on the Bears faithful, lighting up some bad defenses before Lucy pulls the ball away from him. Or this Bears team, with the Jaguars up next week, is going to be in playoff contention into Week 17. With so many factors at play — I also worry about Minnesota's line against this Bears front — it's hard not to lean on the better coach and the better quarterback. Those remain in Minnesota.

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Bears.

Bears 28, Vikings 24 — Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

This is essentially an elimination game, with the loser all but out of the playoffs. The Bears have played better on offense lately with Mitchell Trubisky, while the Vikings have struggled on defense. The Vikings will struggle to run it here with Dalvin Cook, which is why I think the Bears will come in and pull off the upset.

Vikings 24, Bears 17 — Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

This serves as a pseudo Wild Card elimination game for both 6-7 teams behind the Cardinals. The Vikings won the first meeting in November in Chicago, 19-13. They will have better success running the ball with Dalvin Cook in the home rematch, and Justin Jefferson will continue to be a matchup nightmare in the downfield passing game. Mitchell Trubisky has provided a nice offensive spark for the Bears but here the zone scheming causes problems for him on the road.

Vikings 24, Bears 17 — Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk

Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had a big game last week, but that was a last hurrah. He'll struggle in Minnesota as the Vikings cling to their playoff hopes.

Bears 23, Vikings 20 — Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk

It's an elimination game in Minnesota, even though the winner will eventually have a fork stuck in them, too.

Pre-game win probabilities: Vikings 58% — FiveThirtyEight.com

3 of 6 experts pick the Vikings (two had not submitted picks yet), CBS Sports

6 of 6 experts pick the Vikings, The MMQB

6 of 7 experts pick the Vikings, USA TODAY

9 of 9 experts pick the Vikings, ESPN

As for clinching scenarios, this is what can happen this week:

NFC

CLINCHED:

Green Bay Packers – NFC North division title

New Orleans Saints – playoff berth

What can happen in Week 14?

Los Angeles Rams (9-4) vs. New York Jets (0-13), Sunday, 3:05 p.m. CT, FOX

Los Angeles clinches playoff berth with:

1. Los Angeles Rams win or tie OR

2. Minnesota-Chicago tie

New Orleans Saints (10-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (12-1), Sunday, 3:25 p.m. CT, CBS

New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

1. New Orleans win OR

2. Tampa Bay loss OR

3. New Orleans tie and Tampa Bay tie

Seattle Seahawks (9-4) at Washington Football Team (6-7), Sunday, Noon CT, FOX

Seattle clinches playoff berth with:

1. Seattle win or tie OR

2. Minnesota-Chicago tie

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) at Atlanta Falcons (4-9), Sunday, Noon CT, FOX

Tampa Bay clinches playoff berth with:

1. Tampa Bay win and Minnesota-Chicago tie

AFC

CLINCHED:

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division title

Pittsburgh Steelers – playoff berth

Buffalo Bills (10-3) at Denver Broncos (5-8), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. CT, NFLN

Buffalo clinches AFC East division title with:​

1. Buffalo win OR

2. Miami loss OR

3. Buffalo tie and Miami tie

Buffalo clinches playoff berth with:

1. Buffalo tie and Baltimore loss or tie OR

2. Baltimore loss​

Kansas City Chiefs (12-1) at New Orleans (10-3), Sunday, 3:25 p.m. CT, CBS

Kansas City clinches first-round bye with:

1. Kansas City win and Pittsburgh loss and Buffalo loss or tie

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-10-1), Monday, 7:15 p.m. CT, ESPN

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

1. Pittsburgh win OR

2. Cleveland loss OR

3. Pittsburgh tie and Cleveland tie

Tennessee Titans (9-4) vs. Detroit Lions (5-8), Sunday, Noon CT, CBS

Tennessee clinches playoff berth with:

1. Tennessee win and Baltimore loss OR

2. Tennessee win and Las Vegas loss or tie and Miami loss and Cleveland win or tie OR

3. Tennessee win + Las Vegas loss or tie and Miami loss and Tennessee or Cleveland clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Miami

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