Vikings vs. Bears Sunday Night Football Info: Odds, Predictions, Live Stream, Start Time for Minnesota, Chicago

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Two of the NFC North's best teams will battle for surpemacy in the first Sunday Night Football Flex Game of the 2018 NFL season. The Chicago Bears (6-3) will host the Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) tonight at Soldier Field.

The Bears are currently in first place with a one-game lead over the Vikings. Chicago is riding a three-game winning streak while Minnesota enters having won three of its last four.

The Vikings defeated the Bears in both of last year's matchups, including a 20-17 victory in Chicago last October. However, this year's Bears team is different with the addition of All-Pro pass rusher Kahlil Mack, who was acquired from the Oakland Raiders via trade just prior to the season.

"Their team speed is much better now," Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said via ESPN. "Those guys have all added a lot of things to them. Then you throw in there (Tarik) Cohen and Anthony Miller, who has done a nice job. They're opening things up a lot more. This isn't two yards and a cloud of dust deal."

Chicago has also gotten a boost from second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who has completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 2,304 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while also recording 320 yards and three touchdowns.

"He gets the ball out with accuracy," Zimmer said. "There's other times he looks like Fran Tarkenton scrambling. Some of the runs he's made are unbelievable. They're obviously using him in a bunch of different ways.

"I think the command of the offense is probably his biggest thing is being able to go through progressions more, now."

The Vikings will also rely heavily on their quarterback in tonight's game. Kirk Cousins, who signed a three-year, $84-million deal this offseason, has 2,685 yards, 17 touchdowns and five interceptions on 259 of 363 passing.

Cousins was brought in to boost a talented passing attack that includes wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, as well as Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph. Minnesota also has one of the league's best total defenses, ranking fifth in the NFL with 322.2 yards allowed per game.

"Defensively, we've obviously improved in the last five weeks a ton from where we were," Zimmer said. "We're playing much better on the back end, not giving up near as many big plays. The run game, we've always been pretty decent against the run. I just think overall in some of the key areas we've improved quite a bit."

Here's the info you need to know for tonight's game.

Start time: 8:20 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: fuboTV (free trial available) and NBC Sports app.

Odds: Bears -2.5, 44.0 via Bovada

Prediction:

JJ Stankevitz, NBC Sports Chicago: Bears 27, Vikings 17

"The Bears are a better team than the Vikings entering Sunday, but still have to prove — perhaps to themselves — that they're a better team than the defending NFC North champions. Consider this a gut feeling: This is the game the Bears do just that, taking the step from being a potential playoff contender to a legit favorite to win their division."

Vikings vs. Bears Sunday Night Football Info: Odds, Predictions, Live Stream, Start Time for Minnesota, Chicago | Sports