Minnesota Vikings vs. Los Angeles Rams Point Spread – Pick

Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Rams (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS)
Week 4 NFL
Date/Time: Thursday Night Football, September 27, 2018 at 8:20PM EDT
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Stadium, Los Angeles, California
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: MIN +6.5/LAR -6.5
Over/Under Total: 48.5

The Minnesota Vikings come to the City of Angels to take on the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football. This features a battle of two teams who were cited as major contenders in this conference. So far for the Vikes, the first three games has been a mixed bag. They started with a nice win over the Niners, before storming back at Lambeau to get a tie against the Packers. But last week was an unmitigated disaster, losing as 16.5-point favorites at home to the Bills, 27-6. They look to rebound against a Rams team that pushed their record to 3-0, all covers, with a 35-23 win on Sunday at home over the cross-town Los Angeles Chargers.

It’s difficult the following week when a supposedly good team like the Vikings come off such an out-of-range result as they did last week. Certainly, a lot of people thought it was a mistake when they looked up and saw the seemingly-hopeless Bills get off to a 27-0 lead in Minneapolis against one of the top contenders in the NFC. The Vikings added a late TD to make it look more-respectable, but it was truly a putrid performance that made a mockery of the point-spread.

In some cases when you look back at a team’s season, there can be those results that are just out-of-whack that end up not meaning a whole lot. While we don’t want to completely reform our perspective on the Vikings based on one game, we also don’t want to ignore trouble-signs. How do they lose to a 16.5-point underdog so decisively at home when they had the same amount of total yards, more first downs, less penalties, and QB Kirk Cousins completing 40 passes?


On Sunday, three Minnesota turnovers were big parts of their meltdown. But it goes beyond that. Cousins has shown he can be prolific in this offense, but a pick and two lost fumbles show he’s not iron-clad each and every week and he’s more mistake-prone than his predecessor. RB Dalvin Cook being injury-prone and no longer having Jerick McKinnon leaves them a bit thin in the backfield. After a big day against Buffalo, WR Stefon Diggs was quiet on Sunday. Adam Thielen caught 14 balls, while TE Kyle Rudolph also had a TD catch, but this offense won’t fire every week and when missing key pieces, it’s not a cast of players that elicits a ton of excitement.

Obviously, the Vikings and head coach Mike Zimmer place a lot of importance on defense. This season, they seem to be a little slow out of the gates. The pass-rush is still dangerous, but hasn’t been consistently applied this season. The “D” is giving up more plays than what we saw from this bunch last season. There are some new pieces and the formula might take a little while to come together. This is a tough spot and the first three games suggest a Vikings team that has taken a step back. But putting anything in concrete this early could very well prove to be a mistake.

So far, the Rams have seen their offseason handiwork pay off. Their core on offense with Jared Goff at QB and Todd Gurley at RB continues to thrive, with additions really paying off on both sides of the ball. Their defense is one of the best in the league, while an offense that was pedestrian has become one of the most potent offenses in the league. Hopes were pretty high to begin the season. Some thought the hype was over-the-top. But after three games and covers, we still might be a bit slow to realize how good the Rams really are.

On Sunday, we saw the Rams offense hit high notes, even against a pretty talented Chargers’ defense. Goff was nice, on 29-for-36 passing, 354 yards, and three touchdowns. The addition of WR Brandin Cooks has already paid off big. Perennially-underrated Robert Woods caught 10 balls, two of them for scores. Cooper Kupp had a nice game, while Gurley also chipped in with 5 receptions. Gurley also added over 100 yards on the ground, with Malcolm Brown chipping in with 42 yards. There’s room for a lot of different guys to put up numbers in this offense.

Even when they were struggling massively on offense, the Rams’ defense had a lot of talent. With an offense that can now support them, the defense has really taken off. Even in allowing 23 points against the Chargers, their season total in points-allowed through three games is only 36 points. With Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh in the middle, they are rigid against the run. Michael Brockers and Ethan Westbrooks wreak havoc in the pass-rush. And Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, and others, the pass-defense is top-notch. Both Peters and Talib, however, are listed as questionable for this game. In the middle, Cory Littleton has really come along, giving the Rams another dimension at linebacker. Should we crown ’em, as the late and great Dennis Green once said? No, but through three weeks, they stand out as the top contender in the NFC.

The Rams are nice and dug in at home, riding the crest of momentum. They should have their hands full with a Vikes team that hasn’t seen a win since week one, as they are after all coming off a 13-3 season. They will be at a state of high-urgency, as a win over a red-hot home team in their own conference would help instill some confidence and positive inertia. But it’s just hard picturing a somewhat-languid and one-dimensional Vikings offense keeping pace, unless their “D” can come up with something special here on the road.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Los Angeles Rams minus 6.5 points. Did you know… that you could be wagering on this game at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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