Minnesota (1-1-1) at LA Rams (3-0)
When: Thursday, September 27th 2018
Where: L.A. Memorial Coliseum,
Los Angeles, California
Time: 8:20 ET | TV: NFL Network
Opening Odds: Los Angeles -6.5/48
In what is the best game of the week and possibly best Thursday night matchup we’ve ever had, the Minnesota Vikings visit the Los Angeles Rams to kick off Week 4 of the NFL schedule. The Rams are off to a flying start, winning all three games by double-digits and have yet to leave the state of California, while the Vikings have had a tough time going 1-1-1 after three games including an embarrassing 27-6 home loss to Buffalo last week. It was the first time since 1995 that a favorite of 17 point or more lost a game outright, as Minnesota fell in an early hole and could never recover against the Bills. The Vikings badly missed top running back Dalvin Cook, who sat out last week with a hamstring injury, but insists he’ll play Thursday. The Rams racked-up 521 yards of total offense in a 35-23 win over the LA Chargers last week, but will be going up against arguably the best defense in the league. Minnesota beat the Rams 24-7 in Minneapolis in Week 11 a season ago – the fewest points L.A. scored all year. The Rams were outgained 451-254 and running back Todd Gurley managed only 37 yards on the ground. The Vikes have won and covered the past five in this series.
The Vikings could really use a healthy Cook on Thursday as the Rams have the top-ranked scoring defense (12.0 points) and sixth-ranked defense overall (296.0 yards allowed) in the league. Fellow running back Latavius Murray has struggled this season after a strong finish to 2017, gaining just one yard on two carries versus the Bills last week and 62 total on 17 attempts in 2018. While there’s doubt involving Cook, head coach Mike Zimmer has already ruled out star defensive end Everson Griffen, who is battling a serious mental-health related issue. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is fourth in the NFL in passing yards (965), while wideout Adam Thielen reeled in a career-high 14 receptions in Sunday’s loss to Buffalo to increase his total to 32, which is the third-most in league history through the first three games of the season.
Gurley, who is not a fan of Thursday football, actually enjoyed one of his best outings back in 2017 on a Thursday Night Football contest against San Francisco, scoring three times in the first half. Gurley is coming off a terrific season and hasn’t missed a beat thus far, scoring for the fifth time (four rushing, one receiving) this year in the Rams’ 35-23 win over the Chargers. Jared Goff, who sits right behind Cousins in passing yards, threw three touchdown passes last week, with Robert Woods grabbing two to go along with a career-high 10 catches for 104 yards.
There are several key injury concerns for both teams coming into this short-week contest, but the Rams should be more concerned with their banged-up secondary. Cousins should be able to find enough time to hit Thielen and Diggs all night as the Vikings bounce back from an embarrassing defeat and at least keep this close, if not win it.
Pick: Vikings +6.5
- Vikings are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in Week 4.
- Vikings are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Vikings are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games in September.
- Vikings are 23-9 ATS in their last 32 games following a straight up loss.
- Vikings are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Vikings are 41-20 ATS in their last 61 games following a straight up loss of more than 14 points.
- Vikings are 43-21 ATS in their last 64 games overall.
- Vikings are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games on grass.
- Vikings are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Vikings are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. NFC.
- Vikings are 0-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 4.
- Rams are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
- Rams are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in September.
- Rams are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Rams are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Rams are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Rams are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
- Over is 4-0 in Vikings last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Under is 4-1 in Vikings last 5 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Over is 6-2 in Vikings last 8 road games.
- Over is 5-2 in Vikings last 7 games following a straight up loss.
- Under is 15-6 in Vikings last 21 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
- Under is 5-2 in Vikings last 7 games in Week 4.
- Under is 10-4 in Vikings last 14 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Under is 11-5 in Vikings last 16 games in September.
- Over is 5-1 in Rams last 6 games following a straight up win.
- Over is 8-2 in Rams last 10 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Over is 4-1 in Rams last 5 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Over is 4-1 in Rams last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Over is 4-1 in Rams last 5 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game.
- Under is 10-3 in Rams last 13 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Over is 6-2 in Rams last 8 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Over is 5-2 in Rams last 7 games in September.
- Vikings are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Over is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings in Los Angeles.
- Favorite is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings.