The Los Angeles Rams (3-0) are set to host the Minnesota Vikings (2-1) on Thursday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 8:20 EST at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and will be televised on both FOX and the NFL Network.
Taking a look at the Week 4 NFL odds, the books opened this up with the Rams as a 6.5-point home favorite with a total of 48 points. Most books still have LA at -6.5, though some have jumped it up to -7. The total is also climbing and is at 48.5 or 49 depending on where you shop.
Rams vs Vikings Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds
Minnesota comes into this one off a shocking 27-6 loss at home as a 16.5-point favorite to the Bills. No one saw this coming, as Buffalo was strongly considered the worst team in the league and had been outscored by 55 points in their 0-2 start. Nothing went right for the Vikings’ offense, who managed just 292 total yards, had three turnovers and didn’t score a point until the 4th quarter. It wasn’t much better on defense, where one of the league’s best units gave up way to many big plays to a bad Bills offense.
While the Vikings stumbled in Week 3, the Rams made a big statement in a 35-23 victory at home over the Chargers, where they easily covered as a 7-point favorite. LA had 521 total yards and 33 first downs, as Jared Goff and company did whatever they wanted. The Rams have scored at least 33 points in all 3 games during their 3-0 start and have outscored the opposition by a combined score of 102-36.
This isn’t just another game for these two teams. It’s a showdown between two of the top contenders to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this year. These two teams played at Minnesota in Week 11 of last year and the Vikings won 24-7 as a slim 2-point home favorite.
Free NFL ATS Pick & Betting Predictions: OVER 48
If I had to take a side, I would probably grab the +7 with the Vikings, but I hate backing the road team in these Thursday games and the Rams aren’t exactly a team I want to be going against with how well they are playing. My strongest lean comes on the total, as I think this one easily gets into the 50s.
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I know last week’s Thursday night game was a defensive battle between the Jets and Browns, but it still came within 1-point of going OVER the total. These Thursday night games are typically higher scoring. Not only do teams have just 3 days to prepare, but their bodies only get 3 days to recover. Defense is all about energy and effort and players just aren’t flying around the field like they would be on normal rest.
It also helps having one of the best offensive teams in the league playing. The Rams are making it look easy on the offensive side of the ball and as good as the Vikings are defensively, I don’t see them slowing down this attack, especially on the road. Not to mention, I think Los Angeles will be out to send a message against this Minnesota defense that held them to just 7 points last year. Reminds me a lot of their second meeting against the Seahawks last year. The Rams scored just 10-points in a loss at home to Seattle in Week 5, only to put up 42 on them in Week 15.
The Vikings defense also figures to come into this game a bit shorthanded. Starting corner Trae Waynes and backup corner Marcus Sherels are both questionable, as is stud defensive end Everson Griffen.
As for Minnesota’s offense against the Rams defense. As bad as the Vikings looked offensively in that game against the Bills, that’s as bad as you will see them play on that side of the ball, probably the rest of the year. We also saw Los Angeles not look nearly as good on defense in their step up in competition after facing the Raiders and Cardinals the first two weeks. Philip Rivers threw for 2 scores and Melvin Gordon Rushed for 80 yards on just 15 carries, as the Charges amassed 356 yards.
The Rams are also dealing with some big injuries right now. Both Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib had to leave the game against the Chargers with ankle injuries. Given the short turnaround, LA could easily go into this without both of their star corners. They may also still be without linebacker Mark Barron (questionable). Kirk Cousins should be able to pick up big yards down the field and the Vikings will likely be forced to push the ball to try and keep pace with that Rams offense.
OVER is 30-15 in the Vikings last 45 games vs excellent passing teams that average 7.5+ yards per pass attempt and 13-3 in their last 16 road games vs elite teams that come in outscoring their opponents by 10+ points/game. Give me the OVER 48.