NFL nut Kyle Brown (@Kyleianbrown) runs the rule over the Thursday night NFL clash between Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams.
Minnesota Vikings @ Los Angeles Rams | Friday 21st September 2018, 01:20 | Sky Sports
Did anybody call the Buffalo Bills @ Minnesota Vikings game correctly on Sunday?
It was the biggest handicap upset in 23 years. If you predicted that, then please have my sincerest plaudits and I welcome you to take over my Thursday column – you’re clearly a class above me.
The Minnesota hype-train came to a crashing halt last week as they were humiliated by a Bills team that were 0-2 with 78 points scored against them in the opening two weeks. The only positive I can take from the performance is that their new kicker Dan Bailey didn’t miss any extra points or field goals… albeit he didn’t score any either.
Now four days later they find themselves up against a perfect starting Los Angeles Rams team that look simply unstoppable on offence. Following a stellar performance in each of the opening three games, Sean McVey’s Rams side have now put up 30+ points in 11 of his 19 games as head coach, a remarkable offensive stat.
Both sides are missing key pieces on the defensive side of the ball, which should hopefully make this an end-to-end shootout.
For the Vikings, pass rusher Everson Griffen is out and linebacker Trae Waynes was pulled from the defeat to the Bills and remains questionable for the Thursday night match-up.
The Rams will be without starting cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, which should allow the Vikings to find success in the passing game.
The betting angles
From a betting point of view, the humbling last week by Buffalo gives better odds on all Minnesota related markets, and that’s where I’m going to look to find the best value.
Adam Thielen had a career-high 14 receptions in Sunday’s match-up – albeit this is thanks to the Vikings having to play a one-dimensional passing game following the early setback. That said, it takes his total receptions to 32, which is the third-most in league history through the first three games of a season.
Every caught pass offers up a possible scoring opportunity, so I would jump on his price of 2/1 at Betfair to be an Anytime Touchdown scorer (as low as 1/1 with other bookmakers at the time of writing, so I do expect the 2/1 price to shorten as the game approaches).
With the aforementioned defensive injuries to both teams, I expect both Jared Goff and Cousins to put up big numbers in what should be a high scoring game. Both sides are entering this week with the tied-fifth average passing yards per-game and either side should improve on that stat given the defensive match-up.
Cousins has thrown for 965 through three games, an individual average of 321 – well above what SkyBet are offering as their even-money line.
Providing the Bills game was just a freak result and not a sign of decline from this highly rated Vikings side, then I can see him making amends and resorting pride and reputation to the state of Minnesota.