One of the premier match-ups of the week takes place during the early slate of games and it represents the top two teams in the NFC.
Somewhat surprising, but there’s no denying the 7-2 records of both the Los Angeles Rams and the Minnesota Vikings. Both teams have been dominant this season – getting by with crushing defensive units, and putting up key points when it matters. This should be a fascinating game to watch, especially with playoff spots and maybe even a first-round bye on the line.
It’ll also be intriguing to see how Case Keenum fares coming off of last week’s outing – but this time with Teddy Bridgewater breathing down his neck. We all know Bridgewater is going to get his shot – but when that will be is anybody’s guess. Could this be the week Teddy returns? Read on below for more details, game analysis, and an official betting prediction.
Rams vs. Vikings Betting Odds:
Los Angeles Rams +1.5 (-110)
@ Minnesota Vikings -1.5 (-110)
Over 46 (-110)
Under 46 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Rams vs. Vikings Pick:
Case Keenum will be going up against his old team this week, so you can bet he’ll look to have another marquee performance on Sunday. Last week was a breeze, but this week will be significantly more difficult. The Rams bring a ton of pressure and generate a lot from their stout defensive line. It will be imperative that the Vikings protect Keenum and give him enough time and space in the pocket to release the football.
If Keenum gets decent protection, I like the Vikings’ chances to move the football on a pretty solid Rams’ defense. Trumaine Johnson has been very disappointing this season in L.A.’s secondary, and Stefon Diggs should be able to dominate this matchup. If Keenum can’t get the job done, and the Vikes need more speed and elusiveness from the pocket – I’m certain they’ll give Bridgewater a run on Sunday. Adam Thielen too is in a league of his own right now and should be able to find space downfield. The run game may not be successful, but the Vikings offense will find ways through the air on Sunday.
Minnesota has bolstered their defensive line and it is expected that Everson Griffen will return to the lineup in Week 11. That’s good news because the Rams have been blocking quite well for Jared Goff this season. Watching Minnesota’s defensive front take on the Rams’ O-Line should be the battle that decides this game. Along with Griffen, the Vikes have Linval Joseph in the middle, and Danielle Hunter on the edge. That duo wreak havoc, and despite the tough match-up – the Rams won’t have felt pressure like this all season. Jared Goff hasn’t played a pass rush or a defense like this all season, and some growing pains would not surprise me. He’s still a young QB, who has had the stars align perfectly for him in his sophomore season.
In the ground game, Minnesota has yet to allow an 100-yard rusher all season, so Todd Gurley is going to get bottled up. That’ll put even more of an emphasis on Goff through the air – where Xavier Rhodes will likely blanket his new favourite target in Robert Woods. Can Cooper Kupp or Sammy Watkins step up enough to move the chains? Doubtful. I like the Vikings in this match-up at home.
Even though the Vikings play four days after Sunday’s showdown, I don’t expect them to be looking forward to the Detroit Lions. They are playing the best team in the NFC and they know playoff spots and bye weeks are on the line here. Moreover, a lot is being made about Case Keenum performing against the Rams’ ferocious defensive front. But the way I see things, if he struggles – it’s the perfect excuse to go back to the franchise talent in Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings will have answers for the Rams’ game plan, and lean to the home team on Sunday.
PICK = Vikings -1.5 (-110)