It's Thursday Night Football and the stats say the home team will almost certainly win, esepcially when that side is as good as LA Rams, says Kieran O'Connor
"Simply put, the Rams will win. Ready for a stat? We all know how much players dislike the Thursday night game. Well, no team flying two-time zones or more to the west for a Thursday game has ever won. That is 0-10 since the NFL brought the Thursday night game back in 2006. None, Zilch, Nada. It just does not happen."
Minnesota Viking @ Los Angeles Rams
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Cousins arrival has unbalanced Minnesota
The Minnesota Vikings will travel to LA to face the unbeaten Rams this Thursday and you can be certain that they will have last Sunday's game on their mind. Simply put, the Vikings were awful. At home, against a Bills side that came in 0-2 they were completely ripped apart. For context, the Vikings were 16.5 favourites on the handicap but were beaten 27-6 in what must go down as one of the biggest upsets in regular season NFL history. Where Mike Zimmer and his team go from here is anyone's guess but he certainly must look at a few things.
First off, ask any NFL fan over the last few years and they would say that the Vikings are good at running the ball and have a tough defence. Both of those things now seem to be untrue. The Vikings are throwing the ball a lot more after signing free agent Kirk Cousins and right now it does not seem to be working. The put up 22 points in the fourth quarter against Green Bay but take that out and Minnesota has now only scored 13 points in their last eight quarters. Something is not clicking and when you look at the Vikings game it shows they are attempting pass plays too much. Adding to their problems is the defensive side of things. The Vikings have been shredded for 82 points already this season in just three weeks. They must get tighter in defence, which will be hard as here come the Rams and Todd Gurley.
Gurley and Goff powering the Rams forward
I have been incredibly impressed by the Rams this season. I really believe they are Super Bowl contenders and it is no surprise that this week they have gone outright favourites to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy. They have already put up 30-plus points in every game they have been in and beat the Cardinals with a shutout. The Rams were the highest scoring team in the league last season and look even better this year, led mainly by Gurley. Voted as the NFL offensive player of the year in 2017, Gurley has just kept on going this year and already has five touchdowns to his name. He is the best running back in the league and, bar injury, will continue to rip teams apart.
Jared Goff at quarter back is arguably the second best in the League right now (behind Mahomes) and in Cooks and Kupp, LA have a very decent one-two WR game. They are 3-0 and already look a lock for the post-season. It really is time to take the Rams seriously.
Stats say Rams have this won already
So, can the Vikings win in LA? Smart money would say no, but, there is a glimmer of hope. LA's defence looks to have taken a big hit with the news that Aqib Talib is out and Marcus Peters also looks certain to be out. The two corners had helped the LA defence concede just under 200 passing yards per game this season and now means that both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen will be rubbing their hands with glee for Thursday night. Is that enough to tip the Vikings though? Certainly not.
Simply put, the Rams will win. Ready for a stat? We all know how much players dislike the Thursday night game. Well, no team flying two-time zones or more to the west for a Thursday game has ever won. That is 0-10 since the NFL brought the Thursday night game back in 2006. None, Zilch, Nada. It just does not happen.
The line on the game is currently 6.5 and I think that is pretty good. Back the Rams to cover the spread comfortably enough. In the Touchdown markets there really is only one man to look at. Gurley is currently 3/10 to score in this game but you can get 10/3 about first touchdown, considering he is a double threat in the redzone with his rushing and passing he is the one, once again, to side with.