Two of the preseason favorites to win the NFC will meet in Los Angeles on Thursday night when the unbeaten Rams (3-0) host the Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1) as solid home favorites at the sportsbooks.
The Rams have been the most impressive team in the NFL so far this season while the Vikings have gone winless in their last two games following a disappointing 27-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills as 16.5-point home favorites last week.
NFL point spread: The Rams opened as seven-point favorites; the total was 47 early in the week, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
NFL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 29.2-10.9 Rams (NFL picks on every game)
Why the Vikings can cover the spread
Minnesota is a much better team than its current record indicates, with the lone victory taking place in Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers. The Vikings should have beaten the Green Bay Packers on the road in Week 2, and their performance versus the Bills obviously left a lot to be desired.
That said, Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins still completed 40-of-55 passes for 296 yards in defeat and looks like a perfect fit for the offense through the first three games. Cousins is the key to the Vikings covering the spread in this spot, as he is the best signal caller Los Angeles will have seen to date.
Why the Rams can cover the spread
The Rams have been awesome on both sides of the ball, and their defense will have a solid shot to hold Cousins in check. Last week in a 35-23 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, they limited Philip Rivers to 226 yards after he averaged 340 in the first two games.
Los Angeles has beaten all three opponents this year by double digits to go a perfect 3-0 against the spread as well, and that dominance has helped this team become the current Super Bowl favorite. As one of just three undefeated teams left in the league, the Rams also lead the NFL in scoring differential at plus-66 points.
Smart betting pick
Los Angeles is in unchartered territory here, as the team is 1-9 straight up in its last 10 when riding a three-game winning streak, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. In addition, Minnesota has won the past five meetings in the series by an average of 18 points. The Vikings look to be live underdogs in this game, so they will cover the spread.
NFL betting trends
The total has gone under in the Vikings’ last three games vs the Rams.
The Rams are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games on a Thursday.
The Vikings are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games at night.
All NFL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagramor head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.