First up, apologies about the weekends bets, frankly, they were awful. I’m not too sure how to go about turning it around as I believe they were sensible picks, but things definitely aren’t working at the moment. – In fairness it was a very strange weekend with some crazy results that even the best in Vegas weren’t expecting. But still. I probably staked too much.
Anyway, on to week 4, starting with a battle of possibly the top 2 NFC teams.
Vikings (+7) @ Rams: Total – 49
The Minnesota Vikings were my main gripe last weekend, I found what I, and many others thought was the best of the season in Murray anytime and Vikings to win at 21/10 – It was mispriced as they had Cook+Vikings at even. The value was there, the bet was correct, but the Vikings massively let us all down! – I think it’s safe to say they were probably looking ahead to this match and took the Bills for granted and got roundly punished for it, the Murray bet was done once they went 21 points behind in the first quarter!
I trust in Mike Zimmer, if they were planning ahead as I believe, then I think he’ll have a good gameplan to try and stop McVay and this Rams side, I also think McVay is one of the best offensive minds in the league so it’s even tough to pick a winner coach vs coach!
I like Kirk Cousins and feel he is the QB they need to take the next step after Case Keenum did an admirable job last year. I have to believe he won’t have a game like last weeks any time soon, they do seem to slip in for him every now and again though. He had a great game against the Packers the week before and made a pass which very few in the league would have made to Thielen in the front of the endzone, it was a thing of beauty. 6 TDs and 1 INT in the 2 previous games, averaging around 300 per. The optimist in me says he’s good enough to overcome last week. The pessimist in me says that he’s the most pressured QB in the league so far this season and going up against the Rams interior could be a big worry!
It helps that he has some very good weapons, only Adam Thielen and Juju (prick) Smith-Schuster have topped 100 yards in every game this season so far, he’s had the most targets in the league so far with 44 and caught 32 of them (6,12 and 14) He hasn’t found the endzone, and only scored 3 last year but between the 20s he’s definitely the go-to man. Stefon Diggs is 12th in targets for WRs, he’s a little tougher to catch on a good night yardage-wise, but is the look when they get near the endzone, scoring 3 in 3 so far this season. Laquoan Treadwell looks like he may finally be stepping up as a WR3, he’s had a rough couple of years since being drafted, but has got himself on the score-sheet this season albeit he comes into this game with just 8 receptions, definitely not one to target for betting but worth keeping an eye on throughout the season I think. Cousins third target is Kyle Rudolph at tight end, he got the 1 passing TD last week to add to his one against the 49ers in week 1, he’s a big guy and makes plays, another one who’s tough to call but is one of the main guys in the redzone.
I’ve got to admit, I’m very surprised to see Stefon Diggs at higher odds than Thielen and Rudolph at 5/2 especially with the Rams missing their 2 starting cornerbacks – Stefon Diggs anytime – 5/2 (WillHill) – 2 points. I’m not sure I’d take the under 2/1 that’s available elsewhere though.
As of 1600 GMT on Thursday the running game is up in the air. I am assuming that Cook missed out the Buffalo game as they wanted to give him an extended rest from his knock, but it’s looking exceedingly likely that he’ll miss out tonight as well. To be honest he wasn’t blowing people away before the injury anyway, but he’s still better than what they’re left with otherwise. Last week is a write off as far as any conclusions on his play go, he got 2 attempts in the running game as the game went way off script, on the plus side he caught 5 for 30 yards, so he can help them there, and he’s usually the goal-line back if they choose to run the ball. A best price of just 2/1 isn’t a viable betting option though.
The Vikings defence is usually whewre they excel, again I think we can basically ignore last week. BUT they are missing Everson Griffen who had 13 sacks last year, worryingly he’s checked himself into hospital to have a pysch check so a return to action doesn’t look like it’s coming soon and hopefully he’ll be all right in the long run. They still have depth in the defense though, Xavier Rhodes is one of the best corners in the league and Anthony Barr is a great linebacker, he’ll be pissed off after being hurdled by a rookie QB last week! Harrison Smith is one of the best safeties in the league too, suffice to say they’ve got depth at every level and will be keen to show they’re not dogshit like last week.
The Rams are the best team in the league at the moment. They’ve accrued a shit-ton (fancy word in accrue then shit-ton… nice) of talent on their roster and are making the most of their Superbowl window with Jared Goff on a rookie contract. It’s what teams should do, and it’s looking like it may well pay off for them.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t really rated Goff very highly, I thought last year he was bailed out by Gurley padding his stats by taking dump offs to the house, and that frankly he was a system QB helped immensely by having a rainman genius as his head coach. BUT… He’s impressed this year, he’s looked better in every game and has made passes he wouldn’t have attempted last year to all 3 of his main WRs and Gurley. To the point, he’s thrown for exactly 354 yards in the last 2 games and his QBR and completion percentage has improved week by week as well. I’m starting to come around to the fact that he may in-fact be a decent QB.
Talking of those WRs, Cooks, Woods and Kupp have all been involved so far – 19,19 and 15 in terms of receptions so far. The addition of Brandin Cooks has been brilliant for the team as whole, have a reliable downfield threat has opened up everything for the other two, and it’s no real surprise to see Cooks leading the team in yards so far this season, he could have had a lot more too had it not been for some PI calls on him. I’m actually tempted to have an EW bet on him leading the league in yards come the end of the season, around 20/1 and 1/3 odds on William Hill at the moment, but I’ll hold fire for now, he’s yet to find the endzone, but I’m pretty sure that will happen in the next week or two. Robert Woods has found the endzone twice and leads the target share for the team, 3, 6 and 10 receptions in the opening 3 games respectively, he was the leader in yards and targets per game for them last year so it’s not that surprising. Cooper Kupp was the main redzone target last year, well from the WRs anyway, and seems to have retained that role this year scoring twice from fewer receptions than Woods. Tight end is a bit of a mess from a betting and fantasy perspective, I was sure coming into the year the Gerald Everett was the guy they liked, but Tyler Higbee has been on the field far more than him this year, and seems to be the preferred guy and has out-snapped Everett considerably. He’s had 1 target in the red zone, for 1 reception and 1 TD, from his total of 4 targets. Hard to trust, but a big price at least at nearly 7/1 on Unibet.
You may have heard of their running back., Todd Gurley isn’t just a one-season wonder, he was brilliant last year and has carried that into this year, he’s topped 100 yards on the ground in 2 of the 3 games, and had over 30 yards receiving in all of them as well, scoring 5 TDs. His fit in this McVay offense is just ridiculous. The offense has been ticking over so nicely that the backup RB Malcolm Brown has been mixed in as well, and had his best game of the season in the game against the Chargers last week, he’s had 5 red-zone carries this year, but they all came in the blowout against the Cardinals, so I’m not sure it’s worth chasing anything with him.
Their defence has taken a couple of hits this week, they recruited cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib (prick) in the summer and both are ruled out of this game, Talib having been put on the IR and Peters with a calf strain. They have good depth there, but they had been targeted very rarely so it’s a loss for them, and a positive for the Vikings. They also lack any good edge rush although make up for it with interior pressure from Suh, Donald and Brock who are the best in the league at what they do. They’ll have fun against this offensive line.
I’ll admit it. I’m confused. I’ve flip-flopped a few times on who I think will cover the spread, whether it will be a high or low scoring game and pretty much everything to do with this game. I am planning on being awake for it as it’s the first REALLY big game of the season and it should be a cracker.
I do like the price on Stefon Diggs to score especially with the cornerback injuries for the Rams. And Treadwell has topped this line in 2 of his 3 games, it’s o23.5 at odds on in other places, and 25.5 on 365.
The receptions lines are set around where they should be on 365. Logic says Thielen will top 6.5, Woods, Cooks and Kupp will probably beat theirs of 5.5, 5.5 and 4.5 respectively, but I’m avoiding them all as I admitted I’ll a little unsure on how the match will pan out. It seems weird that they have a longest pass received market but haven’t got Brandin Cooks on there.
I’m leaning towards the Rams winning, but the Vikings covering the spread, and I have no idea on the O/U frankly, leaning towards unders on it.
And because it’s even I’ll take the Vikings to score a Field goal in the first half.
Skybet have their bet £10 on RaB get a free fiver offer, I quite like the look of the Gridion one on there, “J.Goff 225+ Passing Yards, T.Gurley 100+ Rushing Yards & T.Gurley to score a TD at 3/1” looks OK. Each team 1 FG and 1 TD in each half at 10/1 seems viable.
- Stefon Diggs anytime TD – 9/4 (3.25) Willhill – 2 points (It was 5/2 when I wrote this hence the discrepancy above)
- Laquon Treadwell o22.5 receiving yards – 1/1 (2.00) Paddypower – 1 point
- Vikings o0.5 first half field goals – 1/1 (2.00) 365 – 2 points.
5 point outlay on the night. Fingers crossed it’s better than the bloody weekend.
Also, I’ve made a facebook group if you want to join and give some opinions on your bets! – https://www.facebook.com/groups/NFLBetting/ – and signup to RedzoneSports for some good markets on the NFL, they had some tasty ones on QBs at the weekend. They’ve got a free to enter NFL Predictor which gives out free bets each week and a tasty prize at the end of the season once you’ve signed up – Doing it here helps me keep everything free.
Thanks for reading, Adam.