St. Louis Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings 9/7/14 NFL Pick, Odds, Prediction
Minnesota Vikings (0-0) at St. Louis Rams (0-0)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Edward Jones Dome)
The Line: St. Louis Rams -3.5 -- Over/Under: 45.5 See the Latest Odds
The St. Louis Rams and the Minnesota Vikings face off on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis as they kick off their 2014 NFL regular season.
The St. Louis Rams are still an up and coming team and while they were dealt a serious blow in preseason at QB, Jeff Fisher’s team should still be very competitive. The bad news for the Rams is that QB Sam Bradford is out for the season and with the Rams having high draft picks and passing on other QB’s in favor of Bradford, it leaves them in a tough spot with Shaun Hill as the starter. The good news for the Rams is they have been drafting high for so long that they should have plenty of top tier depth at most positions and after playing without Bradford most of last season, they should be a better team, even without him. Zac Stacy emerged from the pack at running back an is a nice option while the Rams also picked up last year’s college start Tre Mason out of Auburn in the NFL Draft. Austin Pettis and Chris Givens are healthy at WR and Tavon Austin is a game breaker but the Rams are without Stedman Bailey who sits with a drug suspension for four games. Even with Roger Saffold dinged up the O-line looks to be rock solid with Jake Long and Greg Robinson on the left side. On defense Robert Quinn and Chris Long are a formidable group of ends that should be able to get after the passer. James Laurenaitis is a tackling machine at MLB and Jonoris Jenkins continues to develop into one of the best corners in the game. Fisher has won wherever he has been and even in a rough division like the NFL West the Rams should be very competitive.
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The Minnesota Vikings have a new head Coach in Mike Zimmer and we have to remember this was a playoff team just two years back. Christian Ponder is still on the roster but matt Cassel is the starter right now at QB and Teddy Bridgewater is option number two and it is probably just a mater of time before he takes over. Adrian Peterson is still the best in the game at running back and just makes everyone better. Cordarrelle Patterson made his mark in the return game last season but he will be a depp threat in the passing game along with Greg Jennings and TE Kyle Rudolph. Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt are bookend tackles who can more than just get the job done. Defensively Captain Munnerlyn is a huge upgrade at corner, safety Harrison Smith is continuing to get better, and Xavier Rhodes looks like a long term answer at the other corner. First round pick LB Anthony Barr will start right away but he is pretty raw but has the physical talent while Chad Greenway always seems to get looked over but always seems to be effective. I am not sure which Matt Cassel we are going to see as he has been consistently inconsistent throughout his career but if AD stays healthy the Vikings are going to compete.
St. Louis is 5-1 against the spread in their last six home games, 18-41-2 against the spread in September, and 1-6 against the spread in week one. Minnesota is 4-0 against the spread in their last four against the NFC and 5-1 against the spread in their last six games. The favorite has covered the point spread in six of the last seven meetings of these two.
The Rams are the better team even with Hill and the defense should be able to make the Viking one-dimensional and see if Cassel can beat them, which I don’t think he can. We have a home team in week one in a dome stadium, I am going to lay the points with the Rams for a Free Pick.
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