Back Gurley & Rams +2 vs. Vikings With Your NFL Picks

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, November 8, 2015 7:50 PM GMT

Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015 7:50 PM GMT

It's a pivotal matchup in Minnesota for two teams that want to remain viable in the postseason discussion. The Rams and Vikings are rolling right now but which one will roll right into our NFL picks this Sunday?

St. Louis Rams (4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS)
The Rams have won three of their last four contests but more importantly have covered the number in those victories as well. St. Louis is a team built on defense as evidenced by their 5th ranked stop unit allowing only 17.9 points per game. However, their marquee player is on offense and his name is Todd Gurley. Gurley was selected 10th overall in the draft by the Rams last spring even after he tore his ACL in November of '14. The former Georgia Bulldog has rewarded the Rams' faith with stellar performances that have fans coronating him as the new king of the turf. He is the first running back in league history to run for at least 125 yards in his first four starts and is positively electric in open space. His 6.12 yards per carry is tops in the league.

Last week the Rams cruised to a 27-6 thumping of the 49ers based in part to a 71-yard touchdown scamper by Gurley and a lockdown defense. St. Louis has surrendered just four field goals over the past two weeks but before we get too carried away we must consider that those opponents were Cleveland and San Francisco. Nevertheless, a win is a win and the Rams are now 4-3 and in second place behind the Cardinals in the NFC West.

 

Minnesota Vikings (5-2 SU, 6-1 ATS)
If you have been blindly backing the Vikings in your NFL picks then I salute you. Minnesota has made believers out of most of us with a 5-2 record and going 6-1 ATS. Their most recent victory came at the expense of the Chicago Bears where the Vikings rallied after falling behind 20-13 late in the fourth quarter when Teddy Bridgewater hit Stefon Diggs for a 40-yard strike and kicker Blair Walsh connected on a 36-yard field goal with no time remaining. The Vikings used to lose games like that before but now they have the mental temerity to win them.

Minnesota heads into this meeting with the second stingiest defense in the league surrendering only 17.4 points per game. Unfortunately they have not been able to duplicate those efforts offensively with Teddy Bridgewater commanding one of the least prolific aerial attacks in the NFL averaging only 194.7 yards per game. However when it comes to the ground-and-pound the Vikings are among the best with Adrian Peterson in the backfield. Peterson has rebounded from his personal travails to put together a dynamic season and lead the 5th ranked rushing offense. It should be fascinating to watch the elder statesman attempt to school the young upstart Gurley.

 

Betting Analysis
This game screams go low which is what I would advise you to do any time you see a matchup that pits two stout and stingy defenses opposed by run-first offenses. This is exactly what we have here but this article is about choosing a side in our NFL picks and not a total.

These teams are mirror images of each other. Even the quarterbacks have strikingly similar though unspectacular numbers. Perhaps the thing that the Rams have over the Vikings will tip the balance in their favor and that is their ability to harass and sack the quarterback. Teddy Bridgewater has been sacked 20 times already this season trailing only six other starting QB's. Meanwhile Nick Foles has hit the dirt in the backfield only 11 times this season. That is the one telling stat that separates these two very similar teams. And I also don't mind grabbing the points that the NFL odds makers are giving us.

NFL Picks: Play the Rams +2 at Bookmaker

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