NFL Odds Favor Rams -4 Over Vikings in Opener

Steven Suarez

Monday, September 1, 2014 3:19 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 1, 2014 3:19 PM UTC

Before locking in our Week 1 NFL picks, we run over the opening betting odds for the Minnesota Vikings vs. St. Louis Rams matchup. With both teams starting questionable quarterbacks, how will the public decide to place their bets?

* * U P D A T E * *
In our opening report, the Rams were favored by four points at most books, but the lines have shifted slightly.

As of now, St. Louis is mostly trading as a 3.5-point favorite in the NFL odds. It looks like there's been somewhat of a sway in public opinion, as some believe the Rams don't deserve to be favored by such a number without their first-choice quarterback in Sam Bradford out there.

We have to agree. Shaun Hill isn't a bad backup, but we need to see what he's capable of with this offense before laying our NFL picks on St. Louis. We'll take Minnesota, who should go with a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson in this one.

NFL Pick: Vikings +3.5 at Bet365


How will Shaun Hill fare now that he's been thrust into the St. Louis starting quarterback role? The Rams do have the benefit of getting a very winnable home game in Week 1, but that doesn't mean they're the right play.

Neither of these teams impressed much last season. The Vikings won only five games, leading them to make changes, both at head coach and at the quarterback position.

Meanwhile, St. Louis finished 7-9, but did record some great wins here and there. They beat the likes of New Orleans (27-16) and Arizona (27-24) at home, and also crushed Indianapolis 38-8 on the road in Week 12.

Ahead of the 2014-15 season, things are looking a little different for both teams, but at the end of the day it's the Rams that will be favored for Week 1 at home. Current NFL odds show St. Louis giving away four points, as there's been a little movement (down from five) since the opening odds were released. The O/U is in the 44.5 to 45 range.

St. Louis in 2013-14 Regular Season: 7-9 SU, 7-9 ATS, -1.0 margin of victory

Minnesota in 2013-14 Regular Season: 5-10-1 SU, 9-7 ATS, -5.6 margin of victory

Despite their poor overall record, the Vikings were actually a solid team to back with your ATS picks in 2013-14. They closed out last season on a spread-covering binge, cashing in five of their final six regular season games and going 7-2 against the number over their last nine games overall

What can we expect out of Minnesota this season? Matt Cassel has taken over the starting QB role, with Teddy Bridgewater waiting in the wings and Christian Ponder relegated to third-stringer duties. But, we all know who this offense revolves around, and that's Adrian Peterson. Speedy receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is also expected to take on a large role in the offense.

The Rams are likely to go with a heavy dosage of Zac Stacy now that Sam Bradford's been lost for the season. Kenny Britt has been signed to bolster a weak receiving corps, but it's St. Louis' defense that's the unit that stands out most.

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