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Los Angeles Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings Point Spread - Pick

Los Angeles Rams (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS)
Week 11 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: LAR +2.5/MIN -2.5
Over/Under Total: 46.5

The Los Angeles Rams come to Minneapolis on week 11 to face the Minnesota Vikings in a battle of 7-2 teams. Both teams have also been steady at the betting windows, each with a 6-3 ATS record. Both teams won on Sunday. The Vikings came off the bye to win their fifth game in a row with a nice 38-30 road win over the Redskins. The Rams, meanwhile, scored a 33-7 home win over the Houston Texans, winning their third in a row to go to 7-2. Who can come up with the big win in this battle of rising NFC contenders?

The Vikings have really done well to get to 7-2. What makes it impressive is how they've managed to forge success in the heat of adversity. The injury issues they have faced are enough to make most teams a shadow of their prior selves. But they have flipped it, with a lot of guys stepping up on both sides of the ball to make it work. At quarterback, Case Keenum has been filling in very well, with the depth of their run-game paying off big over the last handful of weeks. Add to that a rising commodity in their defense and the Vikes have distinguished themselves as interesting contenders coming out of the NFC North.

On Sunday, Keenum was big on the day with 304 yards and a career-high 4 touchdown passes on 21-for-29 passing. He did throw two picks and has been turning the ball over more lately, but they've won those games, so how much did it really matter? We've seen Keenum really connecting well lately with Adam Thielen, who had 8 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Getting Stefon Diggs back as a contributing member of this offense is big and he had 78 yards receiving on Sunday. Jarius Wright also caught a TD pass from Keenum. With 68 yards and a TD from Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon providing some production on the ground, they have managed to cushion the loss of promising rookie back Dalvin Cook. Making it all come together is a line that has really managed to click into form this season.

The Minnesota defense wasn't great on Sunday, albeit on the road against a Redskins offense that on the right day can be quite prolific. It was 35-20 Vikings going into the final quarter, with Washington adding some late production that maybe made the game look closer than it was. The run-defense was typically-stout, as they've been all season. With Cousins going over 300 yards, the secondary wasn't on-point. In a way, it's promising that the Vikings were able to win more of a shootout-type of win, as usually their defense is a big part of the winning formula. But with little pass-rush and not a lot of big plays on this side of the ball, they look for better this week at home against a tough incoming Rams squad.

The Rams may have had it easier opponent-wise on Sunday with the dilapidated Texans, but a 33-7 win was still impressive. In their last three games, the Rams have won all three by a combined score of 117-24. They have been really dominant, with their defense rounding into fine form. Most surprising this season is an offense that is the top-scoring group in the league. They again had a big game on Sunday and look to keep it going this week. People might be waiting for the shoe to drop with the Rams, being that it's been so long since they were good. But remember how sudden it was when the "Greatest Show on Turf" took hold and we might be seeing something similar here. A lot can happen from now, but they look to be pretty strong and reliable on both sides of the ball.

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Rams' quarterback Jared Goff was again big on Sunday with 355 yards passing and 3 touchdowns on 25-for-37 passing with no picks. Robert Woods has been huge since returning to his hometown and had two more touchdowns on Sunday with 171 yards receiving. Sammy Watkins also caught a TD pass. Todd Gurley had a good day with 68 yards rushing and 68 yards receiving. A lot of the production was seen in a 21-point third quarter where the Rams pulled away from the Texans. Also key is K Greg Zuerlein, who has made 28 of 29 field goals and all his extra points. He was 4-for-4 on Sunday.

At the beginning part of the season, it was the Rams offense that was shining, while the defense labored in certain cases. With 57 combined points allowed in their last five games, they have been very stout and they're a big part of the reason we've seen such dominant wins from the Rams in recent weeks. The front was again good, with Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers recording sacks. Tyrunn Walker and Matt Longacre both recovered fumbles, while Mark Barron and Blake Countess each had picks on the day. The defense kept the Houston run-game in check, while seeing to it that Houston QB Tom Savage had a rough day. They held Houston to 4-for-12 on third downs, with only one of Houston's 13 drives yielding any positive results.

This is a heavyweight battle between two teams that have really gotten their acts together. From a scheduling and difficulty-of-opponent standpoint, the Vikings might find this jump in class a bit more-jarring. They've caught more breaks as far as who they have faced and how those teams were playing at the time the Vikes met them. But their recipe for success is pretty solid and bankable. The LA Rams offense might find less success this week against a good Vikes' home-defense. It's not an easy place to play, as LA has not made it up near that part of the country this season. I see the Vikings eking out the close win this week at home.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Minnesota Vikings minus 2.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Rams vs. Vikes game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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