The Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1) do not have the record they had hoped for through the first three games of the 2018 NFL season while the Los Angeles Rams (3-0) look like the best team in the league so far.
The question is, will the Vikings prove they are still legitimate Super Bowl contenders when they visit the Rams as seven-point road underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for Thursday Night Football?
It may come as a bit of a surprise that Minnesota has won the past five meetings with Los Angeles (formerly St. Louis) both straight up and against the spread by an average of 18 points, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
That includes a 24-7 home victory last year with the Vikings closing as 1.5-point favorites. Minnesota gave up the first touchdown of the game and then scored 17 points in the fourth quarter for an easy win, and that was with Case Keenum under center. This rematch should be high scoring even though two of the team's first three games have gone under the total.
While the Vikings have won just one game, Keenum's replacement Kirk Cousins has averaged nearly 322 passing yards and totaled seven touchdowns with two interceptions. Whether Minnesota wins or loses this game at Los Angeles, you can bet Cousins will perform well again even if he is facing an elite defense here.
In a 29-29 tie with the Green Bay Packers two weeks ago, Cousins completed a 75-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs midway through the fourth quarter followed by a 22-yarder to Adam Thielen with 31 seconds left. You can get +172 (bet $100 to win $172) that the longest pass completion for Cousins will be over 36.5 yards, and that is your best bet.
For the Rams, the new betting favorites on the Super Bowl 53 odds, the over/under on counterpart Jared Goff's longest completion is even higher at 40.5, but you can expect them to run the ball more with Todd Gurley.
In fact, Gurley has scored the first touchdown of the game twice already, hitting paydirt five times overall on the ground and through the air. The second-best bet on the props board is for Gurley to score a touchdown anytime at +136. But you can get even more value on him scoring the first touchdown overall for the third time in four games at +450.