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Vikings Rams Betting Predictions – Rams, In The Playoff Hunt, Face Hopeful Vikings

Posted by Tony Bryant on 12/10/2012 6:02:50 PM

The St. Louis Rams have come from nowhere to enter the periphery of the NFC playoff picture. If they can win this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, they'll make even more noise.

Minnesota Vikings @ St. Louis Rams – Sunday, December 16    
Sport betting line: St. Louis -2.5

Why Minnesota Will Win

If you want to make a winning bet on this game, it's going to be hard to argue with a pick in favor of the Vikings for one simple reason: Adrian Peterson. The Vikings do not have much of a passing game, since quarterback Christian Ponder has substantially regressed since a brilliant month of September in which he was one of the last NFL quarterbacks to throw an interception this season. When Ponder declined, the Vikings suffered as well, tumbling from a 5-2 record to a 7-6 mark. However, in the midst of Minnesota's increased difficulties, Peterson has remained amazing. His ability to bust off at least one really big run in just about every game is keeping his yards-per-carry average well above five, which is absolutely ridiculous in the NFL. Peterson knows that opposing defenses want to stop him. He knows that opposing defensive coordinators are building their game plans to combat him, and yet he's still delivering the goods. With Peterson in the fold, Minnesota has to like its chances against almost any team in the league. The .500 Rams do not have enough offensive weapons to scare the Vikings or force Minnesota into a shootout, the one kind of game Peterson is not equipped to play.

The other big reason to take Minnesota here is that St. Louis' wide receivers are just awful. The Rams have dropped lots of passes this season, and they would have lost at Buffalo had they not been able to scramble to get a touchdown in the final minutes of regulation. Earlier in the second half, before their game-winning touchdown drive, a dropped pass on a perfectly thrown long ball by quarterback Sam Bradford denied St. Louis a chance to take the lead. If the Rams' receivers don't step up, Minnesota's defense – which stood tall in a 21-14 win over the Chicago Bears this past weekend – can create another victory for the Purple People Eaters.

Why St. Louis Will Win

When NFL betting students assess various factors and try to offer a path to victory for the Rams, they will pound home one reality: Christian Ponder is crumbling under the weight of pressure and expectations. You have to realize that while Minnesota beat Chicago, 21-14, this past weekend, the victory had nothing to do with Ponder himself. Minnesota returned one interception for a touchdown and another interception inside the Chicago 7-yard line. Essentially, the Vikings' offense scored just one touchdown on its own power and due to its own merit. Ponder was unable to solve Chicago's secondary, and it's his performance over the past month and a half that has prevented the Vikings from being a much better and more complete team. St. Louis, playing at home in a domed stadium, should be able to rush Ponder, crowd him, and force turnovers, opening the door for a Rams victory.

Who Will Win

The Rams are tough enough on defense to contain Adrian Peterson. If St. Louis can achieve that one fundamental goal, it should then force the Vikings to throw, meaning that Christian Ponder will likely make mistakes. Pick the surging Rams in this situation.

NFL Football Betting Pick: St. Louis


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