Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 12:00 AM
THE NFL WEEK 4 UPDATE -
RAMS LOOK TO STAY ABSOLUTELY PERFECT WITH PRIME-TIME TILT AGAINST THE VIKINGS ...
OUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
Go ahead and check it out: There are only three teams in the National Football League that are still "perfect" as we head towards Week 4 action.
The Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins are each 3-0 SU (straight-up) and 3-0 ATS (against the spread) after three full weeks of play and this evening we're gonna find out whether or not the Rams can be the first squad to 4-0 SU / ATS ... but now hear this:
Last year the aforementioned KC Chiefs roared out of the starting gate at 5-0 SU / ATS and all they did later on was blow a double-figure lead in an AFC Wild Card Playoff home loss versus Tennessee.
Go back two years ago and you'll discover the Denver Broncos stormed out to a 4-0 SU / ATS start and didn't even make it to the post-season en route to a 9-7 SU season while the Minnesota Vikings - the team the Rams play tonight in SoCal - started off 5-0 SU /ATS and also didn't even make it to he playoffs on the way to an 8-8 SU campaign.
In other words, we've seen our share of NFL squads "flame out" after rapid-fire starts but let's keep our eyes on the prize here and that is tonight's game ... our Jim Sez preview:
MINNESOTA (1-1-1) at LOS ANGELES RAMS (3-0) - 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox
It's no misprint: The LA Rams not only are "absolutely perfect" thus far but they also - and by far and away - lead the league in points differential at plus 66 (next best is Baltimore at + 46) after smoking the likes of Oakland, Arizona and their next-door neighbors the Los Angeles Chargers. And may we remind you that so far this '18 season the home teams have won/covered al three of the Thursday Night Football games.
If second-year head coach Sean McVay and Company are gonna roll to 4-0 SU / ATS start then they'll have to handle an angry Minnesota team that laid a major egg last weekend in that much-documented 27-6 loss to 17-point underdog Buffalo (you've heard it before, now you're hearing it again that was the NFL's largest outright upset in 23 years!).
Game plan for the TD-underdog Vikes is to go right at the Rams' secondary that will be without off-season acquisitions CBs Aqib Talib (surgery for his ankle injury) and Marcus Peters (calf). If money-bags QB Kirk Cousins (965 yards passing with 7 TDs and 2 INTs this year) can spot up WRs Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen - along with active TE Kyle Rudolph - then the Vikings could put up a major score. Remember that Minny's averaging just under 20 ppg so far this year.
On the flip side, the high-octane Rams - averaging a haughty 34 ppg - may change up their usual strategy here and run more with RB Todd Gurley so as to keep the ball away from Cousins and Company. Hey, Rams' QB Jared Goff (941 yards passing with 6 TDs and 2 INTs) has been busy completing 70 percent of his passes but we expect less than his usual 33 passing attempts per game here.
Spread Notes - The Rams are 6-10-1 versus the vig at home since the start of the 2016 season; the Vikings enter this clash at an astounding 41-21-1 against the odds when in the underdog role (folks, that's a sizzling .661 winning rate). P.S., note that Minnesota has won / covered the last five consecutive meetings between these two teams while dating back to the 2009 season.
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will get a jump-start on NFL Week 4 with the Side /Totals winner of tonight's showdown between the Minnesota Vikings at the Los Angeles Rams. In fact, get all the College Football, NFL Week 4 and down-the-stretch Major-League Baseball winners all this week/weekend as we head towards October. Just call 1-800-323-4453 or get the winners right here online, just keep piling up the profits on the gridiron and on the diamond!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK
Let's get you up to speed with some notes from 'round the land ...
The Miami Hurricanes host 17.5-point underdog North Carolina this evening (8 p.m. ET on ESPN) and there's a big decision to make for 'Canes coach Mark Richt: In last week's 31-17 non-cover win against 26-point pup FIU, Richt sat QB Malik Rosier after two series and inserted N'Kosi Perry and the new kid sparkled with a 17-of-25 passing line for 224 yards and 3 TDs. Expect Perry to get the starting nod here for #16 Miami which goes for a fourth straight win after that season-opening 33-17 loss at LSU ...
Okay, so have the Nebraska Cornhuskers hit "rock bottom" yet? The Big Red (0-3 SU / ATS) is actually a 4-point home underdog versus one-win Purdue this Saturday - crazy, right? - and rookie boss Scott Frost has to believe his club will put up better offensive numbers than the 39 rushing yards and 52 passing yards gained in last weekend's 56-10 loss at Michigan. Hey, if Nebraska loses here than there's a real chance the 'Huskers will be 0-6 while heading into an Oct. 20 home game against Minnesota (next two games after Purdue read at Wisconsin and at Northwestern) ...
Finally, if there is a "team-to-watch" that's coming from outside the top 10 right now it's #17 Kentucky: True, the Wildcats must prove they can stand prosperity following this 4-0 SU start that includes SEC wins against Florida and Miss State - 13.5- and 10-point favorites, no less - but note the Kentucky defense ranks 11th nationally and yappy RB Benny Snell (540 yards rushing) already is averaging 6.2 yards per pop with 7 TDs. The Bluegrass State squad never gets any national attention when it comes to the gridiron but a home win against South Carolina this Saturday will have Big Blue Nation in a frenzy ... and maybe even contemplating a New Year's Day bowl game someplace.
NOTE: Catch our key College Football previews plus lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez.