There are millions of suicide pools, aka knockout pools, all over the nation where the object of the game is to pick one, and only one, straight up winner each week throughout the NFL season with the caveat that ties lose. The only catch is that contestants can only use a team once and the last man or woman standing wins all the loot and gets bragging rights for an entire year. Some pools have entry fees that run just a few bucks while others are designed for those who desire higher stakes and a bigger adrenaline rush. Regardless of how much money your pool costs, if you thought getting a 17-point favorite to win straight up last week was a free pass to Week 4 then think again sharp stuff because the Minnesota Vikings 27-6 loss to the woeful Buffalo Bills was a massive dose of toxic Kool-Aid to the masses who thirsted for a chalky favorite.
In all fairness, we should have seen it coming. Okay, maybe not an outright loss but top-notch reviewed online sportsbooks like 5Dimes were certainly giving bettors plenty of points to the back the underdog Buffalo Bills. Hindsight being 20/20, it was a terrific opportunity to fade Minnesota after their wild one against their divisional nemesis, the Green Bay Packers, in Week 2 and view this as a trap game with the team looking ahead to the Rams on Thursday night. The game was lopsided from box to wire and the Vikings, shorthanded in the backfield with the absence of Dalvin Cook, abandoned the run game like a red-headed step child to the point where they managed a franchise low six rushing attempts and Kirk Cousins had two of them! Do you think the Vikings’ offense was just a wee bit predictable?!
The only thing Minnesota can do is shake off the funk of a disastrous loss and try to focus on a game just 24 (or so) hours away in Los Angeles. The timing is pretty horrendous as the Rams have one of the most potent offenses in the league while Minnesota couldn’t solve the riddle of a Buffalo defense that was slapped around for 47 and 31 points in Week 1 and 2 respectively. Cousins was able to pass for almost 300 yards but it amounted to only one touchdown and an interception. In fact, the seven-year veteran had three turnovers on his first two possessions of the game which set the stage for Buffalo’s first 10 points and a momentum shift that never swung back to the Vikings. Things won’t get easier on a short week and a long flight to the City of Angels.
Perhaps there is hope if we look back at the matchup between these teams last season when the Rams traveled to Minneapolis and the Vikings notched a 24-7 victory. However, Case Keenum was under center for the Vikings and had a chip on his shoulder against LA for benching him in favor of the franchise’s golden boy and No. 1 overall pick, Jared Goff, the year before. Kirk Cousins has no such axe to grind next week and Minnesota offensive coordinator John DeFilippo may want to think about handing the ball off to Latavius Murray who rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns in that victory over LA.
As the game approaches, let’s keep our eyes on what 5Dimes, one of the most reputable and trustworthy online sportsbooks, will be dealing on this game and decide if the Vikings are worthy of a bounce back bet or will still be reeling from their ignominious defeat on their home turf. Every team has a few bad ones over the grind of the NFL season and Minnesota already had theirs so let’s hope for a strong showing from the boys as they get back on track with a win in Los Angeles.