- The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Rams last nine games.
- The total has gone UNDER in four of the Patriots last five games.
- The Rams are 4-2 ATS in their last six games.
Don’t look now, but the Patriots have won four of their past five games. New England’s defense contained Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert to the tune of 209 passing yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions and a paltry 43.7 quarterback rating. With the 45-0 blanking of LAC, the Pats improved to 6-6 straight up and against the spread this season.
The Rams have won three of four and with the Seahawks embarrassing home loss to the Giants, Los Angeles is now tied atop the NFC West standings after their 38-28 victory over the Cardinals in Arizona. Sean McVay’s club is 8-4 straight up and 7-5 against the spread this season.
|Week 14: New England Patriots vs L.A. Rams Game Info|
|Date: December 10, 2020, 8:20 p.m. ET|
|Stadium: SoFi Stadium|
|TV Coverage: FOX|
|Opening Odds: Rams -6.5 | O/U 45.5|
|How to Bet: Best Online Sportsbook Reviews|
The Rams opened as 6.5-point home favorites, but has since dipped down Los Angeles -6. The Patriots moneyline is anywhere between +225 and +235. The point total opened at 45.5, but ticked down to 45 Monday morning. The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Rams last nine games and four of the Patriots last five.
The UNDER has hit in all five Rams home games and eight of the Patriots 12 games this season.
Patriots News and Notes
By not committing a turnover in their win over the Chargers, New England improved their record to 72-10 when finishing without a giveaway since 2008. They’ll want to embrace that trend heading into Thursday night as the Rams rank fourth in takeaways per game at 1.7 and are averaging 2.3 forced turnovers in their past three games.
While Cam Newton’s two rushing touchdowns were a welcomed sight in the Patriots Week 13 win, much of New England’s path to a 45-nothing shutout of the Chargers were thanks to the defense and special teams. In fact, Newton has evolved into more of a game manager – save for three games – than an air-it-out downfield passer. He’s passed for fewer than 85 yards in back to back games and fewer than 119 yards in three of his past four. This offense, which is averaging fewer than 5.0 yards per play the past three weeks, is grinding out yardage and points with the hope the defense (and special teams) will bail them out. There doesn’t appear to be a specific flow to the Patriots offense that some had hoped Newton would bring under the guise of a healthy, fresh start. Through 11 games, he’s passed for five touchdowns, nine interceptions with 11 rushing touchdowns.
New England’s back-to-back wins came against young quarterbacks, Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert. This is a testament to Belichick’s ability to scheme and exploit the weaknesses of the uninitiated. It won’t be the case Thursday night when facing Jared Goff and a new-look Rams offense since the last time the two teams squared off. The Pats defense held the Cardinals to 17 points (averaging 27.7) and shutout the Chargers (averaging 23.0), but during this active streak of four wins in five games, they allowed Joe Flacco’s J-E-T-S and Deshaun Watson’s Texans to rack up 27 points each. Those are veteran quarterbacks and not a Murray or a Herbert. Goff has a real opportunity here to bury the nightmare Super Bowl loss and evoke at least a little bit of revenge.
Rams News and Notes
The Rams schedule the past month has been relentless:
- vs Seahawks (win, 23-16)
- at Buccaneers (win, 27-24)
- vs 49ers (loss 23-20)
- at Cardinals (win 38-28)
And now they have three days to prepare for a pesky Patriots team that is doing its best to back-door their way into the playoff picture. So, while it’s great that the Rams offense has shown signs of life at 28.3 points per game the past three weeks, Los Angeles’ road to victory this Thursday night is not going to be on the arm of Goff and legs of Cam Akers. The onus will be squarely on Aaron Donald and the defense to completely shut Cam Newton down.
The good news is, according to the stats, Los Angeles’ defense continues to improve. On the season, they rank first in yards allowed per play at 4.6 YAPP, but in their previous three games, they’ve held opposing offenses to just 4.2. When facing an anemic offense like the Patriots, this already provides the Rams an advantage.
Rams are allowing 198 pass and 93 rush yards per game on the season, but just 194 and 82 per over the past three, respectively. Granted, strength of opponent plays a role, but L.A.’s defense is also 13 weeks into the regular season and they’re still finding ways to improve year-to-date stats. Newton’s command of the offense is susceptible to an avalanche of pressure from the front seven. Donald and Kenny Young even managed to pick up a sack apiece of the mobile and speedy Kyler Murray. Newton’s been sacked twice per game over the past three Patriots games.
Unless you like defense, this could be an ugly game to watch. I truly believe Belichick has embraced the fact that his offense isn’t going to win him any games this season and has placed all the pressure on his defense to bend, but not break like it has time and time again. Goff’s path to success is to take care of the ball and for Akers, a rookie running back averaging 78 rush yards per game over the past two weeks, to do the same. Turnovers will be the only way I envision the Patriots pulling off the moneyline upset.
Betting Pick: UNDER 45 & Patriots +6.5/+6 (depending on book)
New England will remain on the West Coast after beating the Chargers last Sunday. This little nuance only benefits head coach Bill Belichick as he puts together his game plan and strategy for not only slowing down the Rams offense, but protecting Cam Newton long enough that the offense can muster a few touchdowns. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is, but I do believe these are two defenses that can bend, but not break on the short week leading me to like the UNDER more than the spread as my preferred pick.