Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, left, and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speak before Super Bowl 53. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
- The Los Angeles Rams are 5-point home favorites over the New England Patriots in the Week 14 TNF matchup
- TNF betting record: 4-8-1 (-1.99 units won)
- New England has won six in a row straight up over the Rams
The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams meet Thursday for the first time since clashing in Super Bowl 53.
Once again, much is on the line for both teams.
LA has moved into the lead of the NFC West with an 8-4 record. The Patriots, once languishing at 2-5, have won four of five games. With a 6-6 record, New England remains on the cusp of playoff contention in the AFC.
The Rams are sitting as 5-point home favorites in this game and are 3-2 against the spread this season as home chalk. The spread opened at LA -6.
Patriots vs Rams Odds – Week 14 TNF
|New England Patriots||+205||+5 (-109)||O 45.5 (-110)|
|Los Angeles Rams||-240||-5 (-112)||U 45.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Dec. 9th at DraftKings.
Kickoff is set for 8:20 pm EtT at SoFi Field. The forecast is calling for a 61-degree temperature, 6 mph wind, and cloud cover.
Patriots Must Run The Table
If New England is to rally and make the NFL playoffs for the 12th successive season, losing is no longer an option. They must go 4-0 to finish 10-6.
The Rams offer the first of three straight difficult exams for Bill Belichick’s team to pass. Next week, it’s at 8-4 Miami. That’s followed by a home date against 9-3 AFC East-leading Buffalo.
THE PATRIOTS WIN!! #GoPats
New England isn’t finished yet pic.twitter.com/EyPw8CSziQ
— 🎄☘️ (@CullerSports) December 7, 2020
New England appears to have finally found an identity 75% of the way through the first season of the post-Tom Brady era. Quarterback Cam Newton is figuring out the Pats offense and Belichick is deciphering how best to captitalize on Newton’s strengths.
.@CameronNewton would not be denied.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 6, 2020
During their 4-1 run, Newton has passed for 300 yards in just one game. New England lost that game to Houston. In the past two wins, Newton has run for 94 yards, averaging 4.08 yards per carry.
The Rams defense struggles against mobile QBs. Both Kyler Murray and Josh Allen gave them fits, combining to put up 63 points against LA. Newton is 2-1 lifetime against the Rams.
Minimizing The Mistakes
New England is winning again because the team is playing Patriots-style football. They are playing efficiently, making few mistakes while capitalizing on opposition miscues.
In the past five games, New England has turned the ball over twice. The Pats have converted 47.6% of third-down plays and 80% of fourth-down gambles. They scored two special-team touchdowns in last week’s 45-0 rout of the LA Chargers.
Jared Goff on Sean McVay’s pointed postgame criticism of his turnovers: “If he was lying, I’d feel different. He’s absolutely right. I’m a big boy. I can handle it.”
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) December 3, 2020
The Rams have committed 20 giveaways this season. That’s tied for the sixth-most in the NFL. Rams QB Jared Goff has turned the ball over 14 times overall and 10 times in the past four games.
LA is also on its third kicker of the season. Patriots K Nick Folk has won two games this season with 50-yard last-play field goals.
Rams running back Cam Akers (shoulder) is listed as questionable but is expected to play. Akers carried the ball a season-high 21 times for 72 yards and a TD in Sunday’s win over Arizona. Defensive end Michael Brockers (stinger) is also listed as questionable.
#Rams Week 13 RB Usage
– Cam Akers, 65% snaps, 21 carries, 1 target (94 yards, TD)
– Darrell Henderson, 20% snaps, 3 carries, 3 targets (74 yards, TD)
– Malcolm Brown, 15% snaps, 3 carries, 1 target (27 yards)
Cam Akers is taking over! pic.twitter.com/4OpBMEkoKW
— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) December 7, 2020
Newton (abdomen), tight end Ryan Izzo (neck), guard Shaq Mason (calf), DE Lawrence Guy (shoulder), nose tackle Byron Cowart (back), linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (groin), cornerback JJ Jackson (hip) and safety Kyle Dugger (toe) are questionable for the Patriots. All have been participating in practice, though.
New England has won six in a row from the Rams. The Pats haven’t lost at LA since 1992.
#Patriots playoff odds jump from 8 to 13 to 20 percent after wins against the Cardinals and Chargers.
Win on Thursday vs. Rams and you start to apply pressure to teams right above. Pats are lurking.
— Morey Hershgordon (@MHershgordon) December 7, 2020
They won’t win this one 45-0 but the Patriots will complete the LA sweep.
Pick: New England Patriots (+205), 1 unit.
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.