Thursday, December 10, 2020, SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California, 8:20 p.m. ET
New England Patriots at Los Angeles Rams Betting Preview: Patriots (+5.5/-110), Rams (-5.5/-110)
New England Patriots
Quarterback Cam Newton told reporters that his focus is on results — not aesthetics — as he attempts to guide the Patriots (6-6) back to the playoffs. Newton accounted for three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) in New England’s 45-0 romp over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday to give him eight TDs (five rushing, three passing) over his past five games. The Patriots own a 4-1 mark in that span.
Damien Harris gained 80 of the 165 rushing yards last week for the Patriots, who boast the NFL’s third-ranked running offense (150.9 yards per game). The passing game has been a work in progress under Newton, who is just 21 of 37 for 153 yards over the past two games combined.
J.C. Jackson picked off rookie Justin Herbert last week, and six of his NFL second-best seven interceptions coming in the past eight games. The Patriots have forced 18 turnovers and are limiting opponents to 21.3 points per game, which ranks seventh in the NFL.
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff answered criticism from coach Sean McVay by throwing for 351 yards and totaling two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) on Sunday, helping the Rams (8-4) move into a tie for first place in the NFC West with a 38-28 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Goff now can aim at avenging a lackluster performance against the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, when he completed just 19 of 38 passes for 229 yards and an interception in a 13-3 loss.
Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp continue to be the focal points in the passing game, with the former reeling in 10 catches for 85 yards against the Cardinals while the latter had eight receptions for 73 yards. Woods has 29 catches for 295 yards and a touchdown in his past three games. Kupp has 37 receptions for 419 yards over his past five contests.
While the Rams boast the NFL’s third-ranked offense (395.3 yards per game), their clouded backfield appears be getting clearer after rookie Cam Akers dominated the carries versus the Cardinals. Akers rushed 21 times for 72 yards and a touchdown, but he was listed as a non-participant on Monday’s estimated injury report and limited on Tuesday due to an ailing shoulder.
Patriots at Rams Betting Pick for Week 14
While several names come to mind when discussing the offensive star of the Rams, there is little question regarding who holds that distinction on defense: Aaron Donald. The two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year has recorded a sack in back-to-back games to boost his total to 11, which is one shy of the league lead.
With Donald creating havoc at the line of scrimmage, New England’s offense likely will have a tough time getting in gear versus Los Angeles’ second-ranked defense and third-ranked rush defense.
Patriots at Rams Betting Pick:
Rams 21, Patriots 17
Patriots at Rams Best Bet for Week 14
McVay, Goff and the Rams will have plenty of motivation after falling on the wrong side of history in their Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. The offense may sputter a bit on a short week, but it’s hard to go against Donald and Co. on the other side of the ball.
Patriots at Rams Best Bet: UNDER 44.5 total points (-109)