Thursday Night Football: New England Patriots at Los Angeles Rams Preview, Predictions & Pick

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Josh Widman
Josh graduated from Syracuse University in May 2020 with a degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism. He played basketball and baseball in High School. Despite growing up in New Jersey, he roots for the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers and Indians. He has two favorite sports movies: Dodgeball and Major League. Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals is his favorite sporting event of all-time and his favorite sports memory is playing in a white-out basketball game under the lights against a rival summer camp when he was 15 years old.

New England and Los Angeles face off for the first time since Super Bowl LIII at SoFi Stadium to kick off Week 14.

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Josh’s Season Record: 27-20

New England Patriots at Los Angeles Rams Betting Lines

  • Los Angeles is a 5-point favorite on DraftKings
  • Los Angeles is -225 on the ML, New England is +190 on FOXBet
  • The O/U is 45.5 on FOXBet

Don’t count the New England Patriots out just yet. QB Cam Newton has led the Patriots to wins in four of the last five games. Most recently, HC Bill Belichick continued his dominance against young QBs with a 45-0 smack-down of the Los Angeles Chargers. As the score may indicate, it was rookie QB Justin Herbert’s worst game as a professional. It hasn’t always been pretty for the Patriots over this stretch but they’ve done enough to win. New England is third in rushing offense with an average of 151 yards per game. The defense is average but usually does enough to keep the team in the game.

The Los Angeles Rams are an embodiment of the crazy year that 2020 has been. The Rams are 8-4 and lead the NFC West. They’ve also lost to the 49ers twice and handily to the Dolphins in QB Tua Tagovailoa’s first start.

Despite the loss of RB Todd Gurley, the Rams offense has been above average. There have been games where the offense hasn’t looked great but LA is still top-10 in passing, rushing and total offense. QB Jared Goff is top-10 in yards and passer rating and he has multiple options on the outside that are capable of having huge games.

That being said, the Rams defense is the headliner. LA has the top pass defense in the league, the second-best total defense and the third-best run defense. It’s a unit that has allowed 30 points just once this season. The Rams pass defense should make it difficult for a Patriots team that struggles to throw the ball.

New England has the third-worst passing offense in the league. LA forcing New England to be one dimensional would give an already solid Rams defense an advantage. Also, if LA goes up by a few scores and forces Newton into obvious passing situations, that could prove detrimental to New England’s chances of winning. The Rams defense has forced 20 turnovers as well.

New England Patriots at Los Angeles Rams Key Stats

  • Jared Goff is 0-4 against the AFC East in his career
  • HC Bill Belichick is 77-31 in December (his most wins in a single month)
  • The Rams are 7-5 ATS this season

New England Patriots at Los Angeles Rams Predictions

These two offenses average a total of 46 points per game. I see this as a hard-fought game like most of these two teams’ respective games have been. I think the Rams will make it really tough on the Patriots offense but the New England defense will prevent the LA offense from exploding. That being said, the Rams have the superior offense and defense so they should be able to win by a TD or more.

I expect at least one turnover by New England. The Patriots are also traveling across the country for the second time in as many weeks and the Rams are 4-1 at home. I wouldn’t be surprised if the O/U comes down to the final minutes of the game. I’d take the under because I believe New England won’t score enough for the teams to eclipse the over.

Josh’s Picks: LAR -5, UNDER 45.5

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