New England Patriots (6-5 4-8 ATS) at L.A. Rams (8-4 7-5 ATS)
Don’t look now but the New England Patriots are back in the playoff mix and to stay there they will need to win on the road this Thursday night facing an L.A. Rams team that is atop the NFC West. The Rams are a 6-point favorite in this non-conference game with a total of 45.
The public has slightly backed the Pats in this game, as they opened as a 6.5-point underdog and as of Tuesday are a 6-point dog.
Not only have the Pats won two in a row and four of their last five games but in their last game they laid a 45-0 beat down on the L.A. Chargers. Can Cam Newton and company go 2-0 in La La Land with a win over the Rams? They will likely have to in order to stay in the playoff picture at 6-6 and currently on the outside looking in.
Man, did the Rams have a good Sunday, as they not only beat the Arizona Cardinals 38-28 but the Seattle Seahawks lost a stunner to the New York Giants. L.A. has won three of their last four games and they are tied with the Seahawks for first place in the NFC West and beat them a few weeks back.
On the season the Pats only rank 22nd in the league in ppg (22.8 ppg) but put up a season-high of 45 points in their last game.
The big matchup in this game is Aaron Donald and the Rams fourth-ranked scoring defense going up against Cam Newton and the New England run game that ranks third in the league in rushing yards per game.
Great All-Around Game
In the Pats 45-0 win over the Chargers in their last game they ran the ball well, obviously, played great defense and even scored two special teams’ TDs.
In the blowout win over L.A., the Pat stuck to the ground game with 165 rushing yards with only 126 passing yards. Damien Harris rushed for 80 yards averaging five yards per carry and in his previous two games combined for 90 yards and did not average over four yards per carry.
Newton chimed in with 48 rushing yards with two TD in the Chargers win. The ground game is obviously key for the Pats and in Newton’s only two games he passed for over 300 yards the team lost both games.
The Rams have a legit run defense that is giving up an average of 93.1 rushing yards per game and in their last game gave up only 92 yards facing a Cardinals team that ranks fourth in the league in rushing yards per game.
Taking it to the Cardinals
In the Rams big win over NFC West rival Arizona, they outgained them 463 yards to 232 yards, forced two turnovers, and were 9/15 on third down.
Jared Goff has had an up and down season and while he only ranks 23rd in the league in QBR he passed for 351 yards with a TD and no INT in the win over the Cardinals.
Goff has the weapons with the likes of WR’s Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp and the RB duo of Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr, who combined for 121 rushing yards in the last game.
The Pats played great D in their last game, but their pass rush only has 18 sacks on the season. The secondary has to step up as they did in the Chargers game shutting down rookie Justin Herbert picking him off twice.
The Pats have covered the spread in five of their last six Thursday night games while the Rams are only 2-5 ATS in their last seven Thursday night games.
The Pats are hot and they are coming off a great win. However, they will be dealing with a solid Rams’ defense and an offense that clicked in their last game. New England will put up a fight but L.A. will pull away in the second half and win and cover putting a bit hurt in the Pats playoff chances.
PICK: Rams -4.5