The last time these two teams met was in Atlanta on Feb. 3, 2019, for Super Bowl LIII. As everyone knows, the New England Patriots emerged victoriously, but a lot of things have changed since that game. Neither the Los Angeles Rams nor Patriots are the powerhouses they were two years ago, but they do have a common goal: reaching the playoffs.
Entering this game, the Patriots sit at 6-6. Cam Newton and company have won four of their last five contests, including a Week 13 45-0 massacre against the Los Angles Chargers. The key players in New England’s recent success? It starts with Damien Harris and the running game. Harris has received 14 or more touches in five of his last six games, averaging an effective 5.1 yards per attempt on the year. Meanwhile, Newton hasn’t been amazing, but the 2015 MVP is finding ways to win. Newton has scored 11 rushing touchdowns this season, doing most of his damage on the ground.
On the other side of the ball, New England’s defensive resurgence has played a huge part in their recent success. Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore’s return to action has spearheaded such effort, consistently locking down star receivers. The Patriots’ other star corner J.C. Jackson has made a lot of big plays, and currently ranks second in the league in interceptions with seven.
The Rams enter this matchup coming off an impressive 38-28 win over the Arizona Cardinals. As usual, their success is due to an elite defense and a strong rushing attack. Los Angeles boasts two of the best defenders in the league in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, who have been nightmares for opposing offenses throughout the entire season. The Rams’ backfield is a three-headed monster that consists of Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown, and Cam Akers. Those three combine for an impressive 124.2 yards per game, which ranks as ninth-best in the NFL. Los Angeles currently sits atop the NFC West at 8-4, possessing an impressive 2020 resume that consists of wins over teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, and Seattle Seahawks.
Regarding injuries, both teams are relatively healthy. New England corners Jackson and Jonathan Jones resumed practicing after exiting their last game with respective minor injuries. Akers is currently dealing with a shoulder injury for Los Angeles, but as of now, he’s expected to suit up on tonight.
Date: December 10, 2020
Start Time: 8:20 P.M. est
Location: Los Angeles, California
Stadium: SoFi Stadium
TV Info: FOX, NFL
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: NE +5.5 (-110) | LAR -5.5 (-110)
Moneyline: NE +200 | LAR -250
Over/Under: O 44.5 (-110) | U 44.5 (-110)
The Rams have covered the -5.5 spread in six of their eight wins this year, so if you’re betting on Los Angeles, feel comfortable taking the spread. As a result, you should only take the Patriots if you’re betting on the Moneyline. As for the over/under, New England and Los Angeles combine to score 47.9 points on average this year. Statistically, if both teams score 23+ points, they’ll hit the 44.5 over. The Rams have done that in four of their last six games, while New England has reached the 23-point mark in three of their last five contests.
This game will be decided by the quarterbacks, as both New England and Los Angeles’ defenses are currently playing at an elite level. After a couple of underwhelming performances, Newton will bounce back and outduel Jared Goff, leading the Patriots to victory and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Final Score: New England Patriots 24, Los Angeles Rams 21