The New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams have met only 14 times, but two of those were in the Super Bowl. The Patriots (6-6) lead the series 9-5 and won both of those championship matchups, 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII and 20-17 in Super Bowl XXXVI. Now, New England faces an uphill battle to make the NFL playoff picture, starting against the Rams (8-4) on Thursday Night Football and a defense that might be the best in the league.

Kickoff from SoFi Stadium is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists Los Angeles as a 4.5-point favorite in its latest Rams vs. Patriots odds, while the over-under is 43.5. Before making any Patriots vs. Rams picks or NFL predictions, you need to check out what SportsLine's resident Rams expert, R.J. White, has to say

CBS Sports' fantasy and gambling editor, White entered Tuesday on a sizzling 41-29-3 run. It's no surprise since White twice has cashed huge in the world's most prestigious football handicapping competition, the Las Vegas SuperContest.

In addition, White is locked in on the Rams, going 32-15 in his last 47 spread picks involving Los Angeles. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now, White has analyzed Rams vs. Patriots from every possible angle. You can head to SportsLine to see the picks. Here are the NFL odds and trends for Rams vs. Patriots:

  • Rams vs. Patriots spread: Los Angeles -4.5
  • Rams vs. Patriots over-under: 43.5
  • Rams vs. Patriots money line: New England +200, Los Angeles -240
  • NE: QB Cam Newton has rushed for 94 yards and two TDs over the past two games
  • LA: WR Robert Woods has at least five receptions in five straight games

Why the Patriots can cover

It's still about defense and big plays for New England, which is 6-1 against the spread in the last seven meetings. The Patriots are tied for sixth in the NFL in scoring defense (21.2 points per game) and 12th in total defense (344.6 yards). The unit has 18 takeaways, with cornerback J.C. Jackson accounting for half of those along with seven picks and two fumble recoveries.

New England is 47-21-1 against the spread as an underdog under Bill Belichick, and quarterback Cam Newton has brought a new dimension to the offense. The Patriots rank third in the league in rushing at 151 yards per game, and Newton is second on the team with 435 yards. He has rushed for 11 touchdowns, tied for third in the NFL, and he also has 2,053 passing yards.

Damien Harris is the top rusher at 641 yards, while running back James White is tied for the team lead with 37 catches. 

Why the Rams can cover

Los Angeles is 6-2-1 against the spread in its last nine games as a home favorite, and defensive end Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey create nightmares for quarterbacks. Donald is tied for the NFL lead with 11 sacks, while Ramsey has one interception and is rarely challenged. Newton has nine interceptions and has been sacked 19 times, so it could be a long night against a unit that is third in sacks (36) and takeaways (20). 

The Rams' offense ranks sixth in passing and eighth in rushing. Goff has been steady in completing more than 68 percent of his throws and passing for 3,372 yards. Wideouts Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have combined for 145 catches and 1,600 yards, while tight end Tyler Higbee has 32 catches and four touchdowns.

How to make Rams vs. Patriots picks

White has analyzed this matchup from all sides and is leaning Under on the total. He also has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He's only sharing it here

So who wins Patriots vs. Rams on Thursday Night Football? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Patriots vs. Rams spread you should be all over, all from the expert who is 32-15 on picks involving Los Angeles.