After a successful Week 7 of NFL write-ups at The Sports Geek, we’ll be looking to duplicate that success by getting Week 8 started off on a winning note. After a few weeks of duds from these Thursday Night games, this week’s match-up is loaded with intrigue. On one side, we’ve got the undefeated Patriots who enter as definitive Super Bowl favourites. They’ve won by more than a touchdown in every game this season, and clearly have a ton of motivation following the whole DeflateGate drama that unfolded this past summer. The Pats will host a resurgent Dolphins squad that finally seem to be living up to expectations following the dismissal of their oft-criticized head coach, Joe Philbin. Ever since Dan Campbell has entered the fold, Miami looks like the playoff-bound team many figured they could be. They’ve clawed back to a .500 record at 3-3 and are expected to maintain this pace and perhaps contend for a wild-card berth down the stretch. This is a key game for both teams – a perfect Patriots team against a Dolphins squad that is finally living up to the hype. It promises to be a great game and your Week 8 needs are covered below. Read on for an official selection and full game breakdown.
Dolphins vs. Patriots Betting Odds:
Miami Dolphins +9 (-115)
@ New England Patriots -9 (-105)
Over 51.5 (-115)
Under 51.5 (-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Dolphins vs. Patriots Pick:
Timing is everything in sports sometimes, and it’s really too bad that the Patriots couldn’t have met the Dolphins in the Joe Philbin-era. That team looked awful, but that simply is no longer the case. Everything has changed under a new coach and the group is oozing with confidence, especially on defense. Expect Tom Brady to be constantly under pressure on Thursday evening as the Dolphins have a ferocious front and the Pats’ main weakness is their offensive line and protection. Over his career, Brady has struggled when faced with a four-man rush, so if Miami can get to Terrific Tom and disrupt his rhythm, it could mean moving the chains for the Pats will be much more difficult than usual.
When the Dolphins have the football, expect more of what has worked over the past couple of weeks. They’ve bene getting it done on the ground and they should again this week vs. New England. The Patriots ranked 27th in yards per carry before last week, and with Lamar Miller’s recent form – the Dolphins’ back is in for another big outing on Thursday. As always, expect a solid ground game to open things up for Tannehill from the pocket. Even though New England does boast a solid secondary, Tannehill will be getting Branden Albert back for added protection. Tannehill works better behind Albert, and look for a decent outing from the former Texas A&M product.
The Dolphins have definite upset potential on Thursday evening, and despite the Pats’ dominance so far this season, I think this number is inflated because of this being a standalone game where most casual observers are inclined to back the favourite. Miami is the team many figured they were at the outset of this season, and now with Dan Campbell leading this squad, they’re playing a winning brand of football. The Patriots can’t block, and as good and motivated as Brady is this season – I think he’s going to have all kinds of trouble with this Dolphins defense. Look for that unit to keep Miami close, and definitely within single digits for the bulk of this game.
PICK = Dolphins +9 (-115)