On paper, this is one of the biggest NFL mismatches in recent memory. However, there’s still some intrigue to be found from a handicapping perspective when the New England Patriots take their talents down to Miami to take on the Dolphins.
For a snapshot of what a stellar Week 1 of the regular season looks like versus an absolute nightmare of a beginning, we need to look no further than how things broke for these two squads. The Patriots were home to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they looked every bit the part of a contender as they cruised to victory.
As for the Dolphins, they were rolled over by the visiting Baltimore Ravens. The visitors completely controlled the game from the outset. They had their way with Miami on both sides of the ball, and seemingly put points up at will. It was an incredibly bad look for a Dolphins franchise which continues to claim it’s not looking to tank the season.
The product on the field suggests otherwise, but we’ll see if a week of being hammered for such a woeful effort sparks a better performance. From a handicapping perspective, the intrigue lays in the massive line. How high is this thing going to go? Can the Patriots cover if it climbs to even more ridiculous heights before kickoff?
Let’s take a look and find out where the value is for this battle of AFC East squads who are clearly heading in opposite directions.
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins, 1:00 PM EST, Sun. Sept.15, CBS
Betting odds provided by: Sportsbetting.ag
New England vs. Miami Pick:
The Patriots welcomed the Steelers to town for a Sunday night affair in Week 1. They were 5.5-point favorites at kickoff, but that number proved to be off the mark. New England had its way on offense, and Pittsburgh didn’t have any answers whatsoever for the Patriots defense. The end result was a 33-3 win for New England in a game which was never in doubt.
The results of the Dolphins season-opener was never in doubt either, albeit in the opposite direction. They played host to the Ravens, who proceeded to claim the field as their own. Before Miami knew what hit it, Baltimore was up 28-0 behind two long Lamar Jackson to Marquise Brown TDs. The Dolphins showed little life throughout the game and wound up being shelled by a score of 59-10.
|New England||11-5||436||325||1-AFC East||W-Super Bowl|
New England entered last year’s postseason as an afterthought in the minds of many. Those folks were incorrect. The Patriots made it to the Super Bowl yet again where they would take a 13-3 decision over the Los Angeles Rams. That marked the 6th championship for the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era, as well as the team’s third title in the last four years.
It was a vastly different story for Miami in 2018. The team had its moments here and there, but the end result was a 7-9 season which resulted in the dismissal of head coach Adam Gase. The Dolphins would go on to hire former Patriots assistant Brian Flores to fill the role. QB Ryan Tannehill also moved on as part of the club’s offseason makeover.
Heading into this season, no one is making the mistake of sleeping on the Patriots again. The team is among the favorites to reach and win the Super Bowl. New England didn’t make a ton of splashy moves in the offseason. Instead, they stuck to their winning formula of plugging holes as needed and wishing players well who no longer fit in with their plans. Antonio Brown was added to the arsenal last week.
It was pretty clear that the Dolphins were hitting the reset button after parting ways with Gase. However, team executives and coaches continue to claim they are not cashing it in on the 2019 season. The team’s product on the field and wide range of personnel moves suggest otherwise. Miami has traded away a number of assets as part of the overhaul, and reports indicate that even more players want out.
Miami holds a 55-52 edge for the all-time series between these two teams. The two clubs have split their two regular season for each of the last two seasons. Last year, New England picked up a 38-7 home win in Week 4 as 7-point favorites. In Week 14, the Dolphins surprised with a 34-33 home victory as 8.5-point underdogs.
So far this year, the Patriots are 1-0 against the spread and 0-1 on totals. For the Dolphins, it’s 0-1 ATS and 1-0 on the Over/Under, although the mark was hit due to the Ravens performance. As road favorites last season, New England was 3-5 both straight-up and ATS. As a home underdog, Miami was 3-1 overall and ATS.
For David and Goliath matchups, it makes sense to think through any scenarios in which an upset could come to pass. Barring a freakish rash of injuries to the Patriots, none come to mind. The Dolphins looked lost last week, not to mention completely uninspired.
Perhaps a new week will inspire better results, but it’s still tough to see that making any kind of difference here. New England just had its way with a Pittsburgh team which is miles ahead of Miami on the field.
The saving grace for the Dolphins would be if the Patriots called the dogs off early. Since Flores is a former Patriots assistant, it’s at least possible. That said, the Patriots are too well-coached to allow a team they severely outclass to make any headway while it’s actually a game.
Outside of the spread climbing above the low 20’s, there’s no value in taking Miami. Patriots win with ease and cover.