An all AFC East divisional clash goes Sunday as Tom Brady and the red-hot New England Patriots travel to South Beach to take on a surprisingly solid Miami Dolphins squad.
New England enters Week 13 with a solid 8-3 record and are simply firing on all cylinders right now. Though losing Rob Gronkowski is a big one, the Pats’ offense has remained dominant, and won’t have any trouble finding the end zone in this contest. They’ve been far and away the best team in their division in 2012, and can clinch the AFC East with a win over the Dolphins on Sunday. New England knows every game is a big one in the competitive AFC, especially considering the fact they really want the #1 seed in the conference. If that’s the case, all slip-ups have to be avoided, including a potentially tough game Sunday against the Dolphins. On defense, Chandler Jones is likely to miss this contest with an ankle injury, but Julian Edelman seems to have recovered from his concussion and should be able to suit up.
Miami meanwhile has proven they’re not the pushovers this season many people thought they’d be. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been solid this season, and the Dolphins’ defense has been surprisingly stout. And just like this is a big game for their rival Patriots, this too is a huge one for Miami. The Dolphins remain only a game out of the final AFC Wild Card position, but it’s going to take a huge effort to inch closer to their goal by beating New England. Miami enters this contest fairly healthy as well. All players with injuries suffered last week against Seattle should be good to suit up Sunday.
Patriots vs. Dolphins Betting Odds:
New England Patriots -7 (-110)
@ Miami Dolphin s +7 (-110)
Over 51 (-110)
Under 51 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bodog
Patriots vs. Dolphins Pick:
New England is simply in a zone right now. Despite the losses to injury of both Gronkowski and Jones, this team is rolling, defeating their opponents with ease. New England enters this contest ranking first in the league with a plus-24 turnover differential, which is where they hold a huge advantage over the Dolphins. Miami has become prone to turning the ball over, ranking 27th in the NFL in that category.
Add in the fact that Tom Brady simply dominates in Miami and it could be a long evening for the Dolphins. Brady’s last four trips to South Beach have been remarkable, as he’s thrown for an average of 344 yards per game with 13 TD’s. Impressive numbers, and Brady should have little trouble adding to those on Sunday.
Miami has really struggled in recent weeks at stopping the pass. They surrendered 8.3 yards per attempt last week against rookie Russell Wilson, so Brady has to be licking his chops for Sunday. The Dolphins also aren’t getting to the quarterback with regularity. The team has just 5 sacks in their past 4 games, and if you can’t put pressure on Brady, he’s going to pick your defense apart.
New England simply owns this rivalry and look like a team on a mission right now. For all the years of New England dominance throughout the 2000’s this 2012 version looks like it could be coach Bill Belichick’s best squad. They’re on fire right now, and are gunning for that first-round bye and homefield advantage. New England typically dominates when they’re a road favourite, and look for that to continue as Sunday. Only having to lay a touchdown seems easy, and despite them being a large public play, it seems to be the right side.
PICK = Patriots -7 (-110)