The Miami Dolphins face the New England Patriots this weekend in an important AFC East clash. Miami is currently leading the division with a 3-0 record, while New England is off to an uncharacteristic 1-2 start.
The game will be played at Foxborough, which gives the Patriots an advantage. But it’s hard to count out the Dolphins, who’ve exceeded expectations with their undefeated start.
A win for Miami would solidify their division lead, while a win for New England would pull them a game closer in the East race. I’m going to look at the odds on this game and discuss why each team can cover.
Dolphins Patriots Odds Week 4
New England comes into this game as almost a touchdown favorite according to our GTBets odds. Our bookmakers have looked beyond their 1-2 start to a team that’s coming off two straight Super Bowl appearances.
Here are the current GTBets odds:
- Miami Dolphins +6.5 (-108); +235 moneyline; O 48 (-109)
- New England Patriots -6.5 (-109); -286 moneyline; U 48 (-109)
Why Miami can Cover +6.5
The Dolphins aren’t letting their 3-0 start go to their heads. In fact, coach Adam Gase made sure to address this matter when speaking with the Miami Herald.
“We’ve played three games. I mean, they’re going to do the same thing they always do — they’ll get better every week,” said Gase.
Gase and his Dolphins are wise not to overlook the Patriots, who’ve dominated the AFC East for a decade and a half. But Miami is also off to a 3-0 start for a reason.
They’ve made plays when it counts, which is why they’re 11th in the league with 25.0 PPG. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is a big reason for this hot start. Coming off an ACL injury last season, Tannehill hasn’t missed a beat in throwing for 687 yards, 7 touchdowns, and just 2 interceptions.
This team also has a balanced rushing attack that sees the yardage evenly distributed between Kenyan Drake (104), Frank Gore (98), and Tannehill (74).
The defense has done a solid job of forcing turnovers, accumulating 7 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries through three contests. Xavien Howard (3 interceptions) has been particularly adept at taking the ball from the other team.
Of course, New England is good at not beating itself. So the Dolphins will need to find a way to win without creating turnovers, namely through Tannehill and the offense staying hot.
Why New England Will Cover -6.5
“We just didn’t do anything well enough to give ourselves a chance to win,” said Belichick after losing to Detroit.
“Similar situation last week — get behind early, play from behind. [We] just weren’t able to make it up. So, just going to have to work our way out of it, obviously we have a lot of work to do.”
What’s alarming about New England’s back-to-back losses to Detroit and Jacksonville is that they both came via double digits. This is the first time that this has happened since 2002.
Injuries and suspensions (Julian Edelman) have played a big part in their struggles. The receiving corp is especially thin due to Edelman’s absence. This showed against the Lions, as QB Tom Brady completed just 4-of-10 passes to his wideouts for 43 yards.
Brady is possibly the greatest quarterback of all time. But he’s only throwing the ball — not catching it. Perhaps Josh Gordon playing against the Dolphins could provide New England with a boost. Gordon led the league in receiving yardage in 2013, which is the last time that he played a full season.
Rookie running back Sony Michel finally played his first game last week. He didn’t do a lot with his 14 carries (50 yards), but he’s also working himself back into game shape after an injury. Michel should be even stronger this week against the Dolphins.
New England hasn’t become a dynasty for nothing. Belichick and his staff are excellent planners and should come up with a great gameplan against Miami. You can guarantee that New England will come out well-prepared in what’s a highly important game for them.
New England Wins 27-20, and cover their -6.5 spread