Miami Dolphins (3-3 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (6-0 SU, 3-2-1 ATS)
NFL Week 8
Date/Time: Thursday, October 29th, 8:25pm
Where: Gillette Stadium Foxboro, MA
TV: NFL Network
by Bob, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: MIA +7.5 / NEW -7.5
Over/Under Total: 51
This Thursday night NFL contest is one that I am now excited to see. A few weeks ago I would have sat here and told you how one sided this game was going to be and how the Patriots were going to coast and remain undefeated. Well, how quickly things have changed. The Miami Dolphins have won their last two games and not only have they won, they have dominated. After firing head coach, Joe Philbin, interim coach, Dan Campbell has completely changed the attitudes of the entire team, fan base, and organization. The weather report is calling for rain, but the temperature should not be much of an issue in Foxboro.
Even though the Dolphins have rung up two straight wins, the Patriots are still favored by 7.5 points in this game. The over under is set at 51 combined between the two. Against the spread this year, Miami is 3-3, and the Patriots are 3-2-1. According to the betting public, this spread is spot on. 51% believe the Patriots handle business in the prime time, while 49% are riding the red hot Dolphins. Head to head, the Miami Dolphins have covered two of the last three games against the Patriots, and in the last five, New England has a 3-2 edge against the spread/Dolphins.
The Patriots have some storming out of the gate in 2015 with a 6-0 record. Many of the Patriots fans are clamoring that they are making a run at another 16-0 but lets calm down just a tad. Yes, the Patriots are unbeaten, but take a look at their schedule. So far they have played really no one. Okay, they beat Pittsburgh opening night and that was really their only truly impressive win. I am sorry but wins over the injured Cowboys, the Bills, and a Colts team that is just plain bad right now, I am not ready to crown them the Super Bowl favorite just yet. The Patriots do have the top ranked scoring offense and the 2nd best passing offense, they have a very weak running game right now and this could come back to bite them later in the season. The key to this win, and it is something the Patriots never really have any issues with is that they need to protect Tom Brady. The Miami defensive front, even though they have not performed to their expectations this season, are still loaded. If they get after Brady and make him force the ball into tight spots, this could be a very interesting game.
The Dolphins had major expectations all off season. Some experts, in fact, picked them to win the division, and I even saw one writer that picked them to win the Super Bowl. Now, a Super Bowl? Okay, slow down man, but I did believe this team could be a 9-7, 10-6 type team and make it into the AFC Playoffs. Well, in week one, Miami looked solid but then they dropped three straight before firing their coach. Since firing Joe Philbil after a loss in London, Dan Campbell has these guys looking like a real team. What is he doing different? I have no clue, sometimes it is just how you connect with the players and obviously Campbell is doing something Philbin could not. Statistically, the Dolphins are not a bad teamat all. They rank in the leagues top half in scoring offense and defense, as well as passing and rushing offense. Quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, appears to be slowly but surely coming into his own in this league. If his success can continue, along with the play of running back, Lamar Miller, this offense could be deadly in the next few years. I like how Miami has looked the last couple of weeks, but lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. The two wins are against the Titans (in a game in which they knocked out Mariota), and the Houston Texans who virtually have no offense, or defense for that matter. We will find out a lot this week about these Dolphins. The key is to get after Tom Brady. If they allow Tom Brady to be a statue in the pocket, this will not be a fun night for the Dolphins. However, if they force bad throws and keep New England in 3rd and long situations, they just might be able to make this game competitiveor even win.
This is an extremely tough game to predict. I say this often, but this time is truly think that this game is a toss up. I think this spread is spot on and the hook is what it will depend on. One thing I have learned though is that Thursday night football is not easy on the road team and for that reason, I am going with the Patriots. I think the Dolphins will be competitive but in the end I like New England to win 27-17 or some score like that.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the New England Patriots to cover the 7.5 points!
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