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The Miami Dolphins will renew their AFC East rivalry with the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football in NFL Week 2.
|Dolphins||-3 (-102)||-148||Over 47 (-110)|
|Patriots||+3 (-118)||+124||Under 47 (-110)|
The Dolphins looked like the most explosive team in the league in last week’s season opener. They hung 36 points on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers and their highly-talented defense in what was the third-highest-scoring offensive performance of the week.
Tua Tagovailoa picked up right where he left off before he was overcome with injuries last season, throwing for 466 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. One of his TDs was a four-yard hook-up with Tyreek Hill with 1:45 left and ended up being the game-winner.
Miami’s defense is still a work in progress but figures to improve as the season progresses. That’s because of the presence of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who arrived over the offseason. And to their credit, they held Justin Herbert to 229 yards and one touchdown (though they gave up 233 yards on the ground).
There seem to be little-to-no answers to defending against the Dolphins’ offense. Tyreek Hill brought down 11 balls for 215 yards and caught 1,710 yards worth of passes last year, while Jaylen Waddle had 1,356 receiving yards as the league’s best second option in 2022.
The Patriots may have lost and failed to cover in their first appearance of the new campaign against the Philadelphia Eagles, but the performance is highly encouraging. They held the Eagles to nine points over the final three quarters and change after quickly surrendering 16, and even forced a late turnover that gave them a chance to win the game.
Mac Jones threw for 316 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception in the loss. It took Jones five games to reach three touchdowns in 2022 but only three and a half quarters against an Eagles team that surrendered the fewest passing yards per game last year.
The Pats also limited the Eagles’ devastating ground game to 97 yards, which was significantly lower than the 152 it averaged last year. They also forced Jalen Hurts into a quarterback rating of 36.3, which was lower than all but two of his outings a year ago.
With all of that being said, the Patriots are now 0-4 against the spread as home underdogs across the last two seasons. It’s up to them to prove they can buck the trend against a Dolphins team they have lost four of their last five matchups with.
As many encouraging signs as the Patriots may have shown in Week 1, they are nothing special. And this Dolphins team has a chance to be special.
Bill Belichick is the greatest defensive mind in the history of football, but he will be hard-pressed to come up with a way to slow down the Dolphins’ air-raid attack. The Pats gave up 247 yards to a combination of Teddy Bridgewater and Skyler Thompson the last time they played Miami at home (albeit in a win) and 270 yards to Tagovailoa the last time they faced him (in a 20-7 loss).
The Dolphins are also used to starting the season hot. They jumped out to an 8-0 record with Tagovailoa in the lineup last year and went 5-3 against the spread in the process, and they’re already 1-0 in both categories to start 2023.
Road teams also went 12-4 against the spread in Week 1, which puts recent betting trends in favor of the Dolphins. The under was also 12-4, which we like here as well.
We liken this matchup to a boxing match. While we could see the Patriots putting up a strong fight at home and in primetime, they don’t have the ability to withstand multiple haymakers from a heavyweight bruiser waiting to strike. Take the Dolphins to win and cover the field goal.
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Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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