Miami Dolphins have lost four games in a row and cling to the 7th AFC playoff seed
New England Patriots' last four home games have gone under the total points line
Watch Dolphins vs Patriots live on Sunday, January 1, 2023, at 1:00 PM ET on CBS
POINT SPREAD: Miami Dolphins +2.5 (-108) at BetRivers
POINTS TOTAL: Over 41.5 (-115) at Unibet
SPECIAL: 1ST HALF TOTAL POINTS (-110) at Caesars
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Here is a potentially thrilling NFL Week 17 AFC East battle with huge playoff implications as the 8-7 Miami Dolphins take on the 7-8 New England Patriots, with the Dolphins needing a win to hang onto the AFC’s third Wildcard playoff seed and the Patriots hoping to steal a win and that same postseason slot, their hometown crowd no doubt ready to do what it takes to help make that happen.
A quick look at the NFL history books and we see that the Dolphins have won each of their last four games against the Patriots, but right now Miami is on a four-game losing streak that is tough to explain given all the talent they pay, though facing a New England team that’s on its own two loss slide does help, with Massachusetts December weather a possible factor here.
Another factor that could affect the results of this game is the amount of injured players each team is nursing, right now the Dolphins with 11 players on IR and five listed as questionable to play including QB Tua Tagovailoa (concussion), and the Pats with 13 players on IR and seven listed as questionable including WR DeVante Parker (concussion) and TE Hunter Henry (knee).
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It is the end of the 2022 season and offenses are as gelled as they are going to get so if ever there was a time to bet the over it is now, and with the Miami Dolphins offense averaging 24.3 points per game and the Patriots averaging 21.3 points per game, that total of 45.6 tells us that if all goes well they can combine to beat what the oddsmakers are predicting in Week 17.
The cold weather could be a factor and this game might come down to the defenses making a stand, and right now the Dolphins' defense allows opponents to score 24.7 points per game on average while the Patriots' defense allows 19.4 points per game, that combined total of 44.1 points allowed still over what the sportsbooks have for this bet, so that is the direction we are taking.
However, you should know that according to the oddsmakers, each of the New England Patriots' last four home games have gone under the total points line, so that could be a reason to go the other way on this wager, especially if Miami QB Tagovailoa can’t suit up and his backup Teddy Bridgewater must take the field since he has only started (and lost) one game this season.
Here is a fun Week 17 special bet from Caesars sportsbook where you get to guess the point total from just the first half of the game, a great way to score an early payout if you bet correctly, and since the number to beat is 21 points, we think that total will go under it, with more scoring happening in the second half as these defenses start getting cold and tired of tackling runners.
Some exciting matchups to watch out for include the Dolphins' speedy receivers including Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill who will stretch the field and draw double teams from the Patriots’ secondary including CBs Jonathan Jones and Jalen Mills (groin, questionable), a strategy meant to help open up the middle of the field for TE Mike Gesicki to run his crossing routes.
Also watch for Miami’s defensive pass rush to make life uncomfortable for Patriots QB Mac Jones, with Dolphins DEs Zach Sieler and DT Christian Wilkins ready to take on New England tackles Trent Brown and Conor McDermott, an in-the-trench battle that gets even tougher in the frigid weather that Foxboro is known for in December, this a divisional battle ripe for wagers.
What: Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots
Where: Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA
When: Sunday, January 1, 2023, at 1:00 PM ET
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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