The Miami Dolphins will attempt to keep their perfect record intact when they head on the road to take on the New England Patriots in an AFC East battle Sunday afternoon from Gillette Stadium. The Dolphins notched a solid 28-20 home win against the Raiders last week, and the Patriots dropped a rough 26-10 road decision to the Lions in their previous contest. The Patriots defeated the Dolphins 35-17 in the first meeting last season, and Miami countered with a 27-20 home win in the second meeting.
Dolphins Defeat Raiders to Improve to 3-0
The Miami Dolphins will target their fourth straight win to start the season in a stadium where they have lost nine straight times. The Dolphins were clicking on offense in their 28-20 home win against Oakland last week. Ryan Tannehill was spectacular, accumulating 289 passing yards with three TD’s. The 30-year old QB has played well through three games, notching 687 passing yards with a 7:2 TD to INT ratio. Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore both saw minimal action against Oakland, and Miami only rushed for 41 yards as a team. Drake and Gore have combined for 202 rushing yards in three games. Kenny Stills made his presence felt with 61 receiving yards last week, and he has tallied 184 receiving yards on the season. Stills made five grabs for 65 yards against the Patriots last season. The Dolphins have scored at least 20 points in all three games, and they are up against a Pats defense that has yet to find it’s stride. Coach Adam Gase has to be thrilled with Tannehill being back and healthy.
Dolphins Live: Coach Gase meets with the media. https://t.co/IVkmDzkVx8
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) September 28, 2018
The Miami defense did allow 325 passing yards last week, although they came through with two big interceptions and made three sacks. Linebacker Kiko Alonso leads the Dolphins with 34 tackles on the season. The Dolphins offense is currently averaging 25 points, good for 11th in the NFL. The Miami defense has been outstanding against the run, but they will give up yards in the air, and they are holding opponents to an average of 17.3 points, good for sixth in the NFL.
Patriots Stunned by Lions, Fall to 1-2
The New England Patriots head into their first division game hungry for a win after an abysmal 26-10 road loss to the Lions last week. Tom Brady had a rare subpar performance, completing 14 of 26 passes for 133 yards with one TD against one INT. The 41-year old QB did play well in his first two games, and he has tallied 644 passing yards with a 6:2 TD to INT ratio. Brady posted a 5:3 TD to INT ratio in two games against Miami last season. Rookie RB Sony Michel rushed for 50 yards last week, and he could see a majority of the carries again if Rex Burkhead (neck injury) is unable to play in this one. Patriots’ leading receiver Rob Gronkowski has been quiet in two straight games which included 51 receiving yards against Detroit, and he has collected 189 receiving yards on the season. The Patriots offense was surprisingly flat against the Lions, and they should bounce back against a Dolphins defense that will give up yards in the air. WR Josh Gordon could make his Patriots debut in this one.
Bill Belichick Live Press Conference 9/28: https://t.co/t9rjsOeBAL
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 28, 2018
The New England defense struggled for the second straight week, surrendering 414 total yards to the Lions, including 159 rushing yards. The Pats’ rush defense has been a glaring weakness early this season. Patrick Chung and Trey Flowers are both questionable for this one, and their absence was noticeable against the Lions. This is a big game for New England as a loss would place them three games back of the Dolphins for first place in the AFC East. The Patriots are averaging 19 points, ranking them 26th overall. They are allowing an average of 25.7 points, positioning them 21st in the NFL.
The New England Patriots are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after registering less than 150 passing yards in their previous game.
The Miami Dolphins are:
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 September games.
- 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- over is 10-4 in their last 14 games overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking the points with the Dolphins in this one. The Patriots defense is looking very vulnerable right now. Their rush defense ranks 30th in the NFL, and their pass defense is down at 24th in the NFL. Miami has displayed a solid offensive attack led by Ryan Tannehill who has tallied 7 TD passes and a 73% pass completion efficiency, and I expect a solid offensive performance from the Dolphins again this week. Furthermore, the Patriots are really missing Julian Edelman right now, and the opposition can simply put two men up against Rob Gronkowski who has only made a combined six catches in his last two games. Miami has allowed 20 or fewer points in all three games this season, and they should definitely keep this one very close.
Prediction: Miami Dolphins +7
Full-Game Total Pick
I am taking the over in this contest. The Patriots defense has struggled this season, and they are conceding an average of 406 total yards per game, ranking them 29th overall. Their rush defense ranks down at 30th in the NFL, and last week the Lions had one of their best performances on the ground in several years against the Pats’ rush defense. In addition, the Dolphins pass defense is squandering an average of 288 passing yards per game, so I expect a much better performance from Brady this week, plus the over is 4-1 in the Patriots’ last five games against a team with a winning record.
Prediction: Over 48
Full-Game Prop Bet
I am taking the over on the Dolphins team touchdown total. The Dolphins are averaging 3.3 touchdowns per game through three games, and the Patriots defense has been shaky. Ryan Tannehill has tossed at least two touchdowns in all three games, and I am confident the Dolphins can have success on the ground against a Patriots team that ranks 31st in the NFL against the run.
Prediction: Dolphins Touchdown Total: Over 2.5
Half-Time Side Pick
I am staying with the Dolphins on the halftime line. Miami has been one of the best defensive teams in the NFL in the first half through three games, holding their opponents to an average of only 4.3 points, good for second in the NFL, so I expect them to at least contain the Patriots offense. Furthermore, the Patriots are only averaging nine points in the first half.
Prediction: Miami Dolphins +3.5
Half-Time Total Bet
The over on the halftime total is also a decent option. The Patriots are conceding an average of 13.3 points in the first half, and they have squandered a combined 34 points in the opening half in their last two games. In addition, while Miami should contain the Pats offense, I expect New England’s offense to be ready to play after an abysmal effort last week.
Prediction: Over 23.5
Half-Time Prop Prediction
The Dolphins on the first quarter money line offered by William Hill is a decent option. New England has struggled offensively in the opening quarter, and they have been shutout in the first quarter in two straight games. In addition, the Dolphins are holding opponents to an average of only 3.3 points in the opening quarter this season.
Prediction: Miami Dolphins To Win First Quarter +200