The Dolphins have transformed since they fired Joe Philbin and made Dan Campbell HC. Will the new-look Fins be able to go into Foxborough & give the Patriots their first loss Thursday Night?
No team in the NFL is playing better right now than the Dolphins. The Patriots are the best team in the league, but the Dolphins are displaying the best in-the-moment form. Miami has whacked two teams, the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans, by large margins. The Dolphins beat the Titans by a score of 38-10, and although the final score of their subsequent win over Houston was “only” 44-26, the Dolphins led that game 41-0 at halftime and were able to play backups for most of the second half. They could have won that game by 50 points if they wanted to. Was it simply that the team didn’t like playing for Joe Philbin? Was it that Philbin didn’t provide the best plan to win on gameday? Was it that players were underachieving but now feel inspired? Maybe it’s a little of everything, but the bottom line is that the Dolphins can do no wrong.
The Patriots can do no wrong, in the sense that they always find ways to win. The New York Jets pushed them last week, but New York’s inability to score a fourth-quarter touchdown in the red zone gave Tom Brady all the margin he needed, and the best quarterback in pro football closed the door on the Jets down the stretch. Ever since he was freed from the DeflateGate scandal and allowed to play, Brady has taken out his anger on the rest of the NFL, and it’s been something to watch. This is an all-time great season if Brady can keep up his statistical pace.
***Dolphins vs. Patriots Thursday Night Betting Preview***
***Dolphins vs. Patriots Thursday Night Total Pick***
***Dolphins Player Props for Thursday Night Football***
***Patriots Player Props for Thursday Night Football***
The NFL odds started with the Patriots as a 7.5-point choice, and they’re now eight-point favorites. Bettors simply trust Tom Brady and the Patriots, and why shouldn’t they? This is the best quarterback on the best team with the best coach, Bill Belichick, playing at home.
The Dolphins have safety Louis Delmas on the injured reserve list. Running back Jay Ajayi is also on that list. Defensive end Dion Jordan is out for the season due to a suspension. Cornerback Bobby McCain is listed as questionable for this game with a knee injury. Defensive tackle A.J. Francis is questionable with a back injury.
For the Patriots, running back Brandon Bolden is questionable with a hamstring injury. Running back Dion Lewis is questionable with an abdominal injury. Fullback James Develin is on the injured reserve list. So is cornerback Tarell Brown. Tackle Nate Solder is out for the season with a bicep injury. Tackle Marcus Cannon is questionable with a toe injury. Tight end Rufus Johnson is questionable with an illness. Linebacker Jabaal Sheard is questionable with an ankle injury. Offensive lineman Shaquille Mason is questionable with a knee injury.
Handicapping The Game
The Dolphins were a team that was sinking quickly and had no real sense of direction but has now abruptly gone along a different route ever since Campbell took over. Campbell has inspired his players and gotten a lot of people involved in games. The fact that the Dolphins have beaten bad teams should enter into the conversation here, but Miami is also clearly confident and transformed. New England wins, but Miami is playing well enough to cover, so take them plus the points for your NFL picks.
NFL Pick: Dolphins +8 (-105) at 5Dimes