If the Miami Dolphins could bottle up their Week 8 mojo and use it all season, they'd be the hottest football pick of them all. Too bad that's not the way time works.
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 27: 22-16-1 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 18-26 Total
Last week, we told you about a particularly tasty NFL betting trend: Heading into Week 7, divisional dogs of +7 or more had gone 167-149 ATS since 2002. Officially, the New York Jets created a push last week when they lost 30-23 to the New England Patriots as 7-point road dogs, but sharp bettors had the Jets as high as +10 on our NFL odds board earlier in the week.
This Thursday night (8:25 p.m. ET, CBS/NFLN), it's the Miami Dolphins coming to Foxborough as 7.5-point puppies. Out first consensus reports showed a slight lean toward the Patriots, which seemed curious at the time, but now that our first expanded reports are in, we see 92 percent of the monies wagered landing on Miami. It's an absolute deluge. The average bet size on Miami: $1,261. On New England? Just $102.
Of course, relying on any one betting trend isn't a good way to make your NFL picks. So we've dug a little deeper to see what other trends specific to this matchup could support the Dolphins. It's a mixed bag to say the least. There are some wonderful numbers out there for Miami fans – wonderful, and completely useless. For example: Miami is 12-2 ATS in Week 8 dating back to 2001. No wonder everyone's on the Fish.
Here's something slightly less irrelevant: Miami is 5-2 ATS in its last seven appearances on Thursday Night Football. Thursday games do require a special touch from a coaching perspective, but the Dolphins have been through six head coaches during that span, and current interim coach Dan Campbell is on his first tour of duty in the NFL. This is not the trend you're looking for.
Narrowing the parameters will help suss out the more useful trends. The most promising one for Dolphins supporters: Miami is on a 30-13 ATS away run versus teams with winning home records. But again, Campbell wasn't part of that run – not as a head coach, at least. Nor does Miami's 0-5 ATS slump against AFC East teams reflect on Campbell's coaching acumen.
Better to look at the other team in this matchup. Bill Belichick has been coaching the Patriots since 2000, mostly with Tom Brady at quarterback, so betting trends regarding New England should have more predictive power on the whole. Miami fans, beware: The Pats are on a 72-33-2 ATS run after racking up more than 350 yards of offense in their previous game. We're still going to recommend the Dolphins, given Campbell's success in getting through to his players, and injuries to Patriots RB Dion Lewis (abdomen), LT Marcus Cannon (toe) and LB Dont'a Hightower (ribs) leaving their status in question. May the prolate spheroid be with you.
Free NFL Pick: Take the Dolphins +8 at Bovada