A fresh start with their head coach appears to have given the Miami Dolphins a boost. But the early action was on the New England Patriots for Week 8's football picks.
Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 25: 23-16-1 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 17-27 Total
The Miami Dolphins have more issues to deal with than just their head coach. As pleased as we were to cash in at 16-1 when Joe Philbin got fired, this mess wasn't entirely his doing; the Dolphins front office still needs some sanitizing to get rid of that palace-intrigue smell, and it'll take a while to build up the bench strength the team needs to support its expensive first unit. Everyone here at the home office wishes Philbin the best of luck in his future endeavors.
Having said that, the Dolphins are 2-0 SU and ATS under interim head coach Dan Campbell. They've responded well to his approach, climbing back into playoff contention at 3-3 SU and ATS heading into Thursday's divisional matchup (8:25 p.m. ET, CBS/NFLN) with the New England Patriots. Yet it was the Patriots getting the early nod as 10-point home faves (+115) on the Week 8 NFL odds board. Curiouser and curiouser.
Adventures in Dogsitting
The Patriots were getting plenty of love from sharps and squares alike earlier this year. That was before New England failed to cash in as an 8-point road chalk against the Indianapolis Colts. It was the New York Jets pulling in the wiseguys for last week's 30-23 loss to the Patriots; that was a push on the closing line, but we hope you had the Jets at +9 after we told you about the “divisional dogs of +7 or better” trend.
Just to put a bow on that matchup, a dip into the archive of our expanded consensus reports shows the Jets remained the hot NFL pick throughout the week, ending with over 68 percent of bettors and 72 percent of the monies wagered. So why the sudden shift back to the Patriots this week? After all, Miami's a divisional dog of +7.5 or even higher as we go to press.
Maybe the shine is supposed to wear off the Dolphins at some point. But things seem pretty copacetic in South Beach now that Campbell's in charge. He's been cracking the whip harder than Philbin was during practices, and that attitude has spilled over into game action; Miami won each of its last two games in blowout fashion. Okay, it was against the Tennessee Titans (–2.5 at home) and the Houston Texans (+4.5 away), but still.
Here's another plausible explanation for the Patriot love: They're a really good football team. Even so, New England is 13-14-3 ATS in its last 30 games as a 7-point favorite or higher. And RB Dion Lewis (abdomen) had to sit out last week against the Jets. Can Lewis make the short turnaround and be ready for Thursday night? We'll be back later this week to investigate.