Patriots vs. Dolphins: Take Sizeable Road Favorite To Cover as Your NFL Pick

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 1:04 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015 1:04 PM UTC

The Patriots lost to the Jets in overtime last week, in part due to a head scratching decision while the Dolphins lost to the Colts in this their season of discontent. Check our NFL pick here.

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NFL Pick: Patriots -10
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


New England Patriots (12-3 SU, 7-5-3 ATS)
Mystery and intrigue follow the New England Patriots around like a soggy diaper. Not an appealing portrait I paint of the most hated franchise in America but certainly apt. In the latest chapter it was a head-scratching moment when New England elected to kick rather than receive in the overtime frame with the Jets after rallying from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter. I am not sure I have ever seen a team opt to kick first in the most recent itineration of NFL overtime rules which states that if the receiving team scores a touchdown the game is over. Perhaps Bill Belichick is reading too many of his press clippings that cite him as the most inventive, intelligent and strategic coach ever to roam the sidelines. If getting too cute has cost his team this season then this decision was dimples galore. Needless to say the Jets did score a touchdown and won the game 26-20 as 3½ point home underdogs in NFL odds.

The Patriots are already getting postseason bye but the endgame is to own the home field advantage throughout the playoffs which can be had with a win in Miami this Sunday. To parrot a tired phrase they “control their own destiny” but that destination will be short lived if they cannot get healthy. Julien Edelman will once again be sidelined and the verdict is still out on fellow wideout Danny Amendola. The offensive line took yet another hit when Sebastian Vollmer was carted off with a left leg injury that reports are citing as an ankle sprain. The Pats’ training room has resembled a MASH unit all season and the only saving grace is that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are still upright and ostensibly healthy.


Miami Dolphins (5-10 SU, 4-11 ATS)
Former Miami head coach Joe Philbin is by all accounts one very classy guy. But it would be hard for even a man of his impeccable character not to smile like a Cheshire cat as he watches this Dolphins debacle of a season unfold. Former tight ends coach Dan Campbell was tapped to replace the terminated Philbin in early October and just like that the Fish won their next two games. Yet the euphoria did not last long and even the best jockey cannot get a nag across the finish line first. Philbin knew this…now the rest of us do. In short, this is not a good football team.

The latest setback in Miami’s long, tedious 2015 campaign was an 18-12 loss to the Indianapolis Colts as 2 ½ point home favorites. But perhaps the most interesting part of this loss came after the fact when Dolphins’ cornerback Brett Grimes’ wife Miko took to Twitter as she is wont to do and unleashed this barrage, "I knew this qb stunk the minute we signed to this team but I tried to keep quiet so I didn't discourage bae from believing in his team," she tweeted.

But the fun didn’t stop there as she continued her anti-Tannehill campaign, "I should've known we were gonna lose when I heard we didn't complete a single pass in two minute drills this week against the practice squad defense." And finally she leveled this gem, "My Column: how many people does Ryan Tannehill have to get fired before you realize he's the problem."

Reports are that Dolphins’ brass has met with Miko and Brent Grimes to ask her to tone it down and if her sentiments are shared by the player himself. Aside from the salacious and gossipy nature of the tweets it does give gamblers rare insight into the locker room chemistry of a team which often manifests on the field of play. Stay tuned because I have a feeling we have not heard the last of Miss Congeniality this season.


Betting Analysis
I think there are few punters who are including this game in their NFL picks this Sunday that are begging to bet the Dolphins. Although the point spread offers a reason to bet the underdog, it cannot be overstated how dysfunctional the Dolphins are this season and how talentless they truly are. In their earlier meeting in Foxboro this season the Patriots had little trouble dispatching Miami as evidenced by their 36-7 thrashing.

You can say all you want about the offensive plight of the Patriots with key players injured but this defense has gotten better as the weeks have progressed. I can envision a scenario in which Ryan Tannehill looks more like Ryan Leaf than Matt Ryan in this game which is why I will side with Joe Q. Public and follow the squares with this sizeable road favorite.

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