Monday Night Football Betting – New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
The New England Patriots are essentially in a position that is quite familiar to them – ready to clinch a division championship and challenge for the home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. They continue their quest on Monday night as they take on the Miami Dolphins in a game that begins at 8:30 PM ET at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, and will be televised on ESPN. If you are a BetAnySports customer, you can get reduced juice to give you better value in the football betting odds, then after the opening kickoff, you can partake in real-time wagering through the mechanism of Live Betting Ultra.
It was a rough situation for the Patriots in the first four weeks of the season, as a lot of people were asking questions about their defensive unit. After all, they allowed more than 30 points three times in that first quartet of contests, and were embarrassed in the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. All told, the Pats allowed 128 points (an average of 32) in the first four, and every quarterback they faced threw for 300 yards or more. But if there’s one thing we know about Bill Belichick and his team, they are resilient, and they can make adjustments. There is no question about the fact that New England did just that; in these last eight games, all of which they have won, they have allowed a little less than 12 points per game. And no team has scored more than 17 against them. While some of these opponents are challenged offensively, there have been got some good quarterback they faced, including last year’s MVP, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers and Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders. So you can’t necessarily say that they take advantage of a “soft” schedule.
This defense will certainly be a stumbling block for the Miami Dolphins, who are 29th in the league in yards gained per drive. And how much should really be made of last week’s 35-9 victory over the Denver Broncos, a team that was falling apart, especially on the offensive side? Jay Cutler, who was signed right before the season and brought out of retirement, has gotten mixed reviews. He’s thrown 11 interceptions thus far and averaged only 6.1 yards per attempt, and Jarvis Landry, one of the top receivers in the game, may have 80 receptions, but he’s averaged only 8.7 yards. So the scope of this Miami attack is somewhat limited. They hope they have re-discovered something on the ground, as they had 290 yards over the last two games, with Kenyon Drake, the Alabama alum, leading the way last week with 120 rushing yards.
In the Monday night football betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, New England is the double-digit road favorite:
New England Patriots -10.5
Miami Dolphins +10.5
Over 48.5 points -110
Under 48.5 points -110
If Miami catches a break anywhere, it’s in the fact that Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady’s favorite target, is out with a one-game NFL suspension due to his severe personal foul last week against Buffalo. This kind of re-arranges things for Brady, as he doesn’t really have the opportunity to take advantage of the two-tight end sets that become a staple of this playbook. Of course, this is a quarterback who really knows how to improvise, so maybe he’ll stretch the field a little more with Brandin Cooks, who has been outstanding, averaging 16.7 yards per reception in his first year with the team. Maybe New England concentrates a little more on running the football, and that is something may be able to do as well, totaling almost 400 yards over the last two weeks.
There is very little doubt that the Patriots are unfazed by going on the road, as they’ve won 14 straight away from Gillette Stadium. This is a game where they can clinch their ninth consecutive AFC East championship, but on the horizon is the showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which could determine who gets the home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The “trap” here is that Miami has defeated New England three times in the last four years in this building, and in one of those they did spoil the Pats’ opportunity to have home field in the playoffs.
New England’s offense is best in the NFL in points per drive, and even though they’ve allowed a lot of yardage, that has not necessarily translated into points for the opposition, especially over this latest eight-game stretch. The Miami offense has some playmakers, but somehow they’ve come up short against the better teams, losing six games by double digits already. We like to point to the fact that New England has played six of its last eight games under the total, although of course the 35-17 Patriot victory a couple weeks ago over the Dolphins went “over.”
We’ll lay the points here, as the Dolphins can’t match firepower.
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