This might feel like a trap because New England has a history of struggling in Miami, especially in the early-season heat, but not this year. The Patriots also tend to keep stepping on the gas with Tom Brady, and after losing badly to Matt Patricia’s team last year, Bill Belichick will put Brian Flores in place.
Lopsided matchup but the Patriots might try to get run game going, which makes it less of a blowout. Still, this will be a long season for the Dolphins.
This has all the makings of a blowout. But the Patriots have traditionally had issues in Miami. Will that factor here? No chance.
This is like a 26-year-old bodybuilder fighting an infant.
New England has created a quagmire by signing Antonio Brown. For an organization that detests distractions, this guy's the ultimate distraction. Miami, the only franchise to complete a perfect season, may go for the bookend with a winless season.
I know the Dolphins are putrid, but they can’t be this bad, right? Like, at least have some professional pride. And maybe this is just a coincidence, but two of the last three Bill Belichick assistants who left to become head coaches beat the Patriots in their first matchup. Brian Flores’ team almost certainly won’t win, but perhaps there’s enough institutional knowledge to keep it close.
It’s never a good idea to lay 19 points on the road, even against a Dolphins’ team that’s this bad. The Patriots have a habit of underperforming in Miami. The Dolphins could easily cover the spread with some garbage-time scoring.
I’m going to stick to fundamentals and refuse to lay an astronomical price on the road despite this situation arguably justifying it. Miami has won five of its last six against New England at home — as if that matters.
Winning in Miami never has come easy for the Patriots, let alone winning by 20 (!) points. While it’s hard to imagine the Dolphins pulling off an upset, especially with multiple players reportedly trying to maneuver their way out of town, this spread is just way too big given the trends and, as Mike noted, Brian Flores’ familiarity with the Patriots.
The Patriots have been 17-point or more favorites eight times in the Brady-Belichick era and are 3-5. Miami has been a house of horrors for the Pats. They’re 1-5 in their last six in South Florida. Also, Ryan Fitzpatrick can easily throw a couple of bombs and keep this within 19.
No favored N.F.L. team has covered a spread of more than 16 points on the road, and the Patriots are being asked to cover 18.5 (a number that rose from an opening spread of 15, and one that could rise even more based on plausible scenarios like the Dolphins’ few decent remaining players quitting to become long-haul truck drivers).
Just a reminder: You don’t need to play every game (though we pick every game here). I hate taking any NFL team laying 19 points on the road, but don’t love the Dolphins either. I’ll take Miami and hope that Bill Belichick eases up on Brian Flores, his old defensive coordinator.