The New England Patriots (9-3) travel to South Beach this Sunday for an AFC East showdown with the Miami Dolphins (6-6). Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on December 9th at Hard Rock Stadium and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Patriots listed as 9-point road favorites. That line has shifted by a full point after early betting, as New England is currently available at -8. The total for this matchup is 47 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 14 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Dolphins vs Patriots Vegas Odds & Game Preview
New England has now won eight out of their last nine games after an impressive 24-10 home victory over Minnesota last weekend. The Patriots jumped all over the Vikings right from the opening kickoff, scoring a touchdown early in the first quarter and never looking back. QB Tom Brady was fantastic, throwing for over 300 yards and a touchdown against an above-average defense. Josh Gordon and James White combined for ten receptions, 150 receiving yards, and a touchdown to lead the way for the offense. RB Sony Michel chipped in with 67 yards on the ground in his third game back from a knee injury suffered against Chicago in late October. Overall, New England is currently averaging 27.6 points per game (7th overall) on 395.1 yards of total offense.
The Patriots have been pretty solid defensively through their first twelve games, allowing opponents to score 21.6 points per game (9th overall) on 369.2 total yards of offense. However, they have really struggled to defend against the pass, giving up an average of 262.5 yards per game through the air (24th overall).
Miami got back to .500 overall on the season last weekend, beating Buffalo 21-17 at home after an impressive 4th quarter rally. The Dolphins trailed the Bills by a field goal with about nine minutes left in the game before Ryan Tannehill connected with Kenny Stills for a game-winning 13-yard touchdown. Tannehill only passed for 137 yards but did throw three touchdown passes in the victory. The receiving duo of DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills combined for 80 yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions. As a whole, Miami is currently averaging 20.3 points per game (25th overall) on 302.1 yards of total offense.
The Dolphins have been below average on the other side of the ball so far this season, giving up an average of 25.0 points per game (24th overall). They have been dreadful against the run, allowing opponents to rush for 144.7 yards per game on the ground (30th overall).
Free NFL Betting Prediction: New England -8
I’ll be the first to admit that I got fooled into taking the Dolphins against the spread when these two teams met back in Week 4. Miami was a perfect 3-0 at that time, while New England was off to a troublesome 1-2 start. Of course, the Patriots embarrassed the ‘Fins 38-7 at home to get back to .500 and kick-start their impressive stretch of play through the months of October and November. I don’t think I’m going to be making that same mistake here in Week 14, as I think New England should be able to win by double-digits on Sunday. Brady has played well as of late, while the offense is pretty much 100% healthy after getting both Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead back in the lineup.
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New England is a perfect 5-0 ATS over their last five games against the AFC East. They are also 8-4 ATS in 12 games so far this season – and an impressive 17-6 ATS record over their last 23 road games. Miami is just 4-10 ATS over their last fourteen games against teams with a winning record. They are also only 6-15 ATS in their last 21 games in the month of December.
The Patriots have also owned the Dolphins against the spread as of late, going 4-1 ATS over their last five meetings. I fully expect that trend to continue on Sunday, as New England has clearly been the vastly superior team on both sides of the ball – they are scoring a touchdown more on offense per game while also giving up four fewer points per game on defense. Belichick always has his troops ready for divisional games, so the Pats should come out firing on all cylinders in this one. As long as this spread stays under ten points, I’m all over the road favorite in this one – give me New England.