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Patriots Try To Shrug Off A Disappointing Loss As They Return

Posted by Stan Simmons on 2/4/2014 5:19:07 AM

The New England Patriots led the New York Jets by 11 points in the second half last week… and failed to win. The memory of a nasty loss will linger for the Patriots in practice this week.

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots – Sunday, October 27

Betting line: Patriots -7.5

Why Miami Will Win

This is a fascinating online legal sports betting setup, in that this is a game the Dolphins desperately need to win. Miami has fallen in each of its last three games. The 3-0 record of late September is ancient history. The Dolphins have to halt their slide and win a division game so that they will be in decent position at the end of the season with respect to tiebreakers for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC – that is realistically the best the Dolphins can do at this point. Miami will therefore approach this game with a great sense of urgency. Meanwhile, its opponent has been playing noticeably mediocre football in recent weeks. The Patriots lost to the New York Jets last Sunday, and the week before, they trailed the New Orleans Saints late in the fourth quarter before somehow rallying to win.

Keep in mind that without interior run-stuffer Vince Wilfork, New England’s defensive line is markedly vulnerable right now. The Patriots have a soft underbelly in their defense, and opposing offensive lines are taking advantage. The Pats need to score a lot of points to feel comfortable about their prospects each Sunday, but since Rob Gronkowski does not look very sharp upon returning from an extended injury-based layoff, it’s hard to put too much stock in New England’s passing game. The Dolphins’ defense is the strength of the team, so one can very easily imagine a game that’s 20-17 or 23-20 late in the fourth quarter. If the Dolphins can make an extra handful of plays in key situations, they can definitely swipe this one on the road.

Why New England Will Win

The Patriots are going to be breathing fire in this contest. Tom Brady has to be seething after his pick-six early in the third quarter enabled the New York Jets to come back from a 21-10 deficit and stun the Patriots. New England knows that with Kansas City sitting at 7-0 and Denver at 6-1, it must clean up its act in the chase for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Indianapolis is at 5-2, threatening to kick the Patriots out of the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. The Patriots know that they need to get a top-two seed to feel good about their playoff chances, so this game will acquire more importance. Don’t expect Brady to commit big mistakes in this game. Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins’ quarterback, is more likely to stumble.

Who Will Win

For a bettor, this is a tricky game. New England should be a lot better, but Miami can make the Patriots sweat. At any rate, though, trust Brady to outplay Tannehill by a wide margin. That’s where New England will separate itself from Miami.

NFL Betting Pick: Patriots -7.5
Get the latest inside skinny on the NFL’s week eight lines at the best betting site on the web.



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