The Patriots look for a 2-0 start without Tom Brady when they open divisional play against the Miami Dolphins. The visiting Dolphins covered as the biggest underdog of the NFL’s opening week, pushing the Seahawks to the final moments in Seattle. Now the Dolphins are back east and once again the underdogs, getting as many as six points at some betting sites according to OddsShark.com.
“Same Old Patriots” was what analysts were saying this week, as Jimmy Garoppolo led the Pats to a two-point win over Arizona. The Patriots also covered as underdogs, but narrowly lost the contest on a late Chandler Catanzaro field goal attempt. Now they host Miami, who they’ve beaten in seven straight meetings.
Garoppolo was serviceable in his first career start, totaling over 250 passing yards and finding Chris Hogan for a TD pass. But he’ll face a different look against Miami, who devoured Russell Wilson in their opener. The Dolphins front looks like it is ready to live up to the hype, with Ndamukong Suh returning to All-Pro form.
The biggest difference maker Sunday could be Arian Foster. The Patriots surrendered 132 total yards to the Cardinals’ David Johnson, and Foster looked healthy in his first outing. He sat out most of practice this week as a precaution, but if he can stay healthy it would give the Dolphins a great shot at covering.
It’s still unclear if Adam Gase has flipped the switch on Ryan Tannehill, but he’s a safer bet than Garoppolo. It’s risky to bet against the Patriots at hone, but the Dolphins will terrorize Garoppolo if he doesn’t get the ball out quickly. The point total is at 42, which is high for a two teams that didn’t impress much last week.
Heavy’s Pick: Patriots 24 Dolphins 19. Dolphins +6. Under on the point total.