NFL Monday Night Football Betting Picks: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Monday, December 11, 2017, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Hard Rock Stadium – Miami Gardens, Florida
Opening Line: New England -11
Current Line: New England -11
Opening Total: 48 1/2
Current Total: 48
Opening Money Line: Patriots -900 / Dolphins +600
Current Money Line: Patriots -600 / Dolphins +450

Patriots vs. Dolphins NFL Preview
New England travels to Miami Monday night. The Patriots can clinch the AFC East with a win.

The New England Patriots are 10-2 and can wrap up the AFC East with a win Monday night at the Miami Dolphins. It would be the 9th straight division title for the Patriots. New England is tied for the best record in the AFC with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Miami is still barely alive for a playoff spot.

Miami leads the series 53-51 against New England. The Patriots have won five of the last six games against the Dolphins. The Patriots won two weeks ago in Foxborough 35-17.

New England is coached by Bill Belichick. The Patriots have home losses to the Kansas City Chiefs 42-27 and against the Carolina Panthers 33-30. New England has road wins over the New Orleans Saints 36-20, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-14, New York Jets 24-17, Denver Broncos 41-16 and Buffalo Bills 23-3 last week, and home wins over the Houston Texans 36-33, Atlanta Falcons 23-7, Los Angeles Chargers 21-13, Oakland Raiders 33-8 and Dolphins 35-17. The Patriots have won eight straight games. Against the Bills , New England was a 7.5 point favorite and the total was 48.5. The Patriots are 8-4 ATS and the over is 6-6 this season.

Miami is coached by Adam Gase.  Miami has road losses at the New York Jets 20-6, Baltimore Ravens 40-0, Carolina Panthers 45-21, and the Patriots 35-17, a loss to the New Orleans Saints 20-0 in London, plus home losses to the Oakland Raiders 27-24 and Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-20. Miami has road wins over the Los Angeles Chargers 19-17 and Atlanta Falcons 20-17, plus home wins over the Tennessee Titans 16-10, Jets 31-28 and Denver Broncos 35-9 last week. The win over the Broncos snapped a five game losing streak for the Dolphins. Miami was a one point underdog against Denver and the total was 41. Miami is 4-6-2 ATS and the total is 7-5 this season.

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New England is outscoring opponents 29-19 this season. The Patriots are #3 in scoring and #9 in points allowed. New England averages 413 yards per game on offense including 293 passing and 121 rushing yards. New England is #1 in total and passing offense, and #9 in rushing. The Patriots are allowing 376 yards per game on defense including 255 passing and 121 rushing yards. New England is #24 or worse in all three categories. The Patriots are 75/176 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 68/168. New England has forced 28 sacks and allowed 27 this season. The Patriots are +9 in turnovers.

Quarterback Tom Brady has completed 68.5% of his passes for 3,632 yards with 26 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, along with 21 carries for 24 rushing yards. He has been sacked 27 times. He is probable with an Achilles’ injury. Brian Hoyer is the back-up.

Running back Dion Lewis has 112 carries for 590 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 15 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with an illness. Mike Gillislee has 98 carries for 355 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is out with an illness. Rex Burkhead has 55 carries for 244 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 24 catches for 204 yards and 3 touchdowns.  James White has 43 carries for 171 yards and has 51 catches for 410 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Receiver Brandin Cooks has 53 catches for 886 yards and 5 touchdowns. Tight end Rob Gronkowski has 55 catches for 847 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is suspended Monday after a cheap shot in the Bills’ game last week. Danny Amendola has 46 catches for 489 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Chris Hogan has 33 catches for 438 yards and 5 touchdowns.  He is probable with a shoulder injury.    Receiver Julian Edelman is out with a torn ACL suffered in the pre-season. Seventeen defensive players and four offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.

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Miami is being outscored 25-17 this season. Miami is #27 in both scoring and points allowed. The Dolphins average 293 yards per game on offense including 208 passing and 85 rushing yards. The Dolphins are #28 or worse in total and rushing offense.  On defense, Miami is allowing 340 yards per game including 223 passing and 117 rushing yards.  Miami is 54/167 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 57/155. The Dolphins have forced 21 sacks and allowed 27 this season. Miami is -10 in turnovers this season and has allowed 5 defensive touchdowns. The Dolphins have scored three defensive touchdowns.

Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill is out for the season with a torn ACL. The Dolphins signed the retired Jay Cutler after the injury in the pre-season.  Cutler has completed 63.9% of his passes for 1,837 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, and also has 11 carries for 21 yards. He has been sacked 15 times. Matt Moore replaced Cutler for one game. He has thrown for 861 yards with 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He is out with a foot injury. David Fales will serve as the back-up

Running back Jay Ajayi was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for draft picks. He had 138 carries for 465 yards, plus 14 catches for 67 yards. Kenyan Drake has 65 carries for 320 yards and two touchdowns, plus 18 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown. Damien Williams has 46 carries for 181 yards, plus 20 catches for 155 yards and a touchdown. He is out with a shoulder injury.

Receiver Kenny Stills has 48 catches for 733 yards and 6 touchdowns. Jarvis Landry has 80 catches for 699 yards and 6 touchdowns.  DeVante Parker has 36 catches for 414 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Julius Thomas has 37 catches for 362 yards and 3 touchdowns. Eleven defensive  players and five offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.

The home team is 10-1 ATS in this series recently. The Patriots have covered five of the last six and were the favorites in each of those contests. The over is 5-2 in this series recently. The Dolphins are 4-1 ATS against the Patriots in Miami.

The Patriots are clearly the better team even without Gronk. The only way this is a close game is if the Pats are looking ahead to next week’s showdown in Pittsburgh. I don’t think they do, and New Enggland rolls.

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