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

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, Massachusetts
Thursday, October 29, 2015, 8:25 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Network
Opening Line: New England -8
Current Line: New England -7 1/2
Opening Total: 51 1/2
Current Total: 51
Opening Money Line: Patriots -360 / Dolphins +300
Current Money Line: Patriots -360 / Dolphins +300

New England is a point favorite against Miami Thursday in Foxboro.
New England is a 7.5 point favorite against Miami Thursday in Foxboro.

The 6-0 New England Patriots are one of five undefeated teams left as we enter week eight. That is the most undefeated teams this late in the season since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. The Patriots look to keep their record unblemished as they host the rival 3-3 Miami Dolphins. New England is in first place in the AFC East ahead of the 4-2 New York Jets. Miami is in third ahead of the 3-4 Buffalo Bills.

Miami leads the series 52-47 against New England. This series dates back to 1966 when the Dolphins were an expansion team in the AFL. New England has won 8 of the last 10 games against Miami. The teams split the season series last year with each winning convincingly at home. Miami won 33-20 and New England won 41-13. The two teams will meet again in Miami in the regular season finale January 3.

Miami fired coach Joe Philbin after a 1-3 start. The Dolphins have won two straight games under interim coach Dan Campbell. Miami has road wins at the Washington Redskins 17-10 and Tennessee Titans 38-10 along with a home win over the Houston Texans 44-26 last week. Miami has a road loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-20, a home loss to the Bills 41-14 and a loss to the Jets 27-14 in London. Philbin was fired after the Jets loss just before the bye week.

Miami was a 4.5 point favorite against Houston and the total was 46.5. The Dolphins scored 41 points in the first half and the Texans didn’t get on the scoreboard until the third quarter. Houston scored 21 straight points to pull within 41-20 in the fourth. Miami added a field goal. The Texans scored a late touchdown but missed the two point conversion to make the final margin 18 points. Miami had 503 total yards to 322 for Houston. The Dolphins are 3-3 ATS and the total is 4-2 this season.

New England is coached by Bill Belichick. The Patriots have home wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21, Jaguars 51-17, and Jets 30-23 last week. New England has road wins over the Bills 40-32, Dallas Cowboys 30-6 and Indianapolis Colts 34-27.

The Patriots were 7 point favorites against the Jets and the total was 47. New England took a 13-10 lead into halftime. The Jets would lead 17-16 going into the fourth and kicked a field goal to go up 20-16 in the fourth. The Patriots would score 14 straight points to take a 10 point lead. New York kicked a field goal with 18 seconds that caused a push on the betting line. New England is 3-2-1 ATS and the total is 4-2 this season.

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Miami is outscoring teams 25-23 this season. The Dolphins are #9 in scoring. Miami averages 366 total yards per game on offense, including 249 passing and 118 rushing yards per game. The Dolphins are #14 or better in all three categories. On defense, Miami is allowing 370 total yards per game including 241 passing and 129 rushing yards. The Dolphins are #21 in total offense and #30 in rush defense. Miami is 21/80 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 33/86. Miami has forced 11 sacks but has allowed 16 this season. The Dolphins are -1 in turnovers. Miami has a special teams touchdown and two defensive touchdowns, and has allowed a defensive touchdown.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 1,628 yards with 13 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 44 rushing yards. Running back Lamar Miller has 70 carries for 419 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 15 catches for 153 yards and a touchdown. Jonas Gray has 29 carries for 121 yards. Running back Jay Ajayi is on injured reserve with broken ribs.

Wide receiver Rishard Matthews has 26 catches for 438 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jarvis Landry has 36 catches for 395 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 8 carries for 77 yards with a rushing touchdown. Tight end Jordan Cameron has 17 catches for 223 yards and a touchdown. DeVante Parker, Greg Jennings, Jake Stoneburner and Damien Williams will also get some catches. Stoneburner has two touchdown catches. Five defensive players are listed on the injury report.

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New England is outscoring teams 36-21 this season. The Patriots lead the league in scoring. New England averages 411 total yards per game including 327 passing and 84 rushing yards per game. The Patriots are #2 in total and passing offense, but #31 in rushing. On defense, the Patriots allow 359 total yards per game including 249 passing and 110 rushing yards. New England is 39/78 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 41/93. The Patriots have forced 21 sacks and allowed 16 this season. New England is +5 in turnovers and has allowed one defensive touchdown this season.

Quarterback Tom Brady is having another MVP caliber season. He has completed 68.9% of his passes for 2,054 yards with 16 touchdowns and an interception, along with 19 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back LeGarrette Blount has 52 carries for 246 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 2 catches for 25 yards and a touchdown. Dion Lewis has 40 catches for 201 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 26 catches for 256 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with an abdominal injury. Another running back Brandon Bolden is questionable is questionable with a hamstring injury. No other running back has more than four carries, so it is unclear who will get the back-up carries if Lewis can’t go.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski has 34 catches for 533 yards and six touchdown catches. Receiver Julian Edelman has 45 catches for 503 yards and four touchdowns, along with 23 rushing yards. Danny Amendola has 25 catches for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns. Scott Chandler, Aaron Dobson and Brandon LeFell will also get some catches. Five defensive players and four offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.

Miami is 12-2 ATS in week eight, 4-1 after allowing 90 rushing yards or less, and in October, 5-2 in Thursday games, 30-13 against teams with winning home records, 3-8 overall, 2-7 against AFC teams, 1-4 after gaining more than 350 total yards and after allowing 250 passing yards or more, 0-5 against AFC East teams,  1-5 after scoring more than 30 points, after passing for 250 yards or more and on fieldturf.

New England is 3-0-1 after passing for 250 yards or more, 5-1-1 after a straight up win, and after allowing more than 250 passing yards, 5-1 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, 4-1 in week eight, 7-2 after rushing for 90 yards or less, 3-1-1 overall, 14-6-1 at home, 35-15-3 in October, and 72-33-2 after gaining 350 total yards or more. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in this series recently. The home team has covered the last six games in this series. The Patriots are 4-1 ATS at home against the Dolphins.

Since firing Philbin, Miami has won two straight routs, granted against two terrible teams. New England seems to be very angry at the whole “deflategate” scandal and it’s aftermath. This team looks kind of like the 2007 team that went undefeated in the regular season. I like the patriots to win convincingly at home.

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