NFL Week 1 Picks: New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
Sunday, 9/7/14, 1:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  New England -3.5
Current Betting Line:  New England -4
Opening Total:  47
Current Total:  46.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins
The UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins

New England travels to Miami to open up the 2014 NFL regular season, as it attempts to win its 11th consecutive season opener, which is important to consider when looking over the pro football odds.  The Patriots own a 63-17 record in regular season play against AFC East opponents since 2001—the best intra-division record of any team in the league over that period of time.  New England is 17-3 SU and 13-6 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 14-6 in that situation.

The Patriots are led by quarterback Tom Brady, who is hoping to eclipse the 4,000-yard mark in passing for a fourth consecutive season, which can’t be ignored when making your pro football picks.   New England has plenty of weapons around him, including tight end Rob Gronkowski, who didn’t participate in any of the four preseason contests.  Brady owns a 17-7 SU record in this series, including a 6-6 mark when playing in South Beach.

Miami is coming off a tumultuous 8-8 season a year ago, which included a league investigation of a bullying scandal involving former offensive linemen Jonathan Martin.  The Dolphins will need to do a better job of keeping signal-caller Ryan Tannehill upright, as he was sacked a NFL-high 58 times in 2013.  The franchise brought in former Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor to run the offense.  Miami is 9-11 SU and 11-7-2 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons.

The Dolphins have dropped seven of the last eight meetings in this series, but they earned a 24-20 victory as 2.5-point home favorites to close out the 2013-14 regular season series.  Defensively, Miami will need to limit Gronkowski inside the red zone, as he’s not expected to play 50 or 60 offensive snaps for the visitor.  A rotation of safeties Louis Delmas and Jimmy Wilson will be in charge of that assignment.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 4-0 in the last four meetings in this rivalry.

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