NFL Week 17 Picks: Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
Sunday, 12/30/12, 4:25 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  New England -11
Current Betting Line:  New England -10
Opening Total:  49.5
Current Total:  46
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Miami Dolphins are motivated to end the 2012 NFL regular season with an even 8-8 record

Miami has scored 24 points in back-to-back wins over the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars, as the team prepares to try and finish the 2012 NFL regular season with an even 8-8 record.  “It’s a big difference,” stated Dolphins running back Reggie Bush.  “I think obviously 8-8 is better than 7-9.”  The former USC Trojans star needs 40 yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season, but the Dolphins were limited to just 101 yards on the ground in a 23-16 loss to the Patriots in the first meeting on Dec. 2.  Miami is 6-5 ATS in December the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 7-5 in that situation.

The Dolphins did manage to total 362 rushing yards during their current win streak, which will be a key factor to handicap when making your NFL picks against the spread in this rivalry game.  Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has gone four straight games without an interception, which is a key statistic due to Sunday’s opponent being one of the league’s leaders in creating turnovers.

New England may end up with the No. 3 seed in the upcoming AFC playoffs, as it will land in that spot of the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans take care of business Sunday.  The Patriots are coming off a lackluster 23-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars as 14-point road favorites, as they were out-gained for the first time in five contests.  “We’ve got to do a better job,” commented Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady.  He’ll be trying to win 12 regular-season games for the seventh time in his illustrious career.  New England is 0-3 ATS at home when the total is between 45.5 and 49 points.

The Patriots have compiled a dominating 26-5 home record against divisional opponents since 2002, while they’ve outscored all foes by an incredible 896-point margin in that span.  New England has won eight of the last 10 meeting in this series, but Miami has covered the spread in four of its last five trips to Foxborough, which is important to consider when looking over the pro football odds page.

Sports bettors will likely back the Dolphins due to their 23-7 ATS mark on the road versus teams with a winning home record, while the Patriots are 1-4 ATS in December.

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