Patriots

Oddsmakers giving Patriots a little too much respect vs. Dolphins in Week 15?

Patriots

The New England Patriots need a miracle to reach the NFL playoffs, and for that to happen, they must beat the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Sunday afternoon's pivotal Week 15 matchup.

FiveThirtyEight's model gives the Patriots a three percent chance of earning an AFC wild card spot. A victory over the Dolphins boosts those odds to just seven percent. 

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So, it's a longshot, but we shouldn't expect the Patriots to just roll over in Miami. Oddsmakers aren't predicting that, either, judging by the latest betting lines for this rivalry game.

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Here's the spread, moneyline and points total for Patriots vs. Dolphins -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.

 

The Dolphins have been a great team for bettors in 2020. They own a 10-3 record against-the-spread (ATS), including a 6-2 ATS mark at home. The Dolphins are 7-2 straight up and 8-1 ATS in their last nine games. 

The Patriots are 6-7 straight up and ATS, and they have covered the spread in only two of seven road games. New England also has had plenty of troubles in Miami during Bill Belichick's 20-year tenure as head coach of the Patriots. The Dolphins are 5-2 against the Patriots in the last seven matchups played in Miami.

 

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One factor to consider entering this game is Belichick's enormous success versus young quarterbacks, especially those players who are rookies or in their second season. His defense made Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert look average or worse in recent weeks, so it wouldn't be surprising if Dolphins rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa struggled Sunday.

The Patriots are facing a must-win game against the Dolphins, and despite all of their struggles this season, it's hard to bet against a Belichick-coached team in this kind of spot.