The Cam Newton era in New England will begin just as the Tom Brady era ended: with the Patriots as betting favorites.
The Patriots open the 2020 season with a Sunday matchup against the Miami Dolphins at 1 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium. And despite losing Brady in addition to several key defensive players this offseason, New England is favored over its AFC East rival in Week 1.
Here are the latest Patriots-Dolphins lines. (Odds provided by our partner, PointsBet.)
Spread: Patriots -6.5 (-115)
Moneyline: Patriots -301, Dolphins +240
That's a significant spread considering New England's offseason roster turnover, and that Newton is playing in just his third NFL game since December 2018.
So, can the Patriots beat the Dolphins by at least a touchdown Sunday? Here's what the pundits and prediction models have to say:
FiveThirtyEight's Win Probability: Patriots 71%, Dolphins 29%
ESPN's FPI: Patriots 70.3% (by an average of 7.7 points)
Pro Football Talk: Patriots 27, Dolphins 21 (Michael David Smith)
Patriots 24, Dolphins 16 (Mike Florio)
CBS Sports: Patriots 28, Dolphins 7
Bleacher Report: Patriots 27, Dolphins 16
Sporting News: Patriots 24, Dolphins 13
Most experts are confident the Patriots can cover in their 2020 season opener. But is that confidence justified?
Here are some betting trends to consider, courtesy of Rotoworld's EDGE Finder:
Trend No. 1: The Dolphins went 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 games of the 2019 season, which included an outright win over the Patriots in Week 17.
Trend No. 2: The Patriots are just 13-16 against the spread at home in the month of September under head coach Bill Belichick (since 2000).
Trend No. 3: Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is 7-5-1 against the spread in 13 career games versus the Patriots, all as an underdog). Fitzpatrick's teams have covered in five of their last seven games against New England.
Can "FitzMagic" pull off another upset of the Patriots? Here's how we see things shaking out Sunday:
Our Pick: Dolphins +6.5
The Patriots win, but it isn't pretty. Newton shakes off some rust in the first half, while Dolphins running backs Jordan Howard and Matt Breida find room to run against New England's patchwork front seven.
The Patriots play the possession game and rely on their rushing attack to grind out a low-scoring win. Patriots 21, Dolphins 17.