Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
Date and Time: Sunday, September 18, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Week 2 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Dolphins vs. Patriots TV Coverage: CBS
One down, three to go. The Brady countdown officially got underway and Garoppolo made it a nice beginning. There’s no controversy in New England, no matter how well the backup-turned-starter plays. Garoppolo is just keeping the seat warm until Oct. 9 when Brady is eligible to return, but he played well and wasn’t flustered by the bright lights of Sunday Night Football. It also makes a difference that the Pats had plenty of time to prepare for the first quarter of the season giving extended reps and playing time to their starter during the preseason.
Garoppolo threw for 264 yards on 24 of 33 passing and didn’t throw an interception. His lone touchdown was a 37-yard strike on the team’s first possession. He was poised and accurate in the pocket and surprised the Cardinals’ defense with his elusiveness by running for 12 yards on four carries.
The Dolphins figured to be in for a tough game with the Seahawks and it was just that. Miami surprised a lot of people by keeping the game close and actually had the lead until late in the fourth quarter. The defense did a job on Russell Wilson and held Seattle without a touchdown until the final minute. But the late score proved to be the difference in a 12-10 Seahawks victory. Gase was pleased with his defensive effort, but the offense managed just 222 total yards with nearly half that total coming in the final quarter. The Dolphins easily covered the spread, but scoring has been a problem that has plagued the team throughout the preseason as well.
Welcome to the NFL Adam Gase. The Dolphins rookie head coach had to put his team on a plane and travel over 2,700 miles to play its opener in Seattle. Every team hits the road for half its away games, but the Dolphins covered the most distance of any team playing a game in the United States. And if that‘s not bad enough, Miami has to do it again this week. Granted the trip isn’t quite as long and the Dolphins will be in the same time zone, but a trip up the East Coast to Foxboro is another approximately 1,200 miles. Miami will log as many miles in the first two weeks of the season as some teams will the entire year.
At least the Dolphins will head to New England knowing they’ve won three of the last five meetings against the Patriots while also going 3-2 ATS. Playing the 2015 regular season finale as a 10.5-point underdog, Miami worked Brady over and denied the Patriots a first-round playoff bye with a 20-10 victory. That win came in South Beach where all three took place. Playing in Massachusetts has been a different story. The Pats have won seven straight over the Fins in Foxboro going 5-2 ATS in that span. Both teams are coming off long road trips, but the Pats won their game and get a home contest against a weary bunch.
Dolphins vs. Patriots Free Picks
Not only is Miami playing two of the top teams in the NFL, but it has to go on the road in the first two weeks of the season to do it. And both trips cover around 4,000 miles combined one way. That’s a lot of travelling. The long trip is out of the way, but the team returned home with a bad taste after coming close to knocking off the Seahawks. Now the Dolphins have to travel to New England where they haven’t won since 2008 and are just 1-9 SU and 4-6 ATS in their last 10.
With what is likely considered the most difficult of the first four games out of the way and a victory in hand, it’s quite possible we see the Pats suffer a little letdown. Garoppolo made the most of his first start and the Pats won in Arizona, but they did catch a break on a late missed field goal. The Dolphins can keep this one close with a defense that will harass Garoppolo and will stay within a field goal, which is the expected line on the odds at BookMaker.eu.
Dolphins vs. Patriots Week 2 ATS Pick: Dolphins
Dolphins vs. Patriots Score Prediction: Patriots 23, Dolphins 20