New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
Date and Time: Monday, December 11, 2017, 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL
Opening NFL Odds: Patriots -12, O/U 48.5
Patriots vs. Dolphins TV Coverage: ESPN
The Patriots' train is continuing to roll down the tracks with ease at this point. New England has won eight straight games and has covered six straight, proving once again that it is an impossible team for the top NFL sportsbooks to stick a number up against.
Even on a day when Tom Brady didn't throw a single touchdown for just the 23rd time in his illustrious career, the Patriots barreled right over Buffalo 23-3 to move within one win of yet another AFC East title.
This is now eight straight games for the Pats allowing 17 points or fewer after conceding 33 points or more in three of their first four games. New England hasn't scored at a ridiculous rate of late, but it hasn't had to with its defense improving dramatically.
Miami is amazingly still in this playoff discussion with Jay Cutler under center. A 5-7 record is nothing to write home about, but the Fins saved their season last week against Denver and could have a relatively clear coast the rest of this way if this game happens to end in an upset.
Keep an eye on Kenyan Drake in this game. Drake has taken over the Miami backfield in its entirety with Jay Ajayi traded and Damien Williams out injured. He rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown in last week's win over Denver, a game that was won in spite of Jay Cutler's two picks, one of which came back for a touchdown.
The Last Meeting
It was only two weeks ago that the Dolphins were 17-point underdogs in Foxboro, the largest line against any team in the NFL this year.
The Patriots were up 14-0 10 minutes into the game and never looked back from there. The New England defense sacked Matt Moore seven times and held the Fins to a total of just 221 yards of offense.
Was Tom Brady great? No, he wasn't. He only went 18-for-28 for 227 yards, though he did throw four touchdowns. Brady was picked off once, and the Pats lost a fumble in a rare two-turnover game. But Dion Lewis rumbled for 112 yards on just 15 carries on a day New England was dominant on the ground.
Patriots vs. Dolphins Free Picks
Let's remember that Rob Gronkowski was dominant in that first meeting, catching five passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns. After Gronk bodyslammed a Buffalo defender on the sidelines last week, there's a decent chance the NFL could suspend him for this game, and that could really hurt the Patriots offense.
New England was also a wee on the lucky side in that first clash. The team fumbled the ball four times and only ended up with one turnover from the four. Plus, Moore was the quarterback under center at that point instead of Cutler. For as bad as Cutler is, he's better than Moore, and that alone is probably worth a couple of points.
Even after all of this for Miami, the team probably still should have covered the 17 and just barely failed.
As tough as it is to go against the Patriots, this is the moment we think they'll be challenged. It's Monday Night Football, and it's the biggest game of the season for the Fins. They'll show up and give New England everything they've got before ultimately ceding.
NFL ATS Pick: Dolphins +12 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Patriots 24, Dolphins 17