Sunday Night Football (01:20 Monday UK time) sees the New England Patriots play host to the Miami Dolphins at the Gillette Stadium.
New England lost their third-straight season opener last week, falling to the defending NFC champions the Philadelphia Eagles, while Tyreek Hill’s incredible game against the Los Angeles Chargers ensured that Miami started their season off with a win.
Here’s a bit of trivia for you – Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has started four matches against Bill Belichick’s Patriots. How many times has he walked away with victory? Four – he’s something of a thorn in New England’s side.
The Dolphins are favourites on the money line at 8/13, while New England are priced up at 13/10.
Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert was a full participant at practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday with a knee injury, although his status for this weekend’s match remains unknown.
Terron Armstead, Elijah Campbell and Julian Hill all had limited participation in practice on Wednesday and Thursday as they continue to nurse their respective injuries, so Sunday’s matchup could come too soon for them.
As for the Patriots, Trent Brown and Sidy Sow are expected to be unavailable for this match after both men suffered concussions, while Cole Strange has been limited in practice with a bad knee, along with Mike Onwenu who has an ankle injury.
Miami Dolphins (-3.5) @ 21/20
This match has the potential to be a close encounter, as the spread suggests, and I’m expecting Belichick to weave some unique defensive schemes in order to slow down Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill, just as they did to Jalen Hurts and co. last week, holding the Eagles to one touchdown.
However, the Dolphins have a huge wave of momentum after a thrilling road win to open the season and Hill is arguably the most dangerous player in the entire NFL.
The former Kansas City Chief had 215 receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Chargers, and if Tagovailoa can stay healthy, then Miami’s offense could be one of the best passing attacks in the league.
I’m expecting the Dolphins to cover the spread as they have won four of the last five matches between the two sides.
Over 47 points @ 11/10
Miami posted 36 points against the Chargers, and despite holding the Eagles to just one touchdown, New England still conceded 25 points last week.
As mentioned, containing Miami’s offense could be an issue for every team this season, but New England’s offense also put up a solid display against Philly despite a slow start.
For all the positives the Dolphins showed in their Week 1 triumph against Los Angeles, the Chargers still managed to score 34 points, and for me, this match comes down to whether the Pats can manage to slow down the athleticism of Hill and Tagovailoa.
The Pats will want to keep this game close to have a chance, however I’m taking the over on the points total – I can see New England trying to keep things tight before Miami eventually runs away with it.
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