Sunday Night NFL Betting -- Patriots need to contain Dolphins' aerial explosion

  • In Charles Jay
  • Sun, Sep 17th, 2023 1:32:33 pm
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

The Miami Dolphins exploded last week, and Bill Belichick needs to get something ready for them as the Patriots host them on Sunday night.

The Miami Dolphins served notice to BetOnline patrons and the entire NFL that they are liable to be swinging for the home run at any time. And Tua Tagovailoa has made a lot of these big plays happen, fulfilling the vision Mike McDaniel and the Miami front office had when they brought together Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

On Sunday night the Dolphins make the trek to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots. It's on NBC at Gilette Stadium, with the kiockoff set for around 8:20 PM ET.

Tua might be the ultimate gunslinger in the NFL, and this is a long way from his first season, when he had to get rid of the ball in a hurry and as a result had a lot of short passes. Now he is throwing caution to the winds. Last week at SoFi Stadium, he threw for 466 yards, with 215 of those going to Hill. Waddle added 78 yards. These guys totaled 3066 yards last season, joining only two other duos who have topped 3000.

This presents a challenge to Bill Belichick, who has to come up wit something to hold these guys in check. Last year the Patriots held the Dolphins to just 307 and 333 yards in their two meetings. But the first meeting was in McDaniel's first game as a head coach, and the rematch was held without Tua, who was out with concussions.

In the Sunday Night NFL betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, the Dolphins are laying points on the road:

Miami Dolphins -2.5 (-116)
New England Patriots +2.5 (-104)

Over 46.5 points -110
Under 46.5 points -110

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The Patriots got off to a rough start last week, falling behind 16-0 in the first quarter, but they battled back and gave the NFC champion Eagles a scare. In fact, they had a chance to go in for a game-winning TD, but had a catch called out of bounds on a fourth-down play deep in Philly territory.

In terms of balance, this was not the kind of game the Pats wanted to play. Mac Jones put the ball up 54 times, as New England threw the ball on 71% of its plays. Rhomandre Stevenson had just 23 yards, and he came in less than 100%, for sure. Ezekiel Elliott, rercently picked up on waivers, had seven rushes for 29 yards. They'd like to use him more, especially in the red zone.

But Belichick likes some of his new receivers. Tight end Mike Gesicki was with the Dolphins last year; Keyshon Boutte is a talented rookie from LSU, and Juju Smith-Schuster is the reliable veteran.

Ultimately that may not be enough to "trade."

We don't think Belichick will let the Miami passing attack get too far out of control. But it's a tough proposition, because McDaniel's scheme can maneuver either Hill or Waddle onto rookie cornerback Christian Gonzalez and create some headaches.

We realize that the Dolphina were 0-3-1 ATS as a road favorite last year. But Tua is a clean 4-0 straight-up when facing Belichick, and the Dolphins have covered 69% of the games he's started for them. This spread is doable, and the Dolphins have enough to go get it.

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