New England Patriots (0-0, 0-0 ATS) @ Miami Dolphins (0-0, 0-0 ATS)

*ATS= against the spread

BETDAQ Line: New England -3.5 (46.5)

Significant Injuries

New England: CB Brandon Browner (out– suspension)

Miami: LB Jordan Tripp (out– chest), DE Dion Jordan (out– suspension), S Reshad Jones (out– suspension)

Recent Trends

New England is 1-6 ATS in their last 7 road games

Miami is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games

Miami is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. AFC East opponents

The home team is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these 2 teams

The OVER is 12-5 in New England’s last 17 Week 1 games

The UNDER is 10-1 in Miami’s last 11 games vs. AFC East opponents

The UNDER is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings between these 2 teams

Three reasons to back New England

1. Tom Brady is indisputably one of the five best quarterbacks in football, and he’ll be facing a Miami defense that struggled against the pass in 2013 and will be missing starting safety Reshad Jones, who is suspended for the first four games of the season.

2. The Dolphins had a terrible offense that averaged fewer than 20 points per game in 2013, and they failed to significantly upgrade their offensive personnel in the offseason (unless you count Knowshon Moreno as a significant upgrade, which is debatable). The Patriots, meanwhile, have the best “on paper” defense they’ve had in several years.

3. Tom Brady vs. Ryan Tannehill; Bill Belichick vs. Joe Philbin; Robert Kraft vs. Stephen Ross… shall I continue? Top to bottom, New England is the superior organization.

Three reasons to back Miami

1. The Patriots have been terrible on the road lately, covering just once in their last 7 games away from home. The Dolphins, meanwhile, are 4-1 against the number in their last five home contests.

2. Since 1980, home underdogs have covered roughly 58% of the time in the NFL. That stat isn’t good enough for you? Try this one: Over the past decade, teams who failed to make the playoffs in the previous season are an astounding 46-29-1 ATS in Week 1 games against teams who did make the playoffs the previous year.

3. The New England defense, particularly the secondary, has been a liability in recent years, and Ryan Tannehill is an ascending young quarterback who finally has a degree of familiarity with his receiving corps. Tannehill could be in for a monster game on Sunday.


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