Can New England Patriots win against the Miami Dolphins week 17

Will the New England Patriots cover the spread against the Miami Dolphins in week 17?

In an AFC East matchup the 1st and 2nd place teams meet this week. At 11 wins and 4 losses the Patriots host the Dolphins, 7-8 at Gillette Stadium in New England.

The Patriots have won 8 of their last 9 games losing to San Francisco 2 weeks ago. In that game Tom Brady threw 2 interceptions and they also had 2 fumbles both of which are very uncharacteristic for Brady and New England. The Patriots are the kind of team that will not let the loss bother them and I think they will do very well against the Dolphins.

Miami has not been able to play consistently good on either side of the ball. Often if they had a game that the offense seemed to be having a good game, their defense would fail to stop the drives of their opponents and would end up getting out scored or have much lower times of possession. In other games the defense would make some big plays and get the ball back and force turnovers but at times those were the games their offense couldn’t converting drives into scoring plays.

Ending their season in 2nd place in the division the Dolphins do not have a shot at the playoffs and at this point but they would like to get the win to end the season at 50% as well as the confidence boost they would feel personally for beating their 1st place division rivals.

I really don’t see that happening at this point in the season though. Miami’s offense is ranked 26th overall and also 26th on the pass so not the greatest numbers. They are ranked 10th on the ground however so this has usually been their strength most of the year. But they also have the 3rd highest number of rushing fumbles at 12, with 5 of those lost, so that is not a nice stat to have.

When we look at their defense we see a little more mid range ranking. They have an overall defense rank of 18th although they are ranked 25th against passing plays. They do have a more acceptable rank of 10th against the ground game so we will likely not see the Patriot running backs get a lot of yards up the middle.

The Patriots are favored by the books to win this game by 10 points as of Friday evening and I think this is a little conservative, so let’s take a look at why I think that.

New England has the number 1 offense ranked in the entire league. They have 4386 yards passing and are ranked 8th in the league in their air attack. and they are over 2000 yards on the ground putting them in the 4th position.

Quarterback Tom Brady is averaging over 290 yards per game and their running backs average over 130 yards per game and although the Dolphins defense may slow down their rushing a little I do not see Miami keeping Brady from finishing the season with some very healthy numbers, or from keeping him from moving his team down the field.

If you look at the Patriot’s list of injured players you will see their top receivers and tight ends on the questionable list. Names like Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, as well as others. In spite of all that the Patriots continue to win games.

I think they will finish the season with the win also. Like I stated above even though the sportsbooks have the point spread on this game with the Patriots favored to win by 10 points, my personal pick is that they could easily cover a 14 point spread.

The talent of Tom Brady and the accuracy of his passing will get the ball to his receivers and I just do not think that Miami defense will make enough big plays to force them to turn the ball over on downs enough to be effecting in stopping from converting enough scoring drives to make a difference.

I have stated in previous articles that I think that as we head into the post season the teams that will fare the best in the playoffs are those that have a more balanced attack both on the ground as well as passing and the Patriots will likely work on both of their offensive games a bit against the Dolphins, but it would also not surprise me to see at least 2 if not 3 passing touchdowns from Brady this week.

This game between the Patriots and the Dolphins is one of those betting opportunities that is a safe bet. I honestly think they can and will cover that spread, even if it would move a little tomorrow, although it likely will not.

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