Dolphins vs Patriots Odds, Pick: Best Bet for Big Week 17 Matchup

Dolphins vs Patriots Odds, Pick: Best Bet for Big Week 17 Matchup article feature image

Billie Weiss/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Judon.

  • The Patriots are home favorites over the Dolphins in Week 17.
  • With Tua Tagovailoa out, Teddy Bridgewater will start for Miami.
  • John LanFranca previews the game and makes his betting pick below.

Dolphins vs Patriots Odds

Sunday, Jan. 1
1 p.m. ET
Dolphins Odds
-112o / -108u
Patriots Odds
-112o / -108u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

As we look for a Dolphins vs Patriots pick, it's easy to note that these teams won a combined one game in December.

Teddy Bridgewater gets the call for an injured Tua Tagovailoa this week. His statistics look pretty solid on the surface, but he hasn’t completed one pass deemed a "big-time throw" on 60 total attempts. The opposing quarterback, Mac Jones, leads an offense that ranks 26th in offensive DVOA since Week 8, the week in which he was re-installed as the Patriots' starter.

Both offenses have struggled to consistently put up points in recent weeks and I do not expect much to be different here. Let’s dive into the numbers and Dolphins vs Patriots odds to find out why a pick on the under represents such a good value.

Dolphins vs. Patriots Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Dolphins and Patriots match up statistically:

Dolphins vs. Patriots DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA43
Pass DVOA23
Rush DVOA1410
Overall DVOA2718
Pass DVOA2525
Rush DVOA219

While the weather shouldn't play a major factor, this game is still being played outdoors in New England with sustained winds around 12 mph. The running game will play a critical role in the success of both teams.

The Dolphins defense has been incredibly strong against the run, ranking third in yards per carry allowed (3.79) and fourth in adjusted line yards yielded. On early downs, Miami is one of only four teams that ranks within the top ten in DVOA against the run on both first and second downs.

Bet Miami vs. New England at FanDuel

Bradley Chubb returned to practice on Friday, which bodes well for him playing, albeit with a cast on his right hand. According to Pro Football Focus, Chubb boasts a strong 70.5 rush defense grade, which ranks 31st of 118 qualifying edge players. The Dolphins defense will force Jones and company into long third-down situations, a spot the Patriots offense has struggled mightily — New England ranks 26th in third-down conversion rate on the season.

The Patriots have scored touchdowns on a league-worst 14.9% of their red-zone plays, per Sharp Football. Unsurprisingly, their offense is also last in converting red-zone possessions into touchdowns, converting only 38.5% of the time (15-of-39).

Since Week 9, New England's offense has punted on over 50% of possessions and have only reached the end zone on 11% of total drives — both marks are the worst in the NFL over that span.

The Dolphins offense, however, will struggle to run the football. The Patriots defense has the second-best rush defense DVOA since Week 8, only allowing 3.83 yards per carry to opposing running backs (fourth). In fact, no team has allowed fewer rushing touchdowns than the Patriots, with a league-low three scores surrendered. 

Not helping the Dolphins' cause is the fact that Terron Armstead is dealing with a number of injuries (toe/pec/knee/hip) that leave him truly questionable. He did not practice on Friday and his absence would be a massive loss.

In Weeks 5 and 6, when Armstead played eight total snaps, this offense was a shell of itself. The Dolphins ranked 17th in offensive DVOA over those two weeks, whereas they were a top-three offense in that same metric looking at an aggregate of all other weeks. This offense cannot afford many more shortcomings to overcome, as they already rank 31st in third-down conversion percentage over their past four games.

Now they're facing a defense that ranks third in adjusted sack percentage (8.9%) and plays even better in the friendly confines of Foxboro. New England's 10.8% sack percentage at home is only bested by one other defensive unit.

The Patriots will be without a couple key defensive pieces in Jack Jones and Marcus Jones, but both Jalen Mills and Adrian Phillips returned to practice on Friday and are expected to play. Phillips, in particular, will be greatly needed, as his Pro Football Focus coverage grade is the highest of any Patriots safety and is 12th overall out of 85 qualifying safeties.

Betting Picks

Divisional unders are hitting at a 61.1% rate this season (44-28-1); that increases to 68.8% for games played outdoors. Over the past two seasons, the under is 87-49 (64%) in games played in winds above 10 mph.

I don’t like the matchup for either offense. Both teams need to lean on their running game to have success, but I have a hard time seeing them executing given the quality of the rush defenses. Miami and New England will be playing not to lose in this one, just waiting for the opportunity to pounce on a mistake. 

Play the under in this AFC East divisional fight

PICK: Under 41

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