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Patriots vs Dolphins: Updated Odds, Picks, Prediction for NFL Week 1

Patriots vs Dolphins: Updated Odds, Picks, Prediction for NFL Week 1 article feature image
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Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyreek Hill.

  • The Dolphins are home favorites over the Patriots after a big offseason.
  • Miami hired a new head coach and added stars at wide receiver and left tackle.
  • John LanFranca breaks down this divisional matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Patriots vs. Dolphins Odds

Sunday, Sept. 11
1 p.m. ET
CBS
Patriots Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+3.5
-115
46.5
-105o / -115u
+150
Dolphins Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-3.5
-105
46.5
-105o / -115u
-178
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

The NFL schedule makers didn’t waste any time giving us numerous divisional matchups, which means we’re in luck with our NFL Week 1 picks.

Patriots vs. Dolphins is widely considered a contest between squads vying for second place in the AFC East. Both teams are in a period of transition and saw several changes to both their personnel and coaching staff.

Simply put, the edge on this game favors the ascending team with new offensive cornerstones and a quarterback-friendly offensive system. The Dolphins attacked the offseason with vigor, adding one of the biggest game-changing players in the entire NFL: left tackle Terron Armstead. Who did you think I was going to say?

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Patriots vs. Dolphins Matchup Analysis

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

Patriots vs. Dolphins DVOA Breakdown (Stats from 2021)
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 9 10
Pass DVOA 10 9
Rush DVOA 7 17
Offense
Defense
Edge
Overall DVOA 24 4
Pass DVOA 23 3
Rush DVOA 29 10

New Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel has switched coasts after helping engineer a 49ers offense in which Jimmy Garappolo was the outlier among quarterbacks in advanced statistics, averaging 8.6 yards per attempt (second in the NFL) and finishing fifth in DVOA. While it’s never advised to put too much stock into last season’s stats to create a narrative for Week 1, the situation Tua Tagovailoa dealt with in regards to protection was abysmal.

Last season, only one team in the NFL did not use 11 personnel as their most common grouping: the Dolphins. Miami was in 12 personnel on over 60% of offensive snaps, more than twice as often as any other team. They also had to use maximum protection, using seven-plus blockers in pass protection, on over 14% of passing plays, which was highest in the league. The Dolphins offense was dead last in pass block win rate at 47%, allowing 235 pressures, which was 20 more than the next closest team.

This can in part be attributed to a rookie left tackle (Liam Eichenberg) playing out of position. Eichenberg was credited with the fifth-worst pass blocking grade at tackle according to PFF (46.9 grade). Armstead, on the other hand, was the fourth-best tackle in PFF’s pass protection metric (85.6); his addition to the offense cannot be overstated. Furthermore, Connor Williams was also added to inject explosive opportunities for this offense, as he was a top-10 guard according to PFF.

Speaking of explosive plays, you may have heard Tyreek Hill changed teams over the offseason. It is a bit redundant to go over each and every way Hill helps an offense, but let’s focus on this specific WR-CB matchup, one that will not feature J.C. Jackson, the league’s leader in pass breakups and the 11th-best cornerback in coverage success rate a year ago (per Football Outsiders).

Jalen Mills becoming the top CB for the Patriots spells trouble for a defense that already had a complete overhaul at linebacker. Gone are the days of Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower.

Only seven teams allowed a higher yards per carry number on defense a year ago, and now the Dolphins have added two running backs who can create plays executing the patented outside zone in the running game in Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert. Dolphins RBs only reached 15 mph on 52 carries in 2021, the lowest in the league according to Next Gen Stats. The good news is no RB in the league reached 15 mph on a higher percentage of carries than Edmonds (23.3%).

The uncertainty on defense with the Patriots is at a level previously unforeseen in the Bill Belichick era. And that isn’t the only major question that needs to be answered in New England. How will two coaches who have never coordinated an offense or called plays on that side of the ball fare in their first regular-season game?

Joe Judge, a special teams coach before his time with the Giants, and Matt Patricia, who hasn’t even been an offensive assistant in 17 years, are responsible in helping Mac Jones take the next step. There is a long way to go before Josh McDaniels is aptly replaced.

Betting Picks

While this line opened at Dolphins -2.5 — and it’s never fun to play a game that has crossed the biggest key number in NFL handicapping — the books have responded after seeing big money come in on Miami. 

Everyone can see the writing on the wall in this divisional matchup: The Dolphins will make a statement against a team in transitional turmoil.

FanDuel QuickSlip: Dolphins -3.5 | Bet to -4

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