Lost in the madness that has been the Antonio Brown saga is the fact that the New England Patriots have a game this Sunday. A divisional matchup at that, too, with the Patriots set to go head-to-head with ex-Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores and the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on South Beach.
The Patriots make their way to Miami on the heels of a 33-3 victory over the Steelers in last Sunday's banner-raising home opener at Gillette Stadium, while the Dolphins were absolutely walloped by Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in Week 1, 59-10. It was a loss so bad that 'several' Dolphins players called their agents after the game and told their agents they wanted to get the hell out of the obvious tank-job happening in Miami.
Here's how some of the 98.5 The Sports Hub staff sees this one going...
You could watch the 2019 Miami Dolphins for 16 games or you could watch Ace Venture: Pet Detective every Sunday for 16 of the next 17 weeks. Unless you're into torturing yourself (just watch Thursday Night Football), it's not a debate.
Patriots 41, Dolphins 2.
I think the Dolphins have a chance to cover what has become just an outrageous spread against the Patriots. I've seen it as high as 24 points. Weird things tend to happen in Miami and it shouldn't be ruled out that we don't see a perfect performance from the Pats. That being said, Miami absolutely stinks. Even with Brian Flores having a much better idea of how to defend against Tom Brady, I don't think he has the personnel to keep up for 60 minutes. And at the same time, I think the secondary has a huge bounceback from the Miami Miracle game and the Dolphins have a lot of trouble scoring against the Patriots defense.
Patriots 30, Dolphins 10.
Matt McCarthy (98.5 The Sports Hub)
I've been on record calling the Dolphins Week 2 matchup an "automatic loss" given that the Patriots have won once in Miami since 2012. It doesn't matter how horrendous the Dolphins are and how good the Patriots are, they always lose in Miami. It's Tom Brady's personal House of Horrors. I'd like to issue a public apology for those statements. This Dolphins team is so horrendous that there's no way they'll beat the Patriots. History be damned.
Patriots 34, Dolphins 10.
When it comes to the Patriots playing in Miami, it has always been an adventure for Tom Brady and Co. The Dolphins are in tank mode and couldn't possibly play worse than they did last week.The only thing that could help the Dolphins is that head coach Brian Flores was a former Patriots assistant and Belichick may call off the dogs. So, it's not a question of if the Patriots will win, but by how much. The line is currently -19 depending on what book us look at. Below are a bunch of trends that show the Patriots not only struggle in Miami, but struggle when being heavy favorites on the road.
Per @Bet_Labs: There has only been one other road favorite of 17 or more points since 2003: The Patriots -19 at Baltimore on Dec. 3, 2007; New England failed to cover that game. 85% of spread tickets are on the Patriots at -18.5. Since 2003, Brady is 62-39-1 (61%) against the spread when getting 70% or more of bets. But when favored by 14 or more points in this situation, they are 4-5 against the spread.
Some other betting trends of note...
- New England is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games
- New England is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games
- Miami is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games at home against New England
- Miami is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games at home against New England
Patriots 38, Dolphins 13.
Mike 'Sarge' Riley (98.5 The Sports Hub)
Going into this week when I saw the Patriots were in Miami for Week 2 I was ready to bet the house on the Dolphins. We know the trouble the Pats have had down there. But, the Patriots have overcome adversity many times considering the news of this week. I think they carry that momentum again into Sunday. Expecting Brady and Gordon to connect for a pair of touchdowns and the Pats D will have their way with this Dolphins team. And if all goes well, the Pats will be back at Hard Rock Stadium in February.
Patriots 28, Dolphins 13.