The New England Patriots will gun for an eighth consecutive home victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday when they take on their AFC East rivals as 6.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
New England is coming off an impressive 23-21 victory in Arizona in prime time last week, but the availability of tight end Rob Gronkowski continues to remain uncertain ahead of the Dolphins vs. Patriots betting matchup at Gillette Stadium.
Gronkowski did not dress for New England’s victory in Arizona as a 9.5-point underdog while he continues to recover from a hamstring injury he suffered during training camp. But Gronkowski’s absence didn’t slow down a Jimmy Garoppolo-led Patriots squad that seized the early lead in the desert and did not wilt after falling behind the Cardinals midway through the fourth quarter.
Garoppolo impressed with a 264-yard, one-touchdown performance, marching the Patriots down the field for the game-winning touchdown and powering them to their first against-the-spread win in Week 1 since 2012.
Last week’s win also allays concerns after the Patriots closed out last season on a shaky note, posting straight-up and against-the-spread losses in five of their final eight contests, including four SU and ATS losses on the road. The victory also has cemented long-term confidence in the Patriots, who again have emerged as favorites on the odds to win Super Bowl 51 at +650.
The Dolphins roll into Foxboro following a gutsy performance in a disappointing 12-10 loss in Seattle. Miami gave the Seahawks all they could handle, containing the Seattle offense until late in the fourth quarter and picking up the ATS win as a 10.5-point underdog. That marks a significant turnaround for a Dolphins squad that went 1-7 ATS in its final seven contests last season, with its only victory coming in a meaningless 20-10 win over New England in Week 17.
The Dolphins also allowed 26 or more points on eight occasions last season, but they have improved on both sides of the ball with key offseason acquisitions including linebacker Kiki Alonso and rusher Arian Foster.
But Miami must overcome a lengthy road losing streak against New England. The Dolphins’ last SU win in Foxboro came back in 2008, and the club has averaged just 9.25 points per game in its past four visits.
Indeed, Miami also has enjoyed little success against their division rivals as a whole. Last season’s win over New England ended a seven-game SU losing streak against the AFC East, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, but the Dolphins also have failed to cover in 10 of their past 11 road dates against division opponents.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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