The New England Patriots can lock up the top seed in the AFC with a win in their regular-season finale Sunday when they visit the Miami Dolphins as 9 1/2-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
New England improved to 13-2 with last weekend’s 41-3 destruction of the New York Jets as 17-point home favorites, but remains just one game up on the Oakland Raiders in the hunt for the AFC’s No. 1 seed heading into Sunday afternoon’s Patriots vs. Dolphins betting matchup at Hard Rock Stadium.
The Patriots currently ride a six-game straight-up win streak and have kept opposing offenses out of the end zone in each of their past two contests.
New England controls its own playoff destiny, and will enjoy a bye on Wild Card Weekend. However, a loss to the Dolphins combined with an Oakland win in Sunday afternoon’s Raiders vs. Denver Broncos betting matchup at Sports Authority Field at Mile High would leave the Patriots with the No. 2 seed.
The Dolphins clinched their first playoff berth in eight years with last week’s 34-31 win over the Buffalo Bills as 4 1/2-point underdogs, lifting them to 9-1 SU and 8-1-1 against the spread over their past 10 games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
Miami has been getting it done despite losing starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a knee injury in a 26-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals as two-point home underdogs three weeks ago.
Veteran Matt Moore has performed admirably in Tannehill’s absence, throwing for four scores in a 34-13 win over the Jets as 2 1/2-point road chalk in Week 15, and adding two more in last week’s victory in Buffalo.
With a 10-5 record, the Dolphins currently are the AFC’s No. 6 seed, but they can climb to No. 5 with a win over New England combined with a loss by the Kansas City Chiefs in their road date with the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
The point spread in Sunday’s matchup has moved rapidly in favor of New England since opening with the Patriots pegged as six-point chalk. However, the Patriots have been less than dominant in recent dates with their AFC East rivals.
New England eked out a narrow 31-24 win over the Dolphins as a six-point home favorite in Week 2, but Miami has owned the Patriots in recent home dates, winning and covering in three straight, including a 20-10 victory as a 10-point underdog in Week 17 of last season.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images