Thursday, September 4, 2014

New England Patriots Vs. Miami Dolphins: NE -4 (Pinnacle)

Market Watch

Want an interesting point spread for Week 1? Look no further than this line between the Pats and Fins. It opened at -3.5 way back in May, but it steadily climbed until it peaked at -5 last week. Today it dropped back down to -4, despite 78% of the tickets on the Patriots.

I already had the Patriots circled heading into this week, but I couldn't bring myself to lay 5 points on the road.  At -4, I'm more than willing to ride the Pats in this spot. I think this is good value for a championship caliber team facing off against a franchise still looking to find it's feet.

Bottom Line

Normally you automatically grant a home team 3 points on the line, but I don't do that with the Dolphins. Even though it's opening day, they don't have the kind of environment that is going to intimidate anyone - especially New England.

Beyond that, there are a lot of unknowns on this Miami team and there's more than enough reasons to have skepticism. They are starting 5 new offensive linemen and will be tasked with implementing a quick-timing system out of the gate. I like Tannehill, but will it all come together to start the season?

It will be an uphill climb now that NE have Revis/Browner patrolling the secondary. With Wilfork back in action up front, run yards won't be as easy to come by as it was last year when they couldn't stop a thing.

Miami could have even more problems on defense since they didn't really upgrade their front 7. The linebackers are suspect, they lost Soliai, and Jordan is serving a suspension. I like Grimes and Delmas, but the secondary doesn't boast quality depth either.

It could start to click for Miami at some point this season, but they are probably in over their heads to kick things off.

NFL Pick: NE -4.