NFL Thursday Night Football Picks: Dolphins at Patriots

The Miami Dolphins have turned their dismal start to the season but New England offers a much greater challenge than the two panzies from Week’s 6-7



Line: New England -8 and O/U 51.5

Earlier this afternoon, I flipped to one of the sports networks to get an update on tonight’s NFL game between the Dolphins and Patriots. If only handicapping football could be as predictable as the pregame story that mainstream media circuits are spinning out of New England. Hashtag Tom Brady love affair!

One of the dozen stats they spit out in a six-minute clip was that since 2007, Brady has a 21-2 straight-up record at home against the division. It’s true, you can check it right here with a player SDQL from Sports Database: Tom Brady:passing yards > 50 and season >= 2007 and H and DIV

What the media fail to mention is that New England’s ATS record in those games is 10-13, and that the combined road record for the Jets, Bills and Dolphins since then is a pitiful 81-124 SU — each team sporting a losing record (SDQL Text: team,1 and A and season>=2007 and division=AFC East and team!=Patriots).

There is no way around the fact that New England is playing great football and when the Pats play host after a divisional home game, they are 10-5 SU and 11-4 ATS with 11 overs and 4 unders. If this game was being played three days from now, I would probably be considering the over but when you take into account how heavily they leaned on the passing attack vs. New York (86-percent of their plays), doesn’t it seem like Bill Belichick may have been saving up his ground game for Miami?

And what about the Dolphins, and their back-to-back blowouts over two mediocre D’s fronted by horrible offenses. Miami scored 44 last week and their average in 2014 was 24 points per game. That’s 19 points above their previous average and they have played six-straight unders in this spot. For a broader sample, I looked at games after 15-plus points and the Dolphins have 5 overs and 15 unders to show for it. On the road, all 11 games stayed under by an average of 14 PPG.

The total is understandably high on this game to protect against automatic, ‘Brady at home’ acton. It could easily turn into a 60-point affair, too, but based on my numbers the value is on the under. Note: I bet this game at 51 but if your shop around, you can find 51.5 (check numbers at Sports Interaction)

Pick: Take the Dolphins at Pats UNDER 51 points or more

Teaser Tip: In the past 14 years, defending Super Bowl champs as big divisional home faves have been nearly perfect when teasing the under (19-2). The only losses were in 2003 and 2011 on games with a total of 37.5 and 42. Those games ended with 58 and 56 total points. Of note, there was only one other TNF game on this list in 2006. PGH (-7.5) beat CLE 27-7 (UN 34.5).

This week’s edition of our NFL Handicapping Report is now available to download. Check the Pick Sixty Sports home page or for more information, click ‘NFL Report’.

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