NFL expert Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) shares his expert opinion on the best bet available from Monday Night Football.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins | Tuesday 12th December 2017, 01:30 | Sky Sports
Another divisional game for us this Monday and at the start of the season I think the schedulers were still hoping that Miami would be in with a shout of troubling New England for the division. It’s not been the case however as the Dolphins have emerged as the worst team in the AFC East.
The Patriots on the other hand have been rolling of late, defying the usual betting logic of not backing double-digit favourites. Even without TE Rob Gronkowski, who is suspended for this game, New England has the advantage in too many areas for me to think they’ll fall flat here (they’re 12-0 without Gronkowski since 2016) so I have to think they cover again against a limited Dolphins team.
It's Patriots -10.5 (19/20 Ladbrokes) for me. Offensively, the Patriots lead the league in yards (413.2 a game) as well as being third in points (29 a game) and as recently as two weeks ago they smoked the Dolphins 35–17.
They’ll be without Gronkowski as I mentioned, but New England has so many ways to hurt opposing defences; they have a carousel of talented RBs in Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead and James White, who combined for 175 yards on the ground against Miami in the first matchup, as well as the very talented WR Brandin Cooks on the outside.
The Dolphins on the other hand have struggled all season, averaging just 292.6 yards a game (29th) and 17.2 points a game (26th). The Patriots defence they’re up against is a far cry from the early season iteration that haemorrhaged yards and points.
New England has been giving up less than 12 points a game since week 5 and should prove to be a tough test for Miami again. Patriots QB Tom Brady has been limited in practice all week, but I don’t see this as anything but a precaution and he isn’t on the injury report.
With Brady under centre, New England will hopefully beat a double-digit road handicap yet again.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins – New England Patriots -10.5 handicap (19/20 Ladbrokes)