NFL Week 15 Betting – Drowning Dolphins Face Mighty Patriots
John BensonNo comments
This NFL season began exactly as Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin planned with his team upsetting the New England Patriots, 33-20. However, it’s been an up-and-down year for the Dolphins (7-6, 4-3 away) since then. After a home loss to the Ravens in week 14, the Fins appear to be one loss away from missing out on the playoffs.
“I have a lot of faith and confidence in these guys,” Philbin said. “We’ve got a huge challenge this week going up to New England. I told them in the locker room, we’re going to find out a lot this week.”
Recently, the problem for the Dolphins has been its defense. The usually stingy unit has given up more than 400 yards in each of the last three games, including 660 yards rushing, combined. The Fins are holding opponents to just 20 points per game on average this year. But against the Broncos in week 12, they were shredded for 39; and against the Ravens last week, they gave up 28.
Now it appears as though Philbin could be losing his team. During last weekend’s loss, defensive tackle Jared Odrick was caught yelling at his head coach.
“Any time you don’t play up to the standards we like to uphold, yeah, you’re upset,” Odrick said. “Everybody is upset.”
It’s not going to get any easier when the Dolphins face the New England Patriots (10-3, 6-0 home) in Foxborough on Sunday. Despite early struggles, the Bill Belichick-led squad is one victory away from yet another AFC East division title.
While Tom Brady has been solid, especially at home where he’s passed for 17 touchdowns against only two picks, it’s the Patriots defense that is turning heads. Last weekend, New England held Philip Rivers and the Chargers to only 216 yards of total offense on the road in San Diego. The Pats went on to a 23-14 win, cashing tickets for their backers as 3.5-point road favorites.
Invariably, this will be a different Patriots team than what the Dolphins faced in early September.
“We need to talk about how to play offense, defense and special teams against the Dolphins a lot better than we did the last time we played them, which wouldn’t take much,” Belichick said. “That’s what we’ll be talking about this week: what to do and how to do it.”
Even though Miami appears to be down and out, don’t be surprised if they give the Patriots a game. If you’re feeling lucky, the moneyline (+305) is attractive, but more appealing is taking the Dolphins and the points (+7.5).