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Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Highflying Miami can keep pace with floundering New England

Unbeaten Dolphins could to add to Patriots' worries

The Dolphins offence have had plenty to celebrate so far
1 of 1

Sky Sports Action, 6pm Sunday

Unbeaten Miami have a great opportunity to go three wins clear of their AFC East rivals New England and they should at least go close to dropping the Patriots to an unthinkable 1-3 record.

You might think from the match prices that the Patriots were well on course to earn their tenth straight divisional title but the pressure is on the home side after back-to-back defeats to Jacksonville and Detroit.

Few people had the Dolphins on their radar at the start of the season, but Adam Gase’s side have made a great start be creating some vital turnovers and with some plucky play-calling.

Linebacker Kiko Alonso forced two fumbles in their divisional win over the Jets and at Oakland last week, wide receiver Albert Wilson threw a touchdown pass to Jakeem Grant and later scored on a 74-yard run, high-fiving Grant along the way.

The Fins have not dominated a game yet, but they look filled with confidence and determination that could make them playoff contenders.

Things are far from perfect in New England. Quarterback Tom Brady has struggled to get going this season, averaging just 215 passing yards a game, and the Patriots were well beaten in their last two losses Jacksonville and previously winless Detroit.

The Patriots are hoping their passing game will get a boost from talented but troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon, who has yet to play after arriving from Cleveland in a trade. But he is still not certain to make his debut after a hamstring problem. 

With Miami playing with such moxie this has all the makings of a close contest.

Given how the teams have started the season, the spread for the Dolphins looks far too appealing to pass up, especially if their defence continues to flourish.

Recommendation
Miami +7

2pts 20-23 Coral

The lowdown
Venue
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Surface
Artificial
Weather
Sunny, 26C
Vegas handicap
Miami +6.5
Vegas points line
48.5

Team news
Miami
Defensive end William Hayes (knee) is out for the season but safety Reshad Jones is set to return following a shoulder injury.

New England
Running back Rex Burkhead (neck) is out. Wide receiver Josh Gordon could make his debut after a hamstring problem.

Key stat
New England have covered the handicap in only one of their last five games.


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New England have covered the handicap in only one of their last five games
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