Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
NFL Pick: Miami Dolphins +10 -110 odds (December 24th 2011)
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The Patriots beat the Dolphins 38-24 clear back in their season opener, but this isn’t the same Miami team the Pats saw in September. The Phins have rebounded from an 0-7 start to win 5 of their last 7 games straight up and 7 of their last 8 games against the spread.
With the playoffs not being an option for the Dolphins, they will treat this game as their Super Bowl. With that kind of commitment to this contest, I expect them to give New England a game.
The key to Miami’s turnaround has been its running attack. Reggie Bush, who ranks sixth in the AFC with 973 rushing yards, is a big reason why the Dolphins rank seventh in the NFL with 127.4 rushing yards per game. He has averaged 135.3 rushing yards the last three weeks and could be poised for a big day against a New England defense ranked dead last in the NFL with 414.4 yards allowed per contest.
The Dolphins have averaged 190.7 rushing yards over their last three games and the Patriots have given up an average of 211 rushing yards in their last two games. If Miami is able to run the football, which I fully expect they will, it will be able to control the clock. The less time the New England offense spends on the field, the less time it will have to score.
Miami is 5-2 ATS in road games this season, 21-8-1 ATS in its last 30 road games and 23-6 ATS in its last 29 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The Dolphins are also a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning record.
The road team has covered the spread in 7 of the last 9 meetings in this series, and I expect this trend to continue Saturday.
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