The Patriots opened as 11.5-point favorites as they host the Dolphins in Week 17.
So … last weekend happened. People who make wagers based primarily on the team’s performance in the previous week often lament their bad luck when they lose all of their money the next week. It’s a fun cycle that keeps bookies flush with cash and hotel rooms cheap in Las Vegas. But when you see an otherwise awesome team come out flat two weeks in a row? Then you start to wonder if it might be a trend. Just ask anybody who has put money on the Giants this season.
The Patriots have been skull-fuckingly awful in the first half of their past two games. They’ve pulled things together in the second half of both games to a certain extent, but when you fall behind a decent team early, it makes the playcalling that much more difficult. And as sad as it sounds, Miami has something resembling a half-decent team. Another win puts them solidly in the throes of .500 mediocrity, which is lofty heights of any AFC East team south of New England. They’ll be motivated to not be called losers quite as often in the offseason. This is their Super Bowl.
There is a ton to worry about with this spread. For starters, the Pats may not be playing for anything. If the Texans beat the Colts during the 1 o’clock games, then the only way New England gets anything meaningful from a victory is in the unlikely event that the Chiefs beat Peyton Manning. Hold your breath for that one, and I’ll send flowers to your funeral. Secondly, the Fins haven’t been embarrassed many times this season, including a respectable 7-point loss to the Pats just a few weeks ago. And finally, Ryan Tannehill’s wife is smokin’ hot. I’m not sure if that affects the play on the field, but it should.
Given the circumstances, I’d wait to place any wagers until the outcome of the Texans-Colts game appears to be decided. If the Texans are cruising, take the points. If the Colts appear poised to win, hop on the Brady train and be prepared for the destruction.
Other Lines I Like
Ravens (+3) @ Bengals
The Ravens are playing for a shot at better playoff seeding. The Bengals are playing to not get hurt before the playoffs. Advantage, Flaccos.
Saints (-4) vs. Panthers
A few weeks ago, someone informed the Saints that they are, in fact, allowed to stop the other team from scoring at will. If they had been privy to this information at the beginning of the season, they would probably be playing a more meaningful game this week.
2012 Record ATS: 28-21
Record ATS Since 2010: 99-88-4