The New England Patriots will visit the Miami Dolphins in NFL Week 18. This upcoming Patriots-Dolphins meeting is slated for Sunday afternoon with a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff on CBS.
We are entering NFL Week 18. While some games will have heavy playoff implications, others will not. Unfortunately, the Patriots-Dolphins game features one team with a playoff spot locked up (Patriots) and one club already eliminated (Dolphins).
While the Dolphins are out of it, they can still play spoiler to their AFC East rival Patriots to an extent. Exiting Week 17, the Patriots have secured the No. 5 seed in the AFC. However, seeding can change depending on how Week 18 falls out.
If the Kansas City Chiefs lose to the Denver Broncos, the Buffalo Bills lose to the New York Jets, and the Tennessee Titans lose to the Houston Texans, while the Patriots are victorious over the Dolphins, New England would then earn the coveted No. 1 seed, which includes home-field throughout the playoffs and a first-round bye.
It is not an easy road for New England to get the division title or the top seed, but the Patriots will be playing in a meaningful football game in Week 18. The Dolphins want to spoil the party.
Expect all starters on both sides to see a full game of action.
All NFL gameday odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and current as of 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday, January 7.
Patriots vs Dolphins Prediction
Both the Patriots and Dolphins are relatively healthy entering their Week 18 meeting. Sure, there are some injuries, but nothing jumps off the paper.
Nelson Agholor is dealing with a concussion and has a shot at playing if he clears the protocol. Meanwhile, Damien Harris is dealing with a lingering hamstring injury. While Harris played through the injury last week and scored twice, he was taken out of the game once it got out of hand late in the first half.
For the Dolphins, Elandon Roberts is dealing with a leg injury, but he is expected to be fine for Sunday.
Barring any mid-week injuries and/or COVID flare-ups, the Patriots and Dolphins will be at full strength for their Sunday bout.
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Since Brian Flores defected from the Patriots to be the Dolphins’ head coach in 2019, the two teams have met five times. The Dolphins are 3-2 in those games, winning two straight. On Sunday, the Dolphins will look to make it three consecutive wins over the Patriots at home.
With the AFC East title, plus postseason seeding on the line, Bill Belichick will surely up his game in the season finale. Flores and Belichick know each other well. However, I don’t expect many tricks up Belichick’s sleeve. He will attack his former assistant with what the Patriots do best, which is run the football and play sound defense.
- Check out our Patriots vs Dolphins Prop Bets
New England’s defense is playing sensational football. They are third in total yards allowed (311.6), third in takeaways (30), and first in scoring (16.9 ppg). The Patriots will dominate those statistical matchups facing a Miami offense that fails to get out of its own way at times.
The Dolphins’ offense is a bottom 12 unit almost across the board. However, their one bright spot is passing yards, where they are ranked 15th.
The Patriots can score the football, too. Mac Jones leads the No. 8 scoring offense (27.4 PPG). While the Patriots are a superior running team, we have seen Jones get the job done at times this season, but he is not there yet.
Expect a heavy dose of Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson on Sunday afternoon.
If the Dolphins are going to have a chance in this game, they will have to get their defense back on track. During their seven-game winning streak that ended last week, Miami’s defense played lights out football, got takeaways, and even scored points. Unfortunately, they were blown out 34-3 by the Titans in last week’s must-win spot.
Look for the Patriots to end the regular season on a high note and pick up a road win at Miami in Week 18.
Prediction: Patriots 20, Dolphins 17
Patriots vs Dolphins Best Bets
*Anthony Cervino is 32-22 on his NFL Best Bets for 2021 for The Game Day.
Best Bet: Patriots Moneyline (-280) at Caesars
Wager: 3 Units
I am all-in on the Patriots to win this game outright. Sure, the Dolphins have won two straight over them, but this Patriots team is vastly different than they were in 2020 and not quite the same as they were back in their September 12 meeting with the Dolphins.
Mac Jones is older and has roughly 15 more games as an NFL starter under his belt. New England’s defense also took a massive step forward since September. Meanwhile, the Dolphins were white-hot but completely face-planted last week at Tennessee.
The Dolphins are deflated and will show this on Sunday. They might find a way to keep the game close for pride’s sake, but the Patriots will emerge victoriously, making this our NFL pick of the day.
Best Bet: Under 40 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
40 points is a massively low points total for an NFL game. However, I think it is just right for this Patriots-Dolphins meeting featuring two of the NFL’s best defense units paired with offenses that sometimes struggle to score the football.
In five meetings between the Patriots and Dolphins since Brian Flores has taken over as Maimi head coach, the Under has hit four times, including three straight. In those three games, the Patriots and Dolphins scored fewer than 34 points combined.
I would not take this Under any lower than where it is now.
Best Bet: Dolphins +6 (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
I like the Patriots to win this game outright. However, I also like the Dolphins to keep it close. I know the Dolphins were blown out last week while the Patriots pounded the Jacksonville Jaguars, but entering Week 17, the Patriots were on a two-game slide while the Dolphins had won seven in a row.
These two clubs are a lot closer than their record. What’s more, Brian Flores knows how to defend his former team. The Dolphins will find a way to keep it close and cover.
Thanks for reading our NFL Week 18 Patriots vs Dolphins Predictions! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 18 Parlay Picks.