Sunday Night Football Week 2: Dolphins vs. Patriots picks, predictions and player props

By Zachary Cohen  ( Senior Editor) 

September 15, 2023 08:42 AM

SNF Dolphins vs. Patriots Week 2 odds and predictions

Every week, VSiN will be doing an in-depth dive on the week’s Sunday Night Football game. In Week 2, that game features the New England Patriots hosting the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Dolphins are coming off a big road win over the Los Angeles Chargers last week, while the Patriots came up just short in an attempted comeback against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1. That likely means that the Pats will come out with a little extra fire here, as they don't want to start the year in a hole. But this is a divisional rivalry, so the Dolphins will come with it too. With that out of the way, keep reading for our Dolphins vs. Patriots preview, picks and player props. 

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Dolphins vs. Patriots Spread

The Dolphins were absolutely decimated on the ground in their win over the Chargers last week, giving up 233 rushing yards and three scores. Austin Ekeler, who injured his ankle in that game, rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown in that one. And backup Joshua Kelley, who had an increased second-half load with Ekeler banged up, rushed 16 times for 91 yards and a touchdown. That should make it easy for the Patriots to figure out what they need to do in this game. New England is going to go with a heavy dose of Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott here, which should allow the defense to rest up while also keeping the Miami offense off the field. That will also take a lot of pressure off Mac Jones, who got off to a rough start in Week 1. But he did end up settling in nicely and nearly led the Patriots to a comeback win. He proved that he will be ready to help the Pats compete in a shootout, if that’s what this game turns into.

The Patriots will, however, be hoping to play this game on their terms. So, look for New England defensive coordinator Steve Belichick to have help over the top wherever Tyreek Hill is. The Patriots will likely be able to live with giving up first downs in this game, but they need to keep Hill and Jaylen Waddle in front of them. That said, the bend-don’t-break approach is likely what you’ll see out of New England here. If the Patriots can efficiently run the football and avoid getting beat deep, this game will significantly swing in their favor.

It's also just hard to ignore that New England is 30-11 against the spread when coming off a home loss under Bill Belichick. And the Patriots have won those games by an average of 9.7 points per game. So, you know that Belichick is going to have his guys ready to go here. And it should also be noted that Miami might try to win this game without running the football. They barely went to the ground game against Los Angeles last week, handing the ball off a total of 15 times. If you give the Belichick father-son duo the luxury of knowing that the pass is coming, the results likely won’t be very good.

Dolphins vs. Patriots Total 

After what we saw from Miami last week, it’s hard to say this game will go Under a total this low. While I do think the Patriots defense will make a big difference in that game, I think that’ll come in the form of timely stops. I don’t think they’ll completely keep the Dolphins in check, especially considering how easy it can be to lose Hill or Waddle. The Patriots should also have a lot of success offensively themselves, and Jones looks like a new quarterback with Bill O’Brien calling plays. That said, I don’t think a 27-24 or 28-24 final is out of the question.

The trends also point to an Over in this game. The Over is 9-2 in the road games that the Dolphins have played since the start of last season, and it’s also 10-6 in the games in which the Pats have been underdogs since the start of the 2021 season. On top of that, the Over is 9-2 in games in which the Patriots have been home underdogs of 3 or fewer points under Belichick.

Dolphins vs. Patriots Player Props

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Rhamondre Stevenson Over 53.5 Rushing Yards

The Patriots fell behind early in their meeting with the Eagles last week, so they couldn’t lean on the run the way they probably intended. That led to Stevenson only getting 12 carries in the game. However, the fact he even reached double-digit touches with Elliott also on the roster is a good sign. I’d expect Stevenson to get at least 15 carries in this meeting with the Dolphins, and that should allow him to easily hit the 54-yard mark. The New England running back is a tremendous player and the Pats have a solid O-line. So, why wouldn’t he at least come close to doing what Ekeler and Kelley did to this defense last week? 

Dolphins vs. Patriots Best Bet

The shootout win over the Chargers was impressive, but these are the types of games that the Dolphins need to learn how to win. And maybe they do find a way to get the job done in Foxborough, but I feel much better about getting the points in a matchup like this. I don’t think Miami will be able to stop New England’s running game, and I think the Patriots have the more reliable defense. They also have a little more urgency. They can’t afford to start the season with an 0-2 record, especially when they’d be giving the Dolphins a 2-0 start.

Bet: Patriots +3 (-110) 

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