NFL Week 13 odds: New England at Miami
The Patriots look to clinch their ninth East title in 10 seasons by beating the Dolphins for a fifth consecutive time Sunday. New England (8-3) is 28-6 in divisional play over the past six seasons, winning eight in a row since a loss at Buffalo in Week 3 of 2011.
New England has won five in a row this season and is averaging 43.8 points with six of its 28 touchdowns coming via the defense and special teams. Tom Brady has been superb in that stretch, completing 64.4 percent of his passes for 1,454 yards with 14 touchdowns and no interceptions while compiling a 116.3 passer rating. He tossed three of those TDs last week, adding another on a 1-yard plunge.
The Dolphins are trying to return to .500 by building on last weekend’s 24-21 win over Seattle. Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill has two touchdowns compared to six interceptions over the past three games. Tannehill should be helped by a rejuvenated running game that totaled 189 yards last week as Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas reached the end zone.
Since acquiring Aqib Talib, the Patriots have rushed five or more at a higher rate (26.7 percent up from 15.0 percent) and have been more successful when doing so, holding opponents to a 56.5 completion percentage.
The Dolphins have rushed five or more 40.9 percent of the time this season, the second-highest rate in the NFL. Tom Brady has thrown 14 touchdowns and no interceptions against such pressure this season (both best in the NFL) and has the most attempts (102) without an interception.
With the Patriots being so explosive offensively, Miami needs to limit their opportunities. The Dolphins were able to pound the rock for 189 yards while moving the chains regularly with 253 yards through the air in their Week 12 win over the Seahawks. Look for offensive coordinator Mike Sherman to be creative while trying to put together long, methodical drives against an inconsistent New England defense.
WAGERWEB.COM OPENING LINE: Patriots -7.5 (51). Check out current lines
PATRIOTS NOTES: Aim for 12th consecutive win in Dec. Club is averaging 44 points per game in past 4 wins at Mia. Average NFL-best in points per game (37) & yards per game (435.8) … QB Tom Brady has 14-6 career record (.700) vs. Mia. with 36 TDs & 91.1 rating. Has thrown TD pass in 43 consecutive games, 3rd-longest streak in NFL history. In past 5 (all wins), has 14 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 115.7 rating. Has 37-5 (.881) record in Dec. … RB Stevan Ridley (939) needs 61 rush yards for 1st 1,000-yard season. Aims for 5th straight game with rush TD. RB Shane Vereen had career-best 91 rec. yards last week, incl. career-long 83-yard TD rec. WR Wes Welker has 6 catches in 9 consecutive games. Welker (961) needs 39 rec. yards to reach 1,000 for 5th time in career. Has 20 catches for 298 yards with 2 TDs in past 2 vs. Mia. PR-WR Julian Edelman has 4 TDs in past 2 games (2 rec., 1 PR, 1 FR) … TE Aaron Hernandez posted 7 receptions for 103 yards w/ TD in last game at Mia. … Rookie DB Tavon Wilson is tied for AFC-best with 4 INTs … S Steve Gregory had 5 tackles, INT, FF & 2 FRs, incl. 32-yard FR-TD last week.
DOLPHINS NOTES: QB Ryan Tannehill (2,373) surpassed HOFer Dan Marino (2,210 in 1983) for most pass yards by rookie in Dolphins history. Team is 4-1 when Tannehill has 90 rating. RB Reggie Bush aims for 5th consecutive game with 100 rush yards in Dec. (100, 103, 203, 113). Bush rushed for 113 yards on 22 att. (5.1 avg.) in last game vs. Patriots. Since entering NFL in 2006, Bush leads NFL RBs in receptions (361) … WR Brian Hartline has career-best in catches (55) & rec. yards (807) in ’12. WR Davone Bess has 41 receptions for 526 receiving yards & 4 TD catches vs. NE (all most vs. any opponent). Had career-high 129 rec. yards last week, 4th career 100-yard rec. game … TE Charles Clay had career-high in catches (6) & rec. yards (84) last week … DE Cameron Wake has 9.5 sacks in past 8. Wake needs half sack to reach 10 for 2nd time in career (14 in ’10) … LB Karlos Dansby leads team with 83 tackles.
WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings. Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Miami. Patriots are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Miami. Road team is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings.