New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins kicks off this Sunday at 1 pm EST in Miami as a home game for the Dolphins. The Patriots are currently a +9.5 underdog and +360 on the moneyline while the total is set at 46.5. Expect more of the same from their first matchup, turning Tua Tagovailoa into a conservative thrower while Mac Jones and Ezekiel Elliott step up to keep it close as valuable player props for this New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins matchup.
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After looking like one of the worst teams in the league, the New England Patriots strung together one of the more shocking performances of the season by upsetting the Buffalo Bills. Their offense managed to come alive against a regressing Bills defense, now getting the opportunity to take on a Miami unit who grades out well below average. This may turn into a shoot-out, having all the makings for an exciting divisional rematch.
Tua Tagovailoa Under 38.5 Longest Completion
It’s not exactly settling on the stomach to take an under on any of Tua’s passing props, especially one that involves his longest completion as Tyreek Hill is capable of burning this prop at a moment’s notice. Especially with Tua making strides as an improving downfield passer, capable of putting the ball on a rope and hitting his speedy receiver in stride.
What makes this prop potentially valuable is that the Patriots defense may mirror what they did in their first matchup against the Dolphins and play prevent all game long. This forces the Dolphins to beat them from underneath, negating the big play in the mid field.
The Patriots sell out to this type of scheme because they know they can’t lock them up in man coverage, especially without Christian Gonzalez who is currently on IR. They are more than willing to let the Dolphins move the ball down the field at moderate chunks at a time. It isn’t until the Dolphins enter scoring position is when the Patriots change their scheme and go back to a more standard coverage with the benefit of stretching out in a shortened field.
Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are also dealing with injuries, leaving their status questionable for if they will receive a full workload. That may temper the Dolphins willingness to threaten the Patriots with the deep ball, playing into their hands and going for the small conservative gains with secondary players.
Tua Tagovailoa Under 0.5 Interception
Correlating this prop with the previously mentioned one, expect a far less aggressive pass attack from Tua and company as they accept the Patriots willingness to let them win underneath. This creates higher quality throwing opportunities, lessening the amount of turnover worthy plays as he dunks it off to his streaking receivers across the middle.
Darius Slay intercepts Tua Tagovailoa pic.twitter.com/y0mODmdDVc
— Tanner Phifer (@TannerPhiferNFL) October 23, 2023
Better yet for Miami, they have a far better opportunity to establish the run against an injury riddled Patriots defense who is sorely missing Matthew Judon’s production. Especially if they pull away as the spread implies, calling a heavier dose of the run to drain the clock and limit the amount of passing attempts from Tua. With less passing attempts comes a higher chance of not throwing an interception and cashing this prop.
Mac Jones Over 222.5 Passing Yards
A big reason for the Patriots stunning win over the Bills was from the improved play of Mac Jones. He handled the pressure well and ended up throwing for 272 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
He now gets the chance to continue to find success against a weak Miami coverage unit that ranks 28th in Def Pass Success Rate and 24th in Def Pass DVOA. Even with the Dolphins tendency to generate a high amount of pressure from just their front four, the Patriots offensive line have stepped up in Adjusted Sack Rate and have kept plays alive by keeping Mac Jones upright. Expect another modest outing from Jones as they try to stay within scoring pace by airing out the ball against a weak Dolphins secondary.
Ezekiel Elliott 2+ Touchdowns
The Ezekiel Elliott role is becoming more obvious with each passing game, serving as their bull back for short down situations and goal line opportunities. With the Patriots offense steadily improving as they shift more towards a fast paced approach, Mac Jones should have this offense moving and in scoring opportunities against a weak Dolphins defense. This serves as a flier to that sentiment, banking on the idea of Elliott cashing this prop with an uptick in scoring opportunities.