Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots NFL First Touchdown: Expert Picks & Predictions (9/17/23)

The Miami Dolphins face the New England Patriots on Sunday. Check out below for Dolphins vs. Patriots First Touchdown best bets, as well as a player prop search tool to optimize odds shopping.

Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots First Touchdown Search Tool

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The goal of the First Touchdown prop is to identify which players will score the first touchdown of the game. Who will accomplish this in the Dolphins vs. Patriots contest?

Durham Smythe First Touchdown (+2200 BMGM) & Anytime Touchdown (+400 FD)

Tight end Mike Gesicki surprisingly paced the Dolphins last season in red zone targets and inside the ten-yard-line targets. He now plays for the Patriots, and veteran Durham Smythe takes over Gesicki’s role. Per Scott Barrett of Fantasy Points, the Notre Dame product led all tight ends in snap share while ranking second in route share and tenth in target share during Week One. He didn’t manage to find the end zone, but this level of involvement is extremely encouraging.

New England’s secondary is fearsome, and head coach Bill Belichick loves to remove the opposing quarterbacks’ favorite target. The vast majority of defensive attention will be focused on Tyreek Hill, which should allow Smythe to operate relatively unnoticed. This is also a Patriots defense that allowed the second most touchdowns to tight ends last season.

For Smythe First Touchdown to have a positive expected value, he must score the first touchdown about 4 percent of the time.

For Smythe Anytime Touchdown to have a positive expected value, he must score a touchdown about 20 percent of the time.

Hunter Henry Anytime Touchdown (+340 PointsBet) & First Patriots Touchdown (+750 BMGM)

Injuries have derailed Henry’s career, but the veteran tight end looked sharp in Week One. New offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has rejuvenated this lifeless offense, as Mac Jones ranked second in 20+ yard attempts versus Philadelphia (per PFF). Henry secured 56 yards and a touchdown on 6 targets, and Mac Jones appears to trust him.

Miami’s secondary struggled mightily last season, including allowing the fourth most touchdowns to tight ends. They still appeared mediocre in Week One, and that shouldn’t change much until Jalen Ramsey suits up. Factor in Miami’s strong run defense, and the Patriots will likely air it out in the red zone. Those are ideal conditions for Henry to score.

For Henry Anytime Touchdown to own a positive expected value, he has to score a touchdown about 22 percent of the time.

For Henry First Patriots Touchdown to own a positive expected value, he has to score New England’s first touchdown about 11 percent of the time.

Tyreek Hill Anytime Touchdown (+128 Caesars)

Yes, the Patriots will focus most of their attention on Tyreek Hill, and no, it won’t work. Tyreek Hill in his current form is one of the best receivers in NFL history, as he’s finally combined deadly speed with sharp route running and spatial awareness. Tyreek obliterated Los Angeles to the tune of 215 yards and 2 touchdowns. Although I expect New England to not allow anything close to that stat line, I’m still predicting over around 100 yards and a touchdown for “Cheetah”.

It’s certainly not an ideal matchup, but based on the odds and his transcendent play, it’s worth the play. For Tyreek Anytime Touchdown to have a positive expected value, he must score a touchdown about 43 percent of the time.

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Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2021-22 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs about analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions and NBA Analysis Network.

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