Predicting upsets in the first week of the NFL when there are more questions than answers about all 32 teams is very challenging. But as the saying goes, fortune favors the brave.
The New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins are set to reprise their AFC East rivalry in Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season, in a game that is skewed towards the Dolphins at home across NFL betting markets.
BetUS sportsbook tips the Dolphins as the -3½ home favorites as we look at the latest NFL odds. They’re priced at -180 to win on the moneyline, and the total is projected to 46½ points with the OVER and UNDER juiced at -110, respectively.
It’s true that positive perceptions of Miami influenced early betting online markets. This is understandable. The franchise made some of the boldest offseason moves and acquired All-Pro wideout Tyreek Hill and running back Raheem Mostert – two excellent and enviable additions.
But they’re also debuting new head coach Mike McDaniels against one of the league’s best head coaches, Bill Belichick. Belichick needs no introduction. What he’s accomplished over two decades with the Patriots is impressive. For this reason alone, marking this game for the upset potential makes sense. However, there are more reasons why this game has UPSET ALERT all over it.
NFL Week 1 – Patriots vs Dolphins Preview
Patriots Negative Press
The Patriots are coming off a stellar 10-7-0 run in 2021 behind rookie quarterback Mac Jones, who proved to be a steal draft pick at No.15 in the first round, falling like a feather out of the sky neatly into Belichick’s lap.
Losing offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to Sin City will certainly be a challenge for the Patriots’ offense and Jones, who will have to get accustomed to a new scheme in his second year. However, this quarterback is cerebral and a quick study. One needs to look at his rookie season to see how quickly he turned things around after getting off to a slow start.
McDaniels’ departure seems to be influencing the sports betting markets and bettors alike. There hasn’t been a lot of positive coverage for New England during the offseason, with constant speculation about the offensive coordinator role only adding to the widespread doubts.
Going into the 2021 season, the Patriots faced similar scrutiny and negativity, even with McDaniels calling the offensive shots. Then, the markets were down on the Patriots because of the unanswered question marks at the quarterback position between Cam Newton and Jones.
But just like the 2021 Patriots put paid to the criticism, it’s reasonable to assume that the 2022-installment will do exactly the same. This is Belichick we’re talking about, after all.
— Phins.com (@Phinscom) September 5, 2022
Dolphins Hyped Up!
A lot of buzz and hype preceded the Miami Dolphins into 2022 after signing Hill and Mostert, amongst others, to their roster.
However, this is still a bit of a developing team that will likely go through growing pains with a new head coach and coaching staff composed of relatively untried and untested talent.
Another big factor is Tua Tagovailoa’s slow progress and development in the game. The third-year quarterback is a wild card going into 2022. His first two seasons were statistically underwhelming, and his performance and decision-making were questioned.
Bringing in talent like Hill and Mostert can work two ways. It can be the making of a quarterback or his downfall. Obviously, Dolphins and Tagovailoa fans will be hoping for the former; that he’ll shine with some of the league’s most desirable weapons to target. Should he not, then the jury will be in, and there won’t be much to deliberate.
MVP level throw by Tua today pic.twitter.com/Omk1fO7nh7
— NYJ Brick 🧱 (@NYJBrick) August 10, 2022
Patriots vs Dolphins Prediction:
The Dolphins were -2½ favorites for most of the summer before the NFL line went on the move, but when one considers the factors that have caused the line movement, there’s reason to be skeptical. The Dolphins might be the vogue NFL pick right now, but the Patriots are dangerous floaters that can pull off the cover in this game as well as the outright upset and win.