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New England Patriots Odds
A new era begins for New England, which will introduce Cam Newton as its starting quarterback in place of Tom Brady, who left to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Bill Belichick remains with the Patriots, which means they still have a chance to win on any given Sunday, and the longtime coach has repeatedly praised Newton during the preseason. However, questions remain about whether Newton has enough talent around him on offense to help the Patriots contend for a division title.
Brady always found a way to do so, but he’s likely the best to ever play the position. Will New England be motivated to set the tone in Week 1 that its new roster can still produce old (and successful) results? Or will a learning curve be in order?
Miami Dolphins Odds
The Dolphins’ long-term plan involves building around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who shined at Alabama before his college career was cut short by injury. But the future is not quite here yet for Miami. That means veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the start as the Dolphins take on the Brady-less Patriots. Miami spent big money to upgrade its offensive line and also bolstered its backfield by bringing in running backs Jordan Howard and Matt Breida.
On defense, Kyle Van Noy will go up against his former team in the Patriots. He signed with Miami and reunited with coach Brian Flores, who is in his second season with the Dolphins.
Dolphins at Patriots Betting Pick for Week 1
Until the Patriots show signs of cracking, it will be hard to pick against them in a home game against the Dolphins. Anything could happen in the season opener, but Belichick is as prepared as any coach in the league, and he knows millions will be watching to see how he adjusts to life after Brady.
Newton also could play with a chip on his shoulder after teams across the league decided to go elsewhere for their quarterback needs. Regardless of which team wins, it should be compelling theater.
Dolphins at Patriots Betting Pick: Dolphins (+6.5), Patriots (-6.5)
Patriots 27, Dolphins 24
Patriots at Dolphins Best Bet
Belichick and Flores know each other well, and both should have strong game plans in place for the season opener.
Newton is determined to prove that he has plenty left, and Fitzpatrick is as cerebral as they come on the other side of the field. A slow start to the game is possible, but look for the points to pick up as the contest goes on.
Dolphins at Patriots Best Bet: OVER 42