Free NFL Picks New England at Miami 10-4-2010

October 4, 2010

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New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

October 4th 2010 8:30 PM EST

The Line: New England -1

Overview:

These teams have a few things in common. Both of them are 2-1, both of them suffered their sole loss against the Jets, and there are eight letters in both Patriots and Dolphins. I’m not sure how the last factoid is relevant, but the first two account for the spread being so close.

Keys to the Game:

  • Last year, the home team took home the victory in both outings. The match up is between division rivals on Monday night football. That means two things. A) It’s going to be exciting. B) It’s going to be close. Sure, you can probably say the Patriots are the more talented and experienced team, but ask the Bengals how much that matters when you play a division rival who knows your team inside and out.
  • Aaron Hernandez is the new Wes Welker. Sure they play different positions, but what I mean is he is a guy who defenses see as a non-factor, but is somehow leading the Patriots in receiving. Bill Belechick and the Patriots don’t care about your 40 times, where you went to school, or what round you were drafted in. If defenses aren’t going to cover you, and you don’t mind doing some dirty work, the ball is coming your way. Aaron Hernandez is the best player on the team nobody has ever heard of. Don’t be surprised if they utilize him on Monday night. The most impressive part of his stat sheet is that he is averaging 16.2 yards a catch. That is outstanding for a tight end, who is usually not a quarterback’s first or second option when he goes through his progressions.
  • The days of the Patriots playing defense with 11 guys you might never have heard of and winning Super Bowls might be over. You still haven’t heard of many people on their defense, but they aren’t impressing anyone either. They have the talent on the Patriots, but their team first attitude that began their dynasty might be fading away. They rank in the bottom half against the run and the pass. If the Dolphins can get the ball out to Brandon Marshall, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will have more room to run around. It shouldn’t be too hard to find holes in the Pariots defense, as they haven’t been solid in any game this year. Giving up 30 to the Bills last week showed just how vulnerable they are. Miami is picking apart every piece of the film, because Buffalo doesn’t impress anyone. If they can score 30, the Dolphins could put up a scary amount of points.

Wrap Up:

This is going to be a shootout. The Patriots are too talented not to score and the Dolphins are going to be able to take advantage of a Pats defense who is trying to find themselves. Your safest bet is to go with the over 48 on this one, but I’m going to go ahead and make the prediction just for kicks. The Patriots don’t handle losing well, as it is not in their DNA. After coming off a loss last week, they will look to make a statement on the big stage. Patriots win, even if it’s only by a couple.

Free NFL Pick:New England -1


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