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Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots Point Spread - Pick

Miami Dolphins (4-6 SU, 3-5-1 ATS) vs. New England Patriots (8-2 SU, 6-4 ATS)
Week 12 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 26, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
TV: CBS

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: MIA +16.5/NE -16.5
Over/Under Total: 47.5

The Miami Dolphins come into Foxborough on Sunday for an AFC East battle with the New England Patriots. The Patriots were able to win their second straight on the road this week, going into Mexico City and pinning a 33-8 loss on the Oakland Raiders. It was the Patriots' sixth straight win after a 2-2 start where some were questioning their ability to make another deep playoff run this season. They host the spiraling Dolphins, who hit another low-point on Sunday in losing at home 30-20 to a struggling Tampa squad. With four straight losses, their good 4-2 start has evaporated and they might in the mode of seeing who they want to stick with personnel-wise for next season. For the Dolphins, the bleakness of the situation isn't just that they're losing, but how they're losing and who is beating them. This is the first meeting this season between these divisional foes, as they will play again in Miami in two weeks.

It's hard to sugar-coat what has happened with the Dolphins over the past month. Injuries have been a part of the equation, but not to the tune of what is occurring and how a team that started 4-2 has hit the skids so dramatically. They were at home against a sideways Tampa team and really needed a win in a big way to get back to .500 and they couldn't get it done, making one wonder what exactly can they do at this point.

Five turnovers and 17 penalties say all you need to know about a self-sabotaging Miami offense on Sunday. Jay Cutler threw three first-half picks and didn't play in the second half with a concussion being cited as the reason. Matt Moore came in and was effective with 282 yards and a TD. With Jay Ajayi gone, the Dolphins are using different guys in the backfield and were led on Sunday by Damien Williams, who had a nice 69-yard run. Kenny Stills had 180 yards receiving and a TD, while Jarvis Landry had 95 yards and a score, as well. That's a lot of highlights for just 20 points of scoring, but on Sunday, they were their own worst enemy with all the blunders.

The Miami defense was half-decent on Sunday, holding Tampa to 20 points until late in the game when Tampa added a go-ahead field goal, before recovering a fumble for a touchdown on the Dolphins final desperate gasp. Still, they gave up an efficient day passing to Tampa backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. And in the final drive with the game tied, they weren't able to get the job done. They haven't been very clutch lately and after the first five games of the season where they were very serviceable, they have eroded badly over the past month-plus.

The Patriots are 8-2 and on the surface, it looks like another typical good season for the Pats. But they have been forced to use their championship ability to adapt and address problem-areas this season. After the first month of the season where they went just 2-2, they were relying on Tom Brady to all the heavy-lifting with a run-game and defense that looked anything but world-class. But in this 6-game win-streak, they have been able to play exponentially better defense, while seeing a more-diversified offense. After allowing a feeding frenzy to opposing quarterbacks in the first month of the season, they have allowed an average of just 12.5 points in their last six games.

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Brady has really started to string together some big performances lately and did so again south of the border on Sunday with 339 yards and three touchdowns on 30-for-37 passing. Brandin Cooks has really been an asset in this offense and had 149 yards receiving and a TD on Sunday. Danny Amendola also had some nice plays, including a touchdown catch. Dion Lewis had some nice runs and also caught a Brady TD pass. For the Pats to go into the high-altitude destinations of Denver and Mexico City and put up a combined 74 points says a lot about where this group is heading.

The New England defense seemed to be a potential roadblock to success this season with some of their early-season performances where every QB they faced was putting up gargantuan numbers. They still haven't really seen their secondary perform up to their potential after investing heavily in that area in the offseason. Still their 12.5-point average allowance over the past 6 games and a 6-0 record in that span is what speaks loudest. They're getting better over the course of the season and that should be a concern for opponents. They got some good plays from the secondary on Sunday, with Patrick Chung recovering a fumble and Duron Harmon getting a pick from Derek Carr.

This game casts two divergent football machines, with the peaking Patriots and a Dolphins team that appears to be going down the drain. In the last month, the season has gone from a source of promise to a nearly-lost cause for Miami. And facing a peaked Patriots team on the road could be the worst medicine for that condition. There could be some daylight for the 'Fins this week, with New England perhaps a bit winded after those two road games, the last one a super-long one in bad altitude. And with Matt Moore offering a glimpse of promise, you could make the case for a good Miami effort this week. Whatever the case, I see New England having trouble covering the big number this week.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Miami Dolphins plus 16.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Miami vs. New England game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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