New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
Tuesday, 01:30 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Main Event
Going under for my best bet two weeks in a row, and hitting both times, makes me think that lightning, unlike, say, Vontaze Burfict, might strike three times in the same place.
New England visiting the Dolphins in December is always an interesting game, despite the lure of the present stats: this season Miami are 0-3 on primetime, and 4-14 in their last 18, 1-7 in their last eight on Monday night.
Meanwhile the Pats love the bright lights, 16-3 in their last 19. Miami QB Jay Cutler is 0-3 for his entire life against New England, losses by 28, 29 and 34 points. The Pats will be without Rob Gronkowski, serving a suspension for dropping the People's Elbow on Tra'davious White last week, and without their best D lineman, Trey Flowers, and the new defensive signal caller Kyle Van Noy.
Like Ndamakong Sue, however, I have a big BUT. Miami have won three of the past four (admittedly week 17 games shouldn't count) past meetings between these teams in Florida. The thing is it will be warm (70+ degrees) and humid (99%) according to the forecasts, and the Pats have been practising in the snowy cold of Foxboro.
The Dolphins crushed Denver last week to break their own five-game losing streak, and Cutler won't have to worry about a ferocious pass rush from the Pats. And, with the Steelers looming on next weekend's horizon, this is the very definition of a trap game for New England.
The line has gone up to 11 points for Miami since Friday, and I rather like the idea of a 9-10 point New England win. I can see, admittedly through a sort of dull haze, a scenario in which the Dolphins pull off the upset of the season, but even though the moneyline is 4/1 I don't feel I can go that far. I am willing to try Miami +11 at 10/11, and in that scenario I see the Dolphins' D playing well, and holding the game under 48 at 20/23.
With Gronk out, I like Rex Burkhead (pictured) to go over 68.5 combined yards rushing and receiving at 5/6. Tom Brady under 265.5 passing yards at 5/6 sounds OK, and welcoming back Chris Hogan (check to make sure he's active) with a TD at 9/5 is worth a sentimental flutter.
Be careful about Jarvis Landry. The Pats are likely to scheme to take him out of the game, so I like Julius Thomas as a potential TD scorer at 16/5 and to go over 36.5 yards receiving at 5/6. Am I in heaven or am I in Miami?