New England has owned Miami over recent seasons, winning seven of the last eight meetings in this rivalry, going 5-3 against the spread.
The Pats have won 10 straight Week 1 games but only covered half of them.
Patriots Dolphins Point spread: The Patriots opened as 1.5-point favorites but were -4.5 by midweek at most sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. The total was 46.5 (line updates and matchup report).
Odds Shark computer prediction: 26.9-19.8 Patriots
Why the Patriots can cover the spread
The Patriots got within a game of the Super Bowl again last year and have every intention of making at least one more run with the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady combo.
New England can still move the ball with the best of them, ranking seventh in total offense last year, averaging 28 points per game. And while defensively the Patriots only ranked 26th overall, some of that had to do with opponents playing from behind so much.
And while they lost cornerback Aqib Talib, they added Darrelle Revis. Finally, New England went 5-2 ATS last year when favored by less than a touchdown, so it's very good at covering short spreads, even if it struggled to a 1-5 ATS mark as road chalk.
Why the Dolphins can cover the spread
The Dolphins almost made the playoffs last year, but lost their last two games. So they should be anxious to get going this season.
Miami didn't impress statistically last year but played a bunch of close games and won most of them, proving it knows how to deal with tight situations. And quarterback Ryan Tannehill improved his completion percentage from 58 to 60 and his touchdown-interception ratio from 12-13 to 24-17.
He now enters this season with 32 career NFL starts under his belt and records of 15-17 straight up and 17-15 ATS. And while Miami only ran the ball for 90 yards a game last year, they've added running back Knowshon Moreno to help in that department.
New England has won its last 10 season openers, although it's only 5-4-1 ATS in that span. The Patriots also haven't been the great road warriors they once were as of late, going 1-5 ATS over their last six games as favorites away from home.
Miami, on the other hand, is 5-1-1 ATS the last seven times it's been lined as a home dog. So the smart call on this one goes with the Fins and the points, despite what the computer says.
- Patriots have won 10 straight openers but are just 5-4-1 ATS in that span.
- Dolphins are 3-7-1 ATS their past 11 openers.
- Patriots are 1-5 ATS their past six games as road favorites.
- Dolphins are 5-1-1 ATS their past seven as home underdogs.
- Patriots are 23-6 SU their past 29 divisional games.