The Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots game might be one of the most interesting matchups on the NFL’s opening week slate. The list of intriguing storylines feels endless as these two division rivals kick off their seasons against each other in Foxborough for the second consecutive year. Let’s take a look at the current NFL odds, TV channel, how to live stream, and a prediction for the Dolphins vs. Patriots Week 1 NFL game.
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots | Week 1 preview and prediction
For the first time during the Bill Belichick era, the Patriots will start a rookie quarterback in a regular-season game when Mac Jones takes the field on Sunday. But this isn’t the first time Belichick has started a rookie under center. In his final season as head coach of the Cleveland Browns in 1995, Belichick started rookie Eric Zeier for four games. He lost three of those four games.
But Jones, the 15th overall pick in 2021, is not the only notable new player on offense for the Patriots. Their offseason overhaul of the skill positions was remarkable to see. They added new receivers Nelson Algholor and Kendrick Bourne, along with tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.
How Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels deploy all of this new personnel is anyone’s guess. But what you can expect to see is a strong ground game and solid pass protection from one of the NFL’s best offensive lines.
Of course, the Patriots are not the only team coming into this matchup with new personnel, intrigue, and mystery. While all of the attention is on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa — and rightfully so, as there’s no player in the NFL under more pressure than the second-year quarterback — Miami’s offense features new personnel, new play-calling personnel, and a new scheme reportedly tailored to Tua’s strengths.
The Dolphins added Will Fuller (who will not play as he serves the final game of his suspension) and Jaylen Waddle to the offense while also getting back Albert Wilson after he opted out of the 2020 season. Those three speedy playmakers will bring an element of explosion that the offense sorely missed a year ago.
The belief is that co-offensive coordinators George Godsey and Eric Studesville will be able to deploy all of Miami’s playmakers, including tight ends Mike Gesicki and rookie Hunter Long, in a much more favorable way to suit their quarterback’s skills than previous offensive coordinator Chan Gailey did in 2020.
Dolphins vs. Patriots prediction
With all the talk above about both teams’ offenses, it’s their defenses that will likely determine the outcome of this game. The Dolphins were able to work things out to keep star cornerback Xavien Howard in Miami. The additions of veterans Jason McCourty, Justin Coleman, and Adam Butler, along with rookies Jevon Holland and Jaelan Phillips, only strengthen what is an already strong unit.
While I expect Brian Flores to use various looks to confuse rookie QB Mac Jones (similar to how he confused rookie Justin Herbert last year, holding him to just 187 passing yards and 5.8 YPA in a Miami victory), the Patriots will likely counter by attacking what was a middling Miami run defense a year ago (allowing 4.5 yards per carry).
Conversely, I expect the Dolphins to attack a New England secondary that will be without their best player, as star CB Stephon Gilmore will start the season on the PUP list. Ultimately, a low-scoring game is most likely. And I suspect Flores and the Dolphins will confuse Jones enough to force turnovers and steal a victory in Foxborough.
Prediction: Dolphins 23, Patriots 20
How to watch Dolphins vs. Patriots
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
Start time: 4:25 PM ET
TV channel: CBS
Hulu + Live TV
Check with your streaming service to confirm the availability of specific channels.
Odds for Dolphins vs. Patriots
Odds from DraftKings sportsbook
Spread: Patriots -3 (-120)
Moneyline: Patriots -180, Dolphins +155
Over/Under: 43.5 (Over -115, Under -105)
The spread feels about right. These two teams are about as evenly matched as two teams can get heading into Week 1. The Dolphins come into this season with a 16-5 record against the spread in their last 21 games as underdogs, including winning four of their last five as road underdogs. That said, the Dolphins are just 1-8 against the spread in their last nine games in New England.
The total for this Dolphins vs. Patriots matchup is among the lowest on the NFL’s Week 1 slate. This should not come as a surprise, of course. The offenses for both teams feature two inexperienced quarterbacks, loads of new personnel at skill positions, and several questions around scheme and play-calling strategy in Miami — not to mention two of the NFL’s best defenses.
Additionally, trends in the NFL odds also suggest a low-scoring game. The under has cashed in seven of New England’s last eight games. Additionally, the under is 5-1 in Miami’s last six games played in September. Perhaps most importantly, the under has cashed in five of the last seven games between these two division rivals.