2015 Week 8 Thursday Night ATS Pick
** As always, Thursday Night picks will be included as one of my five weekly picks. A full review of the previous week will be included when I pick the remaining four games this week**
New England -7 (120) vs Miami
Two weeks ago in my pick of the Titan's over the Dolphins, I had this to say:
"I see no reason, statistically or qualitatively, why we should expect a career TE coach to do a better job as head coach [than Joe Philbin]."
That assessment clearly backfired as the Dolphins blew out the Titan's. The Dolphins then followed up the week after with a similar trouncing of the Texans. Despite these back-to-back blowouts, I still believe firmly in my thesis that the Dolphins are no better with a new head coach and are therefore being overvalued.
The Dolphins recent success has everything to do with their strength of schedule as they've the Titans and Texans who rank 22nd and 31st in DVOA respectively. In addition, the Dolphins success against the Titans was aided by two fumble recoveries (which are random events), and against the Texans, the Dolphins only scored three second half points.
As compared to the Titans and Texans (or any team for that matter), the Patriots represent a completely new challenge for the Dolphins. The Patriots have completely controlled nearly all of their games. Despite struggling against the Jets last week, the Patriots still found a way to build a two score lead late in the 4th quarter. Even if we are to conclude that the Dolphins are a better team under Dan Cambell, it is almost unimaginable that a TE's coach will out-smart Bill Bellichick and beat the Patriots in Gillette. Surprisingly, there is still chatter of the Dolphins being a live dog in this game. This mentality speaks to the systematic over-valuing of Miami that has persisted since Ryan Tannehill was crowned the next big thing at quarterback to start the year. I like the Patriots to bring the Dolphins back down to earth.