Just some quick thoughts on tonight’s Monday Night Football match-up between the visiting New England Patriots versus the Miami Dolphins. When you first look at the line (currently “pick ‘ em”), you think:
- “Wow: are the Dolphins that good?” and / or,
- “Have the Patriots dropped that much?”
The line opened with the visiting Patriots as 1-point favorites. Some “square” sportsbooks still have the Patriots as favorites, but most books have the game now as “pick ’em.” For a while, earlier today, several sportsbooks had the Dolphins as one point favorites.
Both the Dolphins and Patriots are currently 2-1. The Patriot defense has been exposed early in the season. Although the Pats have been scoring a lot of points, they have given up almost as many as they have scored!
Meanwhile, the Dolphins have played some solid football — beating a good Vikings squad, and hanging tough with the Jets. The Dolphins squeaked out a win against the lowly Buffalo Bills, but overall, they have looked solid.
Net-net, based on this year’s play, the Dolphins have played as well as the Patriots. Still, this season is just 3 games old, and the Patriots are, well, the Patriots! This game seems to be a match-up of the Patriots’ recent dominating history versus Miami’s resurgence (and an aging and slightly lesser-Patriots team).
Truth be told: if we played this game 100 times, we’d probably see 30 blowout victories for the Patriots. They are still a strong team. However, the Dolphins are coming on a bit — and we’d probably see the home-team Dolphins win at least 55% of the games (thus, covering the spread).
Public perception of the Patriots probably means an inflated line towards New England. We feel that the public’s perception, as measured by the 67% public betting percentage on the Patriots, is yielding some value on the Dolphins. In addition, our readers will note that this “reverse line movement” shows the existence of “smart money” on the Dolphins.
This, being a Monday Night Football game, also means increased attention from the general public (and additional value for sports investors).