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Patriots at Dolphins Betting Line Analyzed

September 9, 2019
Miami Dolphins lose 59-2

It is no secret that the Miami Dolphins are purposely tanking. That is, they are going to lose most of their games so that they secure the #1 overall pick in the draft. Many of the Miami fans have already started through all the classic stages of trauma. Denial, being the first stage, was in effect all the way up until about 1:25 PM EST yesterday when, it became apparent to anyone watching the Dolphins play against the Ravens, that this indeed was a very bad team, and purposefully engineered that way.

Weeks before the start of the season, the Dolphins began trading their top players for draft picks. Other teams were gobbling up what Miami had left. It was the NFL’s own version of a fire sale.

The Dolphins ended up losing yesterday’s game to the Ravens 59-10, all the while allowing the most points in franchise history.

The New England Patriots are the current reigning Super Bowl champions. They have a hall-of-fame QB and coach, vying for their last few championships before they both retire and ride off into the sunset. Last night, they decimated the Steelers 33-3 on Sunday Night Football. It was never a game. The Steelers, with their own HOF QB didn’t know what hit them.

So now, the world-beater New England Patriots are traveling to Miami to play the Dolphins this coming Sunday. What would you expect the betting line to be? NE -21? NE -24? Maybe even set the record for the highest NFL point spread ever, NE -28? Nope. Offshore sportsbooks played with a number and initially tested NE -9. What? They then issued NE -14. Still too low. They came back out with NE -15. It has since been bet to NE -17 points. That doesn’t even crack the top ten of all time largest spreads. (Update, line has moved to NE -19 since I wrote this yesterday)

I was messaging back and forth with some linesmakers last night and I told them that if they set the line at -21, the public would still hammer it. Many of them agreed. There is a policy in which linesmakers must live by whereas they all have to essentially offer the same number or something very close. It is an unwritten rule that keeps them from getting “middled”, ie, from having guys who just bet both sides of every game at different shops hoping the game score lands on a gap number.

If I were a leading bookmaker I would get with the other guys and say something like “guys, this is ridiculous. Would any of you bet Miami +17 vs NE this weekend? No? Lets all just make it NE -21 and be done with it.”

Sportsbooks are still getting hammered on NE -17 today (75-85% at various books) and I expect they will be all week. I wouldn’t be surprised if NE -17 (or whatever it ends up) is their biggest liability in quite some time.

Update: Line has moved to NE -19 since I wrote this yesterday. 65% of the public is still betting NE -19 and do not forget all the action that was locked in at -14 through -17. This will be a huge sweat for the sportsbooks.

  • Brad

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