Patriots-Dolphins Week 1 betting line breaks surprising streak

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This surprising Patriots streak will come to an end vs. Dolphins originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots' struggles in Miami have been well-documented -- and the oddsmakers are finally recognizing them.

The Patriots opened as 3-point underdogs in their NFL Week 1 matchup against the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. That line since has moved to +3.5, which isn't too surprising: There are plenty of concerns about New England's offense after a rough preseason, and the Patriots are just 1-3 against Miami since Tom Brady's departure.

But what if we told you this was the first time in nearly a decade that New England have been a betting underdog against its AFC East rival?

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Indeed, the Dolphins are favored over the Patriots for the first time since December 2013, snapping a streak of 16 consecutive games with the Patriots as favorites. (H/t to Sports Illustrated.)

On one hand, that stat isn't very surprising: Miami has won 10 games or more in just two of the last nine seasons, while New England was a perennial Super Bowl contender in the Brady-Bill Belichick era. But it's a bit eye-opening that the Patriots were favored in both of their games against the Dolphins in 2020, when the former team finished 7-9 and the latter finished 10-6. Miami split with New England during the 2020 campaign and swept the season series in 2021 despite being underdogs in both contests.

Bettors backing the Patriots during that 16-game streak didn't fare too well, as the Dolphins won eight of those games outright while going 7-2 at home during that span.

That Belichick's team isn't favored against Miami could be a sign of an AFC East power shift, with many experts predicting New England to miss the postseason while expressing optimism about a revamped Dolphins offense under new head coach Mike McDaniel.

Then again, Belichick has proven plenty of doubters wrong, and his club will have all the motivation it needs now that even the sportsbooks have lost faith.