The Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans are both battling for AFC playoff spots, and we think both will cover at home on Sunday against teams that will miss the playoffs in the New England Patriots and Detroit Lions, respectively. Here’s a parlay look at the two with NFL odds.
Parlay Picks | 2020 NFL Expert Analysis
Patriots at Dolphins (-2)
- When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
- TV: CBS
New England will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss, while Miami is right in the middle of the AFC Wild-Card chase and in the playoffs as things stand. These teams played Week 1 and the Pats rolled 21-11. That was New England’s first game post-Tom Brady, and Cam Newton rushed for two scores. Sony Michel added a touchdown for New England, which had 217 of its 357 yards on the ground. Newton was 15 of 19 passing. Ryan Fitzpatrick was 20 of 30 for 191 yards and three interceptions. Miami was held to 269 total yards.
These clubs have changed an awful lot since then as Newton is coming off a horrible effort in a loss to the Rams, while the Dolphins changed from Fitzpatrick to rookie Tua Tagovailoa under center a few weeks ago.
New England was dominated on Thursday in Week 14 in a 24-3 loss at the Rams, and Newton completed 9-of-16 passes for 119 yards, zero touchdowns and an interception. Newton added seven carries for 16 yards. Listed as “questionable” with an abdomen injury, Newton was dismal in a non-competitive game, heading to the bench for the final 10 minutes.
Newton’s surgically-repaired throwing arm/shoulder looked weaker than ever. His interception was a pick-six. However, coach Bill Belichick said that Newton will keep the starting job over Jarrett Stidham. Newton has thrown three touchdown passes and eight interceptions over his last nine games. Stidham has yet to show a ton of positives, either.
With three games remaining, the 6-7 Patriots can’t catch Buffalo in the division race — which means New England’s streak of 11 consecutive AFC East banners is over. The last time the Patriots didn’t win the division was 2008, when they finished tied with the Dolphins at 11-5 but lost on a tiebreaker and missed the postseason. Thus, this will mark the first time since Bill Belichick’s first season in New England that an AFC East team finished with a better record than the Patriots.
Will Miami have top wideout DeVante Parker for this one? Parker has a “slight” hamstring strain and is uncertain. He left Week 14’s game against Kansas City in the first quarter and did not return. At 8-5, Miami controls its destiny for a Wild-Card spot. Win the next three, and they are in.
Lions at Titans (-8)
- When: Sunday, 1 PM ET
- TV: CBS
Detroit is expected to be without starting QB Matthew Stafford after he left last Sunday’s loss to Green Bay in the fourth quarter with a ribs injury. Stafford suffered a rib cartilage injury when he was hit hard and twisted awkwardly on a 6-yard scramble.
Stafford stayed in for one play, a Kerryon Johnson touchdown run, but was in obvious pain when he went to the sideline and sat out the Lions’ final offensive series. Chase Daniel came off the bench for Stafford in the fourth quarter of the loss but hasn’t started a game since October 2019.
Stafford is starting to break down a bit. He played through a long list of injuries to start 136 straight games at one point, the seventh-longest streak ever by a quarterback. That includes a broken back in 2018. But he back again last season, which ended the streak. He missed the final eight games of the season, and the Lions — who went 3-4-1 with him on the field — fell apart during an 0-8 finish without him.
While Detroit (5-8) is playing out the string on another disappointing season and already has fired is coach and GM, the Titans (9-4) are playing for ideally an AFC South title or at worst a Wild-Card spot.
Derrick Henry is having a monster season for Tennessee and is all but a lock to repeat as league rushing champion. In last week’s blowout of Jacksonville, Henry rushed 26 times for 215 yards and two touchdowns. He became the first player in NFL history with four career games of at least 200 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Henry needs to average 156 rushing yards per game over the season’s final three weeks to eclipse 2,000 yards on the year. Henry already is one of seven running backs in league history with more than 1,500 rushing yards and 14 or more touchdowns through 13 games. Head coach He has a real shot to set the single-season rushing yardage record (2,105 yards), held by Eric Dickerson for 36 years.
The Lions haven’t been very good against the run, so expect another big day for Henry.
- Parlay Dolphins -2 and Titans -8
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