NFL Free Picks: New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins 10/4/10

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The Miami Dolphins will look to avoid a second straight NFL betting defeat at home against a divisional rival when they take on the New England Patriots on MNF.

Matchup: New England Patriots @ Chicago Bears
Date: Monday, October 3rd, 8:30 ET
Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL
Game Line: Miami +1
Over/Under 47.5

Patriots Notes: There's good news and bad news if you're HC Bill Belichick. The good news is that your offense is kicking on all cylinders right now. The Patriots are averaging 30.0 points per game this year, which is the top mark in the NFL heading into Week 4 betting action. The team is averaging a very solid 370.7 yards per game, which is seventh in the league, while the balance between rush and pass has surprisingly been fairly even, as both rank 10th in the NFL. That running game has really had a ton of different rushers this year, but the two leads have been RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis and RB Fred Taylor. Green-Ellis has come out of nowhere to run for 139 yards on 31 carries. Taylor, likely a future Hall of Famer, has 98 yards on 25 runs this year. Taylor's next TD will be the 75th of his illustrious career, and he is likely to get to the 12,000 yard mark on the ground at some point this season. Of course, there's QB Tom Brady as well, who is still throwing lasers all over the field. With two rookie tight ends to play with, Brady is getting used to his new toys, and he is utilizing them well. TE Aaron Hernandez leads the team with 211 yards receiving this year, while TE Rob Gronkowski has five catches for 58 yards and two TDs. Brady's other six TD passes are split evenly between his usual targets, WR Wes Welker and WR Randy Moss. However, remember that we discussed some bad news as well… The defense for New England is conceding 27.3 points per game, which is the fourth worst mark in the league. All three foes have scored at least 24 points against the Patriots this year, something that certainly isn't going to make Belichick and his staff happy.

Dolphins Notes: All things told, HC Tony Sparano has to be pretty happy with the 2-1 start to the season for his Fins both SU and ATS. Last week's 31-23 loss to the New York Jets had to leave a bitter taste in their mouths, though. Don't be shocked to see QB Chad Henne throw the ball a little bit more in this game than perhaps you are used to. Henne has found a really rapport with WR Brandon Marshall this year, as the former Denver Bronco leads the team with 22 catches and 290 yards. He has one of the three TD passes on the year from Henne. The real bad news for Sparano's offense right now is that the unit has only come up with four total TDs. RB Ricky Williams has yet to find the end zone this season, and RB Ronnie Brown only has one score. The two backs in this system are only averaging just over 100 yards per game on the ground this year, numbers which just aren't going to cut it. The defense for Miami has been stellar though, ranking in the top half of the NFL in virtually every important category. Watch out for DE Cameron Wake, who is becoming almost as much of a sack master here in the NFL as he was when he was in the CFL playing for the BC Lions. Wake has two sacks this year, and he has had his hands in on several other quarterback pressures.

The Final Word: The Dolphins just cannot afford to drop this one and Sparano knows it. The defense for New England is too much of a sieve right now for anyone to do anything against, and when push comes to shove, the Pats just aren't going to be able to come up with the big stop at the end of the game. Too much Henne. Too much Marshall. Too much Brown. Too much Miami.

Free College Football Picks: Miami +1
Prediction: Miami 23 – New England 21

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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