Sunday Night Football Week 2: Dolphins-Patriots betting preview (odds, lines, best bets)

2RTK9H9 New England Patriots' Rhamondre Stevenson runs against the Philadelphia Eagles during an NFL football game at Gillette Stadium, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023 in Foxborough, Mass. (Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)

• Bet Rhamondre Stevenson over 78.5 rushing and receiving yards: He is likely to continue to see significant work in both the passing and run games against a vulnerable Dolphins run defense.

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The Miami Dolphins come into Gillette Stadium as a favorite over the New England Patriots for the first time in decades. Even the post-Tom Brady Patriots teams of the past few years with Cam Newton or Mac Jones at quarterback were deemed to be more likely to win than the Dolphins in this fixture.

The Patriots in Week 1 were forced to rely on Mac Jones as a passer despite limited receiving options because the exceptional Eagles' defensive front did not allow them to run the ball as efficiently as they often do. Jones passed the ball 54 times and amassed more than 300 passing yards for the fifth time in his NFL career, with seven different receivers making at least three catches. Rhamondre Stevenson was limited to just 2.1 yards per carry, outperformed by new backup Ezekiel Elliott at 4.1 yards per carry on seven attempts.

Miami, meanwhile, was explosive. They beat the Chargers deep — and with regularity. The Chargers allowed a 15-plus-yard play on an absurd 37% of passing snaps for a total of 17 such plays in the game. That is not going to happen to this well-coached Bill Belichick defense that limited the Eagles, who beast an exceptional receiving group of their own, to just three such plays at a 7.9% rate.

Rhamondre Stevenson Over 78.5 Rush & Receiving Yards (-114 FanDuel)

The Eagles' defensive front is one of the best in the league, and they stuffed the Patriots' running backs on the opening weekend before doing the same to the Vikings on Thursday Night Football in Week 2. The Dolphins, however, gave up almost seven yards per carry to the Chargers and allowed 0.311 expected points added per play and an enormous 67.6% success rate on rushing plays, so we can expect significantly more success for the Patriots’ run game in Week 2 despite some potential injury concerns on the offensive line.

The Patriots' running backs saw heavy workloads in the receiving game, with Stevenson catching six balls for 64 yards. Although it is unlikely he will reach that yardage output range again, he is likely to continue to see significant work in that role as well as in the run game. He was on the field for 58 of 78 snaps in Week 1 (24 of 33 in 1st half) and will remain a big feature of this offense with downfield limitations going forward.

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