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How bad are the Miami Dolphins? You can bet on it

No matter how high Las Vegas sportsbooks have moved the line on Sunday’s Patriots-Dolphins game, few bettors have dared to back Miami, a consensus 19-point home underdog to New England.

“It’s been all Patriots,” South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said.

The Dolphins appeared historically bad when they were whipped 59-10 by the Ravens in their opener. Will Miami go 0-16 this season?

Gamblers can bet on that proposition at the South Point and Station Casinos. No is the minus 800 favorite and yes is the plus 550 underdog at South Point, and no is minus 1,000 and yes is plus 650 at Station.

“It looks obvious that they’re tanking. The players on the field aren’t doing that; upper management is,” Andrews said. “I’m sure the coach (Brian Flores) does not want to tank. But the way management is playing this, they’re not giving him a lot of bullets.”

Still, Andrews expects the Dolphins to win a few games.

“They’ll have a tough time winning too many, but I think they’ll wind up with three or four wins by the end of the year,” he said.

CG Technology sportsbook director Tony DiTommaso agrees. CG posted adjusted NFL season win totals after Week 1 and opened Miami at 3½ wins. That number was quickly bet to 3, with the under a minus 150 favorite.

“You wonder how much this team is going to care, especially if it gets throttled Sunday,” DiTommaso said. “But you can make a case for three wins, and four is attainable.

“They have four games left with the Jets and Bills, one with the Giants, and they play the Bengals and Redskins at home.”

New England was an 11½-point favorite over Miami on the look-ahead line, opened as a 14½-point favorite Sept. 8 and was up to 17 on Monday. A CG Technology bettor placed a $55,000 straight wager to win $50,000 on the Patriots minus 18 on Tuesday, and the line was at 19½ on Saturday at South Point.

New England also was reportedly a 19½-point road favorite over the Ravens during their 16-0 2007 regular season. Will the Patriots go 16-0 this season? That’s another prop at South Point, which took a sharp bet on no at minus 1,500. The no is now a minus 2,000 favorite and yes the plus 1,200 underdog.

The Patriots’ adjusted win total at CG was bet up from 11 to 11½, with the over a minus 170 favorite.

“I wouldn’t go crazy over them yet,” Andrews said. “I think they’re the best team in the NFL, but (Bill) Belichick teams tend to peak later in the year.”

Westgate sportsbook manager Ed Salmons said the line on Sunday’s game is overinflated, and he recommends a play on Miami.

“I thought 17 was the high end on this game,” he said. “You have a unique case where the spread is ridiculous, and the coaches worked on the same staff. Is Belichick going to run up the score in this game? I’m guessing he’ll be nice about it. And New England always struggles in Miami.

“There’s not a team that’s as bad as Miami showed last week. That was their all-time worst game. A professional team will come back from that and rally and at least give an effort.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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