Take Dolphins to cover spread vs. Patriots on ‘TNF’

Under hard-nosed interim Dolphins coach Dan Campbell, who replaced Joe Philbin following Miami’s listless loss in London to the New York Jets, the reinvigorated Dolphins trounced the Titans and Texans by a combined score of 82-36 in two straight wins.

Miami travels to New England today on “Thursday Night Football” (5:25 p.m., CBS (8), NFLN (317)) and The Gold Sheet handicapper Bruce Marshall likes the Dolphins, who are getting 8 points at most Las Vegas sports books.

“Miami obviously needed a kick in the behind. After they tuned out Joe Philbin, this guy (Campbell) is exactly what the doctor ordered,” said Marshall (goldsheet.com). “That was a positive for them and they have responded. They’re hitting on all cylinders.”

Miami’s defense has 10 sacks in its last two games and quarterback Ryan Tannehill is coming off the best outing of his career, completing 18 of 19 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns in a 44-26 rout of Houston, which trailed 41-0 at halftime.

“What I find interesting in this matchup is (the Dolphins) beat the Patriots two of the last three times they’ve played, when Philbin was still the coach,” Marshall said. “I’m not sure they can win here but they can push the Patriots. I think plus-7½ or 8 makes them pretty live tonight.

“There’s always that fear that you can’t go against the Patriots, but they’re 12-14-1 against the spread in their last 27 regular-season games as a favorite. So you can go against them.”

Marshall also likes over the total of 51, pointing to the over going 58-28 in Patriots’ regular-season games since late in the 2010 season.

“New England has been an extremely strong over team,” he said. “Teams are often chasing New England and you can make a case for Dolphins and over.”

Bettors looking to get down on the Dolphins should head to the Golden Nugget or the Stratosphere, which as of Thursday afternoon were the only places in town to have New England favored by 8½ points.

“We’re the only 8½ in the world. Everybody else is at 8,” Golden Nugget sports book director Tony Miller said. “We’re getting all the money on the Patriots. The square money is big on the Patriots. I’ve been at 8½ for a while and no sharp money has come in to take it off 8½, so I think the game will probably go to 8½ by game time anyway.

“New England is such a public team. Them and Green Bay, they’ll bet them probably no matter what the number goes to.”

While Marshall likes the Dolphins and over, Miller forecasts the Patriots and under.

“I know Miami has got the new coach and is 2-0 since Campbell took over. They’re riding high but they still don’t have the talent to stay with New England the whole game. I think New England covers,” he said. “I tend to think the game goes under. It’s a night game in New England with the cold weather and I don’t think Miami likes playing in cold weather. It won’t be high scoring.”

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