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Game Predictions: Expert picks for Patriots vs. Dolphins

2019-ExpertPredictions-PDC

Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 17 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.

Mike Reiss, ESPN:

Pick: Patriots 30, Dolphins 13

With two of the team's top four cornerbacks on the injury report -- Jonathan Jones and Jason McCourty -- depth will be tested, as the Patriots are likely to hold them out with the playoffs in mind. That means 2019 second-round pick Joejuan Williams could get an increase in playing time for the second consecutive week.

Cameron Wolfe, ESPN

Pick: Patriots 34, Dolphins 17

Bold prediction: Pats quarterback Tom Brady throws for 350-plus yards for the first time this season. The Dolphins' young, constantly evolving secondary allowed Andy Dalton to throw for 396 yards last Sunday. During a "down year," Brady will get back on track in the regular-season finale against the Dolphins.

Mike Golic, ESPN: Patriots

Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots

Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots

Dan Graziano, ESPN: Patriots

Trey Wingo, ESPN: Patriots

Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Patriots

Matt Bowen, ESPN: Patriots

Mike Clay, ESPN: Patriots

Jason Reid, ESPN: Patriots

Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com

Pick: Patriots 31, Dolphins 14

Any former Patriots assistant is a dangerous matchup for Bill Belichick, but Dolphins coach Brian Flores simply doesn't have the horses up front to rush the passer. Tom Brady excelled against the Bills last week in large part because he was protected well, a luxury that should be afforded for a second straight week. Ryan Fitzpatrick is likely to go down swinging, but Belichick has done a great job over the years using Fitz's aggressiveness against him, including during a 43-0 victory back in Week 2. A win here would clinch a streak of playoff byes for the Patriots that has lasted the entire decade.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:

Pick: Patriots 34, Dolphins 19

The Patriots need this game to lock up a first-round bye, so they will be focused here. The Dolphins have played much better in the second half of the season, but this New England team is getting ready for the playoffs and it will show. Patriots big.

Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots

Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots

Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots

John Breech, CBS Sports: Patriots

Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports: Patriots

Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Patriots

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 24, Dolphins 13

The Patriots have every reason to not stumble toward the regular-season finish line, since a loss could relegate them to the wild-card round.

Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 7

The Patriots just need to win this game to get a bye week, and they'll cruise to an easy win.

Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:

Pick: Patriots 31, Dolphins 13

Miami will come to play but the Patriots intensity will quickly turn this one into a laugher.

Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:

Pick: Patriots 35, Dolphins 10

The Patriots are coming off their best performance of the season and, still needing a win to lock in the second seed, New England is looking at this like a playoff game. That's a bad thing for the Dolphins.

Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com

Pick: Patriots 28, Dolphins 10

Much closer than the Week 2 encounter between these clubs down in Miami, but still should be a relatively comfortable win for New England, who'll lock up a first-round bye with the victory. That's really all there is to play for in this game. Miami might put up a fight for a quarter or two, but once the Patriots get a lead, the Dolphins will start dreaming about their offseason and want to get this one over in a hurry.

Megan O'Brien, Patriots.com

Pick: Patriots 31, Dolphins 7

N'Keal Harry scores a touchdown. The running game takes another step forward. Still, the game is dominated by defense. Patriots clinch a playoff BYE and defeat the Dolphins.

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