Perhaps no team in the NFL is benefiting as much from the New England Patriots‘ offseason turmoil like the Miami Dolphins — at least when it comes to their betting lines, odds and futures. Whether the Dolphins actually improve upon their 7-9 mark, clear the over on eight wins or capitalize on better than 3-to-1 odds for the AFC East title will come down to how they handle their own changes this offseason.
(The first number is from Aug. 24; the second in parenthesis from roughly three months ago to illustrate the change of perception over the offseason.)
Super Bowl Odds: 40-to-1 (50-to-1)
Division Title Odds: +325 (+500)
Season Win Total Line: 8 (7.5)
Late-May Snapshot: “The Dolphins are also tough to swallow at 50-to-1 Super Bowl odds they are rather intriguing at the 7.5 season-win total Vegas is giving them, especially after the first-year of supposed-project quarterback Ryan Tannehill saw Miami finish 7-9,” I wrote earlier this offseason.
Tannehill’s level of success in 2013 will factor largely into the ability of Mike Wallace to mesh into Joe Philbin‘s offense and vice versa. Brian Hartline‘s a nice receiver but more a fit for the No. 2 role. Wallace is the field-stretcher this unit needed, and paid handsomely to acquire.
This combined with filling key defensive needs at cornerback and overhauling the linebacker spot are why Miami seems primed to pounce on the (seemingly) vulnerable Patriots. New England is quietly a team that heads into most seasons with some major questions, and manage to answer those with other blossoming strengths.
Miami has jumped from 5-to-1 AFC East title odds up to +325 in the weeks after the Aaron Hernandez news and Rob Gronkowski injuries. I’m not sure it’s time to go that gung-ho until we see actual postseason-caliber play from Miami, but that’s the risk you take at more than 3-to-1.