The game is almost one week away, but the New England Patriots are already a 17-point favorite over the Miami Dolphins in their Week 2 clash at Hard Rock Stadium. The Patriots opened their campaign with an impressive 33-3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers while the Dolphins suffered a humiliating 59-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. While the Dolphins looked bad in their first NFL regular-season game under new head coach Brian Flores, the Patriots are expected to get even better with the addition of veteran wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was expected to sign a one-year deal worth $15 million, with $9 million in guaranteed money.

With Brown expected to suit up in Week 2, betting odds opened with the Patriots as 14.5-point favorites over the Dolphins. The odds increased all the way up to 17 points, and even 17.5 at the Westgate in Las Vegas. While it is not the first time for the Patriots to be a 17-point favorite, this marks only the second time that they are favorites by 17 points or more on the road, with last time happening in 2007. At home, the Patriots have been favored by 17 points or more seven times. While they are 7-0 during those matches, the Patriots only covered the spread three times.

Patriots waive 2 for Brown’s arrival

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Patriots have waived safety Obi Melifonwu and cut tight end Lance Kendricks in anticipation of Brown’s arrival. Melifonwu and Kendricks both did not suit up in their victory over the Steelers. With Brown joining the 53-man roster, the Patriots wide receiving corps looks even more formidable. Aside from Brown, the Patriots have Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, Demaryius Thomas, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski in their depth chart.

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The return of rookie wideout N'Keal Harry, who is on injured reserve, would give veteran quarterback Tom Brady additional target on offense. Reports have it that Brown already agreed to a one-year deal, but the Patriots have not officially announced his signing.

Patriots a shoo-in for AFC top seed

After watching the Patriots pick the Steelers apart on Sunday, Hall of Fame wideout and NFL analyst Cris Carter has declared New England as a shoo-in for the AFC top seed. During Monday’s episode of “First Things First”, Carter said the Patriots totally outclassed the Steelers from the beginning.

“I’m just going to tell you: Everyone in the AFC is playing for second place. If (Tom Brady) stays healthy, they’re going to win 14 games,” said Carter. In that game, the 42-year-old Brady completed 24 of 36 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns. Dorsett caught four passes for 95 yards and two scores, Edelman had six receptions for 83 yards while Gordon caught three passes for 73 yards and a score.

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