When the season started, would you have beleived me if I told you the Dolphins would be six point favorites against the Titans in Week 10? If you said yes, you're either a Miami fan or behind on your medications. Yet, here we are staring at a very good Dolphins team favored by almost a touchdown this week. Let's take a closer look at why I think they'll cover the number.
The general feeling around the NFL is that the Miami Dolphins have already exceeded all expectations, except their own. This was still meant to be a work in progress.
With rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill placed as the starter, it was very much a case of damage limitation. The first round pick out of Texas A&M has not had to be spectacular in helping his team to a 4-3 record.
Perhaps not being under the intense media spotlight of other rookie starters in his position has helped. After all not everyone can be Robert Griffin III.
So when he went down this past Sunday, under a 1st quarter sack by New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, with what first appeared as a serious injury to his left thigh and knee, it was a set-back in the Dolphins solid start to the year.
Last seasons team Most Valuable Player, backup Matt Moore came in and steadied the ship impressively to humiliate the Jets, in a one-sided 30-9 win. The victory lifted Miami into clear second place in the AFC East and if the playoffs started now they would actually be 5th seed.
Nobody expected very much from the Miami Dolphins or New York Jets offenses to start the season, but both have shown a glimmer of hope in recent weeks. Which team is poised to come out on top this Sunday? Let's take a closer look at why I favor the Dolphins.
One of the most curious point spreads on the board in Week 8 is the Jets two and half point favorites over the Dolphins. The spread was the same in the look-ahead line, so their performance vs the Patriots didn't change perception for anybody. The question is whether or not the Jets should be favored in this game at all?
I waited all week to see if an affordable +3 would become available, but it appears like I'll have to wait closer to kick off for that to happen. I'd be willing to play the Dolphins +2.5, but wait as long as possible for some potential late line movement (odds from SBRforum).
Off and Into the Bye
The New England Patriots and St Louis Rams take their talents across the pond this Sunday to showcase the annual NFL International Series. The Patriots are favored by a touchdown in Las Vegas, and they'll be a popular favorite among the London fans as well. Let's take a closer look to see why I like them to cover this spread and come out on top.
The look-ahead line had the Patriots favored by 8.5 points, but after Week 7 they re-opened as -6.5 favorites. It didn't take very long for early money to recognize the value, as it quickly got bet to -7 (odds from SBRforum). The public is also getting in on the action with 77% of bets coming in on the favorite.
Home vs Road?
The Rams are technically listed as the home team here, but in reality this is more of a road game for them. The New England Patriots are much more of a world-wide brand than the St Louis Rams. The funny thing is, Gisele Bunchen might have as much to do with that as the Patriots' history in the Super Bowl. Tom Brady is a house-hold name, even across seas.
Analysis: Here come the Jets. Rex Ryan didn't have to tell anyone in New England they were coming to Foxboro this Sunday as the Jets head up I95 and the Mass Pike to face their heated rivals. Ryan's Jets are 3-4 against the Pats, including a AFC Divisional Round win that shocked the NFL. These aren't those Jets, and in fact, these aren't those Patriots. Both teams, along with the rest of the AFC East and seven others in the AFC, come in at 3-3. There will be no love lost between both sides come Sunday, and there wasn't any leading up to the game. Ryan said this week he dreams of the day his Jets will overtake the Patriots in the AFC East and he didn't come to Gang Green to lose to the Patriots. He went so far as to say that New England knows that he expects the Jets to win.