The Dolphins run game has averaged just 85 yards in the past three weeks
Handicapping a football game at any time of year is a great challenge and as we move into the final stretch of regular season games, new variables enter the equation. Is it a revenge game from an earlier meeting this year? Does this team have its eye set on the postseason or are they playing for the draft?
What about Season Win Totals? If you have a futures bet booked on a team such as the Dolphins (7-5 SU), Bucs (7-5) or Giants (8-4), it’s worth considering your options while looking into this week’s matchup. Each of those teams are sitting right at the common number that was available in August for projected wins.
If you liked the under during your initial assessment of a team and they are sitting at the cusp of their win total, it could mean potential value against this week’s line. If the team is laying points at home there is an opportunity hedge your futures bet and while this is only a small part of the puzzle, it’s a piece worth addressing if banking a profit is high on your priority list.
The Arizona at Miami game has captured my attention this week as I have a pending future booked on the Dolphins Team Total Under 7 wins. Here are some notes on the matchup.
The Dolphins return home this week from a beatdown in Baltimore that ended a six-game win streak. Non-conference teams off a loss that were riding a win streak of four or more wins before the setback are 10-3 ATS. When it was late in the season, four of five games stayed under the total.
Miami has not posted a 100-plus-yard rushing game in three weeks but before that they were gaining notoriety with gains of 106, 137, 256 and 222 yards. The Ravens last week were tough and they’ll slow anyone down, and each team in this week’s contest also ranks top 10 in my chart for defensive front sevens.
The Dolphins O-Line climbed the charts all year from a ranking of 32nd in Week 3 up to a high mark of 10th in Week 11, but they’ve taken a couple of steps back. I would give the matchup advantage to Arizona in terms of O-Lines and front sevens.
Arizona has lost all three of its road games this year played on turf but the Cards play home games on grass, where Carson Palmer is more comfortable. He’s riding a nice 12-4-1 run straight-up in his past 17 on grass. Palmer is 4-1 SU/ATS on road grass against the AFC and Arizona has outscored their opponents 27-21 in those games but there was some definite sandbagging. Jags, Titans, Browns… gimmes. The Cards were also a different team from 2013-15 than what we’re seeing now.
Their 1-4 SU/ATS record on the road puts them in desperation mode here but this is the kind of game Arizona can win with its defense. They have New Orleans, Seattle and Los Angeles on-deck and will need their offense to be huge in those next two. Miami has three-straight divisional games after this but the fact they are off a loss and playing one of the league’s top teams from recent years will have their attention. The Dolphin defense needs to be big here as well and I think from looking the matchups, this is setting up like a good spot for the under.